Tag Archives: Perry Creek

Southwest Harbor Surprises!

Perry Creek to SW Harbor

Thursday (7/15) – Southwest Harbor, (Mount Desert Island – MDI), Maine

We left Perry Creek right at 8:00, and could easily see the fog on Seal Cove.  We knew we would have it for some of today’s journey to Southwest Harbor, but we had hoped it would clear by the time we reached the Western Way Inlet so we could see the beautiful mountains on Mount Desert Island. 

Morning fog in creek

We left Seal Cove and turned east into the Fox Islands Thoroughfare and continuing through the eastern part of Penobscot Bay; all of it in thick fog with little visibility.  We entered the Deer Isle Thoroughfare and passed the town of Stonington to our left (barely visible) and Crotch Island (where there is still an active quarry) to our right. Stonington is a lobsterman’s town and there are not a lot of places for cruisers to stay. Additionally, there are stories of lobster boats intentionally causing uncomfortable wakes and scary close range passes near boats in order to discourage anchoring in the nearby coves. For this reason we have never stopped here to explore the town.

We continued our path east in fog, dodging the numerous lobster posts all over the place.  We left the Deer Isle Thoroughfare and crossed Jericho Bay, again in thick fog. Thankfully, there was also little wind and the bay was fairly flat.  On a clear day we would be able to see the northern shore of Swan’s Island (and parts of Acadia National Forrest on the island), but not today.

Finally, we passed Bass Harbor at the southern end of Mount Desert Island and rounded the corner into Western Way Inlet.  The fog had lessened a bit, but we could only see part of the beautiful mountains that make up this great place.  Several houses along the coastline (in the town of Seawall) were now visible, and fortunately, the fog was mostly gone by the time we approached the village of Southwest (SW) Harbor.  Here we had a reservation at Dysart’s Great Harbor Marina and contacted them for our slip assignment, to get fuel, and for a pump-out.

As we approached the fuel dock we were surprised to see a Fleming 55 that we knew from our 2017 and 2019 trips, but in Solomons, MD. We waved as we passed, and as we were fueling up, Mark (“Ravello”) came by with his visiting grandson to see us and to say hello.  We agreed to connect up later in the day, or definitely over the weekend as they are staying here all season.

After our fuel up, pump out and getting our boat settled into the slip, we went to check in with the dockmaster.  Mark had been in touch with the dinghy repair people and wanted to schedule the use of the marina courtesy pickup truck for early tomorrow morning. We needed to be in Ellsworth when they opened at 8:00 am, in order to give them the maximum amount of time to repair the dinghy, without causing delays in our trip.  The drive was about 45 minutes, and we would have taken it today, but the only major highway into town was closed as they were moving a house and it wouldn’t reopen in time for us to get there.  This is what life is like here in Maine.

Wanting to stretch her legs and knowing we needed milk, Denise opted to go into the village (half-mile away) to get some.  Unfortunately, she discovered the town market (Sawyer’s) was closed.  It has been sold and the new owners have not yet reopened; Covid being a contributing factor. She walked around town a bit doing reconnaissance shopping and seeing what changed since 2019, then returned to the boat empty-handed. 

Meanwhile, Mark had been on conference calls and coordinating the logistics of the dinghy repair. He was able to gain the assistance of the dockmaster and his assistant to help him get the dinghy engine off the dinghy, as well as taking the dinghy itself off the boat and hauling it up the ramp.  They then hoisted it in the pickup truck and set it up for us to take to Ellsworth in the morning.  The marina also agreed to store the engine for us while the dinghy is in repair, meaning we will have to come back to SW Harbor to get it once we get the dinghy back from the repair.

It had been a busy day and the fog came in during the late afternoon.  We were not in the mood to go out and decided to eat dinner on the boat and stay in for the rest of the night.

Friday (7/16) – Southwest Harbor (MDI), Maine

We were up early and saw how socked in with fog the entire harbor was. But that didn’t stop life on the wharf of this working marina.  There were two flatbed semi-trucks on the wharf delivering many plastic Gaylords of feed for local area fish farms. They unloaded them onto the wharf and queued them to later be loaded onto a work boat that would take them to their destination. Denise talked with one of the truck drivers and learned all about the Canadian company that owned the feed processor, the fish farms, and the distribution of this circular supply chain.

