Tag Archives: Port Clyde

Out-running Henri!

Friday (8/20) – Derecktor Robinhood marina, Georgetown, Maine

We had left Port Clyde early to outrun the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred that were forecasted to provide deteriorating sea conditions as the day wore on.  Although not a threat to us because it was so far offshore, the waves it produced will eventually make their way north and impact our comfort level. As much as we hated to leave the Penobscot Bay area, we needed to press on west in order to hit the few remaining places we hope to visit before heading south towards home.

When we headed out of Port Clyde, we immediately hit fog, once again (and for the last time) crossing the Muscongus Bay.  However, the fog lifted soon after entering the Bay, and we were able to turn off the radar due to increased visibility.

Running in fog with chart plotter & radar

We rounded Pemaquid Point and the Ram Island Lighthouse, only this time instead of passing south of Squirrel Island, we turned into the channel towards Boothbay Harbor.

We cruised north of Squirrel Island heading west, passing the Burnt Island Lighthouse (not to be confused with the Burnt Harbor Light in MDI area) and turned up the channel that is known as the Townsend Gut.  This is a back way to run up towards the Sheepscot River, and other waters. We arrived in perfect timing to hit the half-hour opening of the Southport Island Bridge, a swing bridge that has restricted openings in the summer.

Just before the bridge is a cove with a popular restaurant on the water (Robinson’s Wharf & Tugs Pub) we have read about, but never visited.  It was too early to stop for lunch, so we pressed on through the bridge and continued through the Gut, dodging the ledges (aka rocks) that lie just outside the channel.

We eventually came to the Sheepscot River where we crossed it and made our way around the top of MacMahan Island into Riggs Cove; location of Derecktor Robinhood Marina and our home for the next few days.  We pulled into the fuel dock for a fill-up and then moved over to our assigned slip.  . 

Once the boat was settled, we went to check in at the dockmaster’s office.  We were pleasantly surprised to learn that in addition to a BoatUS discount on the fuel, they also offered a discount on our dockage. We reserved the loaner car so we could use it on Saturday afternoon to go to Bath (15 minutes away) for church, and then to dinner.  We then went for a quick walk around the marina complex and then back to the boat to do some work and further planning.

Our main reason for coming to Robinhood was the protection it offered. We had been tracking hurricane “Henri” and its forecast track had it turning right and skirting the New England coast.  We wanted as much protection as possible from the swells that would come up the rivers, and the marina was also preparing accordingly.  We were advised that we may be asked to move to a mooring, or to turn our boat around in the slip (bow forward), but they would make that call on Saturday. Meanwhile, the protection it offered, also provided a stillness on this hot day, and we found the humidity brought out the bugs and especially the mosquitoes.  We were forced to run the AC once again.

In the evening, we hoped to have dinner at the “Osprey”, the restaurant on-site that had been recently taken over.  It had received rave reviews and we had remembered the old one from 2017 as being mediocre, so we walked over in the afternoon to put in a reservation for a table. Unfortunately, they had none available, but we could take our chances at the bar, or at their 3 small patio tables outside on a FCFS basis. We chose instead to order pizza from their wood-fire stove they had installed in the spring.  As they limit their take-out orders during the rush hour, we opted for a 5:30 pm pickup and Captain Mark agreed to walk up the path to the restaurant to get it at the appropriate time.  It was pretty good food and we enjoyed it, but we are still missing Antonella’s back home in Winter Park.

Wood-fired Oven at Osprey

That evening, the marina was hosting a local folk-singing artist for a small outdoor concert near the gazebo in the middle of the grounds.  We were reluctant to attend in part because it was not our type of music, but also because it would require sitting outside with all the bugs.  However, we could easily hear the music from our boat, but it was not so loud it kept us from a good night’s sleep.

Robinhood marina – Gazebo area for music performer

Saturday (8/21) – Derecktor Robinhood marina, Georgetown, Maine

It being a Saturday, it was a day for Denise to get in a run, even with the hills and a shoulder-less road. By leaving early she was pretty sure she would not encounter much traffic (she didn’t) and she had mapped out a path that kept her off the main highway. Outside of the marina property, the entire area is full of private residences, most of which are summer “cottages” and some are rental property. At the corner of one of the roads, there was the Robinhood Free Meeting House where they have community concerts and Tuesday through Friday they offer a breakfast. The entire route was very really pretty, but the heat and humidity had her feeling like she was back in FL on this August day.  She did see a few other runners, and one other walker out along the course, so that gave her encouragement to keep on with the run.