Around 7:15 am we got the Dysart’s truck and headed to Ellsworth.  In keeping with typical small-town Maine, the keys were in the truck, and (thankfully) so was our dinghy. We had an uneventful drive to Ellsworth and literally arrived as they were opening the door.  We dropped off the dinghy and Mark discussed the expected date for it to be done. We then drove to the town dock & marina, where we will be staying next weekend, and where we will retrieve the repaired dinghy. We wanted to check it out and make sure it was as advertised. Even though it was early we met one of the part-time dockmasters and were satisfied the accommodations would work.

Taking advantage of having transportation, and because we were in a big town (comparatively speaking), we went to the grocery store and stocked up on some much needed items, including milk.  The Hannaford’s grocery store here is bigger than the one in Bar Harbor and we were anxious to get a few things for the pantry.

We headed back to SW Harbor and arrived in time for low tide, just before 11:00 am.  This meant the floating docks were much lower in the water from the marina wharf, and the attached ramp was quite steep.  Mark took the dock cart full of groceries and very carefully lowered it down the ramp, all the while Denise was praying the cart didn’t get away from him and all the food ended up in the water.  Fortunately, the fear was unfounded and Captain Mark did a stellar job of getting it all to the boat without incident.

Once all the groceries were stowed, we walked through town and all the way across the harbor to Beal’s Lobster Pound for lunch. We had been craving lobster rolls and didn’t mind the pleasant mile walk. And here we got sticker shock once again.  Our two-beer and two-lobster roll lunch cost us $96 (with tip).  Yup, a full lobster dinner was only $29 but the rolls were $32.  We later were told that due to the closing of the Canadian border, the US is providing all the lobsters to both the US markets (restaurants, etc.) as well as offshore; China is the #1 recipient of these fine crustaceans.  Adding to the spike in demand is a shortage of labor to “pick” the cooked lobster meat out of the shells for the rolls, chowders, etc. and thus driving up the price for this commodity.  Ah the laws of supply and demand!

At Beals Lobster Pound
Expensive but delicious lobster rolls at Beals

We returned to the boat and figured we would finish up our Friday with doing work and other related tasks.  While we were concentrating on this activity another boater approached us and asked if we really were from Winter Park, FL.  He introduced himself as “Gator” (“Side Tracked”) and mentioned he is from Orlando. He had brought his boat in while we were at lunch, and was now side-tied on the dock behind our boat.  A quick conversation ensued and before long we learned that Gator’s younger brother (Tommy) was in Denise’s class at BMHS.  Additionally, he is a Looper and had his Great Loop impacted this year by the closed Canadian Border. What a surprise!  We chatted for a while and agreed to get together; he and his wife (Lisa) wanted to pick our brain as they were going to modify their cruising plans and wanted input on Maine and the Hudson River in NY. One thing led to another and neither of us were available for the rest of the day, so it would have to wait until Saturday.

So now here is a very funny coincidence about our boating life:  Over the last few years we have met 3 older brothers of Denise’s Bishop Moore High School classmates. Mind you, the graduating class was less than 200 people.  In 2017 we met Mark and his wife Jenay (“Ravello”) in Solomon’s, MD; the brother to classmate Jim. In 2019, we met Ken & Celeste (“God’s Grace”) at Shady Harbor Marina in NY; the brother to Captain Barry.  And now we meet Gator, and his wife Lisa; brother to Tommy.  What an incredible small world!

Early in the evening we walked into the village of SW Harbor for dinner. We wanted casual and based on a local’s recommendation we went into “Hearth & Harbor” to taste their wood fired pizza.  It was good and the ingredients were very fresh with an incredibly thin crust.  We liked it our meal and topped it off with an ice cream cone; a first in a long time.  There are some things that just taste better in Maine.

We walked back to the boat and spent the rest of the evening watching “Clarkson’s Farm”, a hilarious British series on Prime; our first streaming or watching of any tv in a very long time.

Saturday (7/17) – Southwest Harbor (MDI), Maine

For Denise, the day started with a run around SW Harbor, heading out past the town of Manset. Her route took her on the southern rim of SW Harbor before turning around and heading back towards the village, and then the marina.

Once back on the boat, and after we were done with breakfast, we took to doing routine chores, including doing some laundry (Denise) and washing the boat (Mark).  Later that morning, Denise got together with Gator and Lisa (“Side Tracked”) before they had to leave to take Lisa to the airport as she was flying home. She suggested places this Maine first-timer might want to stop, and educated them on some other benefits of the ALGCA and MTOA memberships we both shared. Then they left and Denise returned to the boat for lunch aboard.

After lunch, we spent some time deciding where we were going to go in the next few days.  Now that we are without a dinghy, we had to choose locations where we could stay at a marina, in a harbor with a launch, or be confined to the boat. For safety reasons this last option was not a real consideration.  We had been wanting to go 50 miles more Downeast to Rogue and Mistake Islands, where we had plans to overnight in 2019 on our way home from Canada, but weather kept us from that stop.  Now, it looked like we would once again miss the opportunity to head that way.  We did decide to go to Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Peninsula (not to be confused with the Winter Harbor on Vinalhaven Island), another place we had hoped to stop in 2019.  The Winter Harbor Yacht Club had a launch, so we put that down as our next destination, some 11 miles to the east.

Over the last few weeks we had been in communication with Looper friend, Herb (“Phantom”) whom we’ve known since 2019, and had drinks on his “back porch” at Croton-on-Hudson in June.  He was in Bar Harbor and wanted us to visit him.  Since the free Island Explorer bus was not running from SW Harbor and had limited routes this year (thanks to Covid), the only way to do that was to take our boat to Bar Harbor and get a slip at the town marina.  So we put that on the agenda as well, opting for additional nights.  With a tentative schedule for the next few days, we now relaxed a bit and watched all the boat activity in the marina.

Over the last two days, we saw a few large yachts come into the marina and we wanted to check them out. In the late afternoon we went for a walk around the docks. First stopping by to talk with Jenay (“Ravello”) as they had returned from their overnight adventure, but Mark was not on the boat.  We chatted with her for a while and made plans to meet up with Mark on Sunday after we returned from mass to share cruising destinations with each other.

We then went down to check out the real big boats, including the “Marie” whom we had seen in Halifax, NS in 2019. We later learned that the owner (Mr. Butts) CEO and President of HEB grocery chain owns another boat as well, a sailing yacht (“Rebecca”) which was docked just outside of SW Harbor. He also owns a Bombardier Challenger 300 private jet. You can read all about him here

Another boat observed was a large black and gray vessel that had initially docked at the end of our pier, but was now one pier over.  This yacht (“Annie S. Pierce”) was originally a fishing boat, then sold to a foreign government for military use, and most recently purchased by a single owner.  The boat has no furnishings on it and will spend the next 5 months in port getting it all outfitted for the new owners.  There currently is a crew of 5 and they are still trying to hire more. 

Both these boats are so very different from the other boats that are in the marina, which are mostly production boats by known or local boat manufactures. It is so fun to come here and see so many different types. 

By now we were hungry and it was time to eat.  Since we had not prepared anything for dinner, we went to the “Upper Deck”, a restaurant located at the top of the hill just outside of the marina.  Since we could not get a seat in the dining room we sat at the bar for dinner and ended up talking with the bar tender.  She barely had time to talk as they were short-handed.  She told us how overwhelmed with the crowds the entire staff has been this year, and can’t get help. It was no longer fun to come to work and they all looked tired on this Saturday night.  We left there and went back to the boat for the night.

Sunday (7/18) – Southwest Harbor, (MDI), Maine to Winter Harbor (Schoodic Peninsula), Maine

It had rained during the night and was forecasted to rain all day, so we had made arrangements to use the Dysart’s truck to go to 8:00 am mass. However, the truck was not at the office when we went to get it.  Fortunately, we had planned for this possibility and decided to walk to the church, even though it was a mile away, along the same road Denise had run the day before. Mark grabbed the umbrella just in case it started to rain.  We were no further than the top of the hill of the marina parking lot when Mark (“Ravello”) drove up and offered a ride to church. Since they are at SW Harbor for the whole season, they rented a car and he was kind enough to give us a lift. What a nice surprise!

We attended mass at St. Peter Catholic Church, one of 3 churches in the MDI area that offer a single mass at each site during the summer season, and the same visiting priest rotates between them; the other two are at Northeast (NE) Harbor and Winter Harbor on the Schoodic Peninsula. It’s a small community-oriented church and welcoming to the summer visitors as well.  They were finally serving coffee again in this post-pandemic period and wanted everyone to stop by after mass.  Having already had our breakfast, we passed on the coffee and since it was such it was a short distance, we started to walk back to the marina.  Five minutes later it started to sprinkle and we were thankful for the umbrella, but it was tough going on the small shoulder of the road with no sidewalk.  And then just like that, Mark (“Ravello”) appeared with his car to take us back to the marina.  He surprised us with his kindness and then apologized for his timing; he didn’t expect the mass to be so expedient and hoped to catch us right as we got out.  We were so grateful to him for this gesture and insisted he come by the boat; even though we were initially intending to leave for Winter Harbor right after mass.

Mark came by the boat and we spent about an hour going through charts, making suggestions to him about places in Maine, and he sharing places in Connecticut and Massachusetts. It was fun spending this time while also getting caught up on each other’s lives, including his brother Jim (Denise’s former classmate).  They will be returning to the Chesapeake in the fall and spend the next few years boating there again.  We said good-bye and hope to catch up with him & Jenay one more time before we leave Maine.

Here are some other pictures from SW Harbor and the area around the marina:

Downtown SW Harbor
Little Free Library in SW Harbor

After Mark left we readied the boat and left for what should have been an hour (at most) cruise to Winter Harbor.

Our path took us out of SW Harbor passing the entrance to NE Harbor and Mount Desert Island to our North, and Sutton Island to our South.  The rain held off, but it remained cloudy with a bit of fog as we slowly made our way east across Frenchmen’s Bay.  Fortunately, the waves were nothing more than swells and they were not large at all. Our course took us just south of Egg Rock Lighthouse and through a narrow channel between Spectacle Island and Turtle Island.  On an otherwise clear day this would have been beautiful cruising grounds. But with overcast sky, fog and mist in the air it was tedious, took us longer than planned, and the pictures didn’t turn out so great.

We rounded Grindstone Point and headed towards Sand Cove, where the Winter Harbor Yacht Club (WHYC) is located and here the rain really started to come down.  We made contact with WHYC to secure the location of the mooring ball we had been assigned for our two-night stay. At the same time a sailboat was also arriving and to our amazement, the young gal working at the club came out in the pouring rain and used the launch to show us both to our respective spots. We secured our boat to the mooring and told the launch driver we would check in on Monday morning. Given it was cold and rainy and would be so for the rest of the day, we had no plans to leave the warmth of our Island Office.

We spent the rest of the day reading our books and working to keep the boat dry. With all the rain we had today, a few minor leaks required some attention.  There are a few small spots around the window track on the starboard side which we have band-aided in the past. However, they are getting worse and will eventually need a bigger fix, but not before we get home from this adventure.  The other leak is coming from the mast area on the cabin top and we have fixed this one once before. But like all things on a boat, it requires constant diligence and attention to keep it all in order. In the meantime it is more of a nuisance and requires placement of towels and rags to absorb the water until the rain stops and it finally dries out.

Tomorrow we will go on an adventure into the Village in Winter Harbor, and then on to Schoodic Point.

Vinalhaven Islands!

Dolphin Marina to Hurricane Island

Tuesday (7/13) – Hurricane Island, Maine (near Vinalhaven Island)

We were hoping for clear skies today, but none were to be found, and the forecast was for rain in the afternoon.  We left Potts Harbor and the Dolphin Marina just after 8:00 am hoping we would not also hit fog, which looked possible. Our travels today would take us into the Gulf of Maine, at least until we go around Cape Small, then we would be able to take channels that ran inside between the numerous rock islands that line the coast.

We exited Potts Harbor around Haskell Island, passing Little Mark Island to our right, and Bailey’s Island to our left.  It was a fairly calm day and the biggest challenge was dodging the numerous lobster pots that were everywhere in our path.  In no time at all we rounded Small Point, and passed to the north of Sequin Island.  From there we had a direct shot through well-marked channels crossing the Sheepscot River and passing Squirrel Island to our left and the Hypocrites Islands (including Ram Island Lighthouse) to our right.  All through this area the water was tame and we continued without encountering any rain or fog.

As we approached and rounded Pemaquid Point there was less protection from barrier islands and things were more bumpy, but very tolerable.  The wind from the Gulf of Maine combined with the inflowing tide and river currents made for some short waves, but fortunately no whitecaps.

Our path was mostly a straight shot across the Muscongus Bay passing Easter Egg Rock Island.  We wanted to pass by this small rock island as this is one of only 3 islands in Maine where Puffins come to nest and hatch.  Eggs are laid in March and April, and by June and July they have hatched and the young birds are learning to fly. By Mid-August they are all gone to parts further north, but will return next spring. At one time these birds were nearly extinct here due to hunting, but with the efforts of certain Audubon groups, they once again have a thriving population.  Today we got lucky and were able to spot a whole group of these very small birds from our boat.  It took us a bunch of pictures to even get one to come out as the bumping wave action and distance from the rocks required careful navigation and challenged our basic photography skills.

Soon we were back cruising around other rock islands and had a smooth ride until we entered West Penobscot Bay.  Then things got bumpy again in the deep shipping channel, but then really calm as we approached Vinalhaven Island.  The large island mass truly was a shelter for the eastern side of the bay.

We entered the channel that took us to Hurricane Sound with White Island to our left.  Turning south we then entered the area east of Hurricane Island, where we picked up a mooring in the harbor.  Here there are several moorings that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis (FCFS).  They are courtesy of the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership (HICSL), located on the Island in what used to be an Outward Bound location.  The HICSL ask for a fee ($25) to help maintain the moorings and the fee is collected by putting the money in the jar attached to the pennant on the mooring.  It is based on the honor system, and we did our part to comply.  We had traveled 58 miles in 3 hours and we were ready for lunch.

We were anxious to get off the boat as it was getting tossed about a bit, due to wakes caused by passing lobster boats, the ferry to Vinalhaven Island, and a little bit of current. We launched the dinghy and went onto the island, signing the requisite guest book and reading the “rules” for guests.  The HICSL is conducting studies on scallops (farm raised vs. wild) and were using middle-school students in a summer camp to teach and help with some of the research. “Nate” on staff with the center shared with us about the organization and what they are doing, including the building of a future research lab where the old Outward Bound building used to be. It had just been raised last week and groundbreaking of the new facility starts next week.

Rules and paths
About HICSL research
(HICSL) Buildings

We took a trail map and headed to the south side of the island, passing tent and cabins for the HICSL.  The rocky shoreline provided a great view onto the pristine blue green waters Gulf of Maine.  Also in this part of the island there is a quarry.  This island was originally mined for its granite, and the remaining fresh water quarry it created is now the source of water for the island.  We walked up a bit (but not to the top) of the quarry before returning back to the welcome area. From there, we walked the trail north that follows the edge of Hurricane Sound and the mooring area.  If we wanted to, we could have continued walking all the way around the island (2.5 miles in total) or on inland trails that would have taken us to an overlook of the Penobscot Bay.  However, rain was coming and we didn’t want to get caught in it on slippery paths, so we headed back to the boat.

For the rest of the day we worked on the boat and prepared and published the last blog update. We were grateful that as the evening wore on, the boat traffic and wave action subsided, and things were much more settled (although not totally calm).  We were happy we had leftover clam chowder from Erica’s Seafood as that was our dinner, and it seemed to hit the spot. We just didn’t feel like cooking, and the light rain was such a deterrent that we didn’t barbeque as planned.

Usually this part of Maine is great for seeing millions of stars in the sky at night.  However, tonight’s cloud cover kept us from this, and when coupled with almost no light pollution, it was really dark when the sun set. Unable to keep our eyes on our reading, we both feel asleep very early.

Wednesday (7/14) – Perry Creek, Maine (near North Haven)

Hurricane Island to Perry Creek

A southerly wind blew through the rocks at the end of the sound and all through the night the boat rocked and rolled. The water slapping the hull was very loud and because we went to bed early, Denise woke up at 1:30, unable to get back to sleep.  At one point (probably as the incoming tide changed to ebb), she thought she was going to get seasick from the motion.  Eventually, she fell back to sleep, but woke again at 4:30, and was ready for warm coffee. It was 57° and we needed heat.  But she did not want to wake up the other boaters (or Mark) at such an early hour.  Finally, at 6:00 am she turned on the generator, put on the heat and a strong pot of coffee.

Mark too was up a bit earlier than usual, and although we were going to leave at 9:00, after breakfast we headed out to go to Perry Creek, near North Haven – another one of the islands that are part of Vinalhaven.  By 8:15 we were on our way and we didn’t have very far to go.  Our trip to this anchorage/mooring area was less than 10 miles.

We headed north through Hurricane Sound, then made our way through the narrow but well-marked channel north of Leadbetter Island (called Leadbetter Narrows).  It was here that we had a beautiful bald eagle fly right in front of our boat and up around behind us before landing on the rocky shore. We could not get the camera ready fast enough and missed the picture, but witnessed its mate join him.  It was a spectacular site in a spectacular setting.

We then entered West Penobscot Bay and in one continuous right hand turned entered the Fox Islands Thoroughfare.  From past cruises we knew the shoreline of this area to be lined with beautiful homes and lots of boats. 

We cruised past the small village of North Haven, spotting another Back Cove 37 on one of the moorings in the harbor.   We turned right into Seal Cove, rounding Hopkins Point and entered Perry Creek, a nice long and narrow creek that is lined with trees.  There are mooring here filling the cove, making anchoring next to impossible, but 4 of the moorings are free (FCFS again) with a request to make a donation to the Vinalhaven Land Trust, owner of the lands surrounding the creek.  We secured one of the free moorings and found the pristine location to be exactly what we needed. It was incredibly calm and peaceful, and the wildlife was amazing.  The only drawback was low-to-nonexistent cell phone (or internet) service.

Rain was forecasted for later in the afternoon, so we launched the dinghy and took it back to the village of North Haven.  But before going to shore, we stopped by the Back Cove we had seen when coming through the Thoroughfare.  We met Jeff (“The Dawn Treader”) and spoke with him for a while. He and his wife recently bought their 2019 model and he is still getting used to it. They are from Virginia Beach, with property and a business here in North Haven, and will be taking their boat back to VA in the fall.  We exchanged boat cards and other information, and then we headed towards shore.

Once on shore we walked through the only town gift shop, walked through an art gallery, and visited a very small market.  In the process we learned the only real market on the island is more than 4 miles away and is more accessible via Pulpit Harbor. Although we knew of this, we were hoping to pick up some milk and ice at something that might be closer to a 7-11, but alas no such establishment exists here. 

North Haven Ferry Dock

We then went to Browns Boatyard to see about maybe getting some ice, but they too did not have any.  It was here that a young boy explained his great, great, grandfather established the business in 1898, and it has been in the family ever since.  He showed us the “Wall of Shame”; a place on the outside of their boathouse of lobsterman’s tags with their license numbers.  These tags are on all the pots that allow for the return of lost lobster pots to their rightful owners. Their boathouse reminded us of Kenny Eaton’s (Eaton’s Boatyard) in Castine, and in fact they had one of Kenny’s tags on the Wall of Shame.

In Village of North Haven
Brown & Son Boathouse
“Wall of Shame”

Once we had seen all there was to see in North Haven, we got back into the dinghy and headed back to the boat.  The return trip was heading into the wind, and the waves were short and frequent.  It only took about 5 minutes, but it was a bit bumpy, until we turned into Perry Creek. Then it was peaceful and calm again.

During our trip this morning, Mark noticed the dinghy had water in the bottom, despite his bailing the remnants of recent rain water.  It appears the seam where the inflatable is attached to the aluminum bottom is once again coming apart.  We had this issue in 2018 in (we think) the same spot, so now we need to have that looked at before we take the dinghy on any long journeys.  So after lunch, and with limited cell phone service, Mark managed to make some calls to inquire where we might get this fixed.

Today we also made a decision to leave Vinalhaven a day earlier than planned to get closer to the Mount Desert Island area. We already have reservations at Southwest Harbor, but have moved that up a day so we can beat the incoming weather front (strong wind).

While writing today’s blog, we were entertained by a set of beautiful birds, who perched on the bow of the boat to do their preening.  It was fun to watch until they pooped all over the deck. Captain Mark was not too happy about that.  We also got see a seal swim around one of the empty mooring balls near us, and we watched the tide rise (some 10’) covering the ledges along the shoreline. And the fog, of course the fog appeared midafternoon and we were grateful we were not out in it.

Bird on bow of IO
House float in Perry Creek

Over the last two days we have been challenged with very low cell phone coverage and no internet, even with a hotspot.  However, the remoteness and beauty of the area is good for the soul and that is what it should be all about.  We have seen an amazing amount of spectacular wildlife including: puffins, bald eagles, small dolphins (porpoises), numerous unique bird types, and seals.  What a wonderful world!