Robinhood Free Meeting House
Temperatures at run time – Like FL in the morning!

The rest of the morning and early afternoon we spent working on boat chores, cataloging pictures, and then starting on a blog post.  In the late afternoon, we got the marina loaner car and drove over the Kennebec River, and into the town of Bath.  We went to attend the 4:00 pm mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, and to grab some dinner in this very cute town.

After church, we went to Beale Street Barbeque, located on Waters Street in downtown Bath.  Denise suggested to Mark that they probably got the name from Beale Street in Memphis, as it is a famous street there, and known for its barbeque places.  This particular joint was celebrating 20 years, and they served up a good amount of barbeque ribs (Denise) and brisket (Mark) enabling us to take some home for another meal.

Since we had the car, we took advantage of and went to a local “Shaws” grocery store.  It is not our favorite New England grocery chain, but it sufficed for a handful of the basics we required.  Afterwards, we drove back to the boat and settled in for the rest of the evening.

Meanwhile, all day we had been watching the forecasts for the remnants of Henri, now headed north through Connecticut and New York.  If we were going to get anything, it would be rain on Sunday. Therefore, the marina did not request us to move to a mooring or change our boat around. But in the morning, they had moved a large “California” yacht from an end-dock to just behind us, near the haul-out wharf and across the dock. At high tide, this acted as a barrier between us and the dockmaster’s office where the WI-FI antennae was, and we were unable to get a signal.  Since cell coverage was almost non-existent here, this was a real pain because we could not even carry on a phone conversation with family and friends, all of whom were concerned for our well-being.  It also meant that we could not stream any shows in the evenings, so we reverted to reading our books for a nice change.

Sunday (8/22) – Derecktor Robinhood marina, Georgetown, Maine

It was a foggy and overcast day, but the weather was not nearly as bad as was forecasted earlier in the week.  We knew there would still be rain and wind later in the day, but it was now diminishing in its intensity, which was now expected in the afternoon.

Over the last few days we had conversations with a couple on a Caliber 38’ sailboat (like our old one) who were a few slips away from our boat. They had told us that the laundry at the marina was not in great shape and they found another one near Brunswick, just west of Bath. So, shortly after breakfast when we learned no one had requested the loaner car, we used it to go to their suggested laundromat and get done a few loads of laundry.  It just so happened that it was near the Walmart and near a NAPA auto store, so we could also get a few other errands done at the same time.  Mark dropped Denise to do the laundry while he went to Walmart, then on the way back to the marina we stopped at NAPA to return an item; one less thing to carry on the boat.

In the afternoon the rain and winds finally came, and we took advantage to work on the blog, read, and to cook a delicious dinner on the boat.  It was much less intense than originally forecasted, and for that we were grateful.

Effects of “Henri”

However, at 3:00 am, we were awaken to an electrical issue (surge from the dock power?) with alarms going off and our electrical panel flashing; it was crazy. We were able to turn off all systems and circuits and investigate, but found no breakers thrown, even on the dock power pedestal.  Mark reset everything anyway and we did not find any issues. When he turned everything back on it was all ok, so we went back to sleep, mostly.

Monday (8/23) – Derecktor Robinhood marina, Georgetown, Maine

Today was a most uneventful day.  It was rainy off and on, but no wind to speak of and once again hot.  We spent the day working inside, conducting business, working to publish a blog update, and began work on the next one.

In the morning, the marina moved the big California yacht out from the wharf and haul-out area, enabling us to get a good Wi-Fi signal. This was great as we were able to receive and send phone calls, which we spent a large part of the day doing, both with clients, family and friends.

At one point we took a break and went for a walk around the marina complex, just to stretch our legs.  There is much history with this marina, which originally started as a trading post, then a shipping port and was originally known as “Riggsville” after one of the founding landowners. Within the complex they have several of the original buildings including: the General Store, which now serves as a marina business; the Library; and The Gallery, originally the Post Office and now a museum of the history of the area. However, it is very much a working boat yard and marina, with constant activity and a “home base” for many seasonal boaters. You can learn about this fascinating place and its role in history here. Here are some pictures of the area:

We also had been admiring the “Mary E”, a schooner that was in the marina, but we saw no one take out for charter or work on all weekend.  We learned from a local that this was a charter boat that had capsized in late July in the Kennebec River with 15 passengers and 3 crew on board.  We had remembered hearing about the story and wondered if a cause had yet been determined.  Apparently there is no official information out there, but you can read about the story here.

The “Mary E”

That evening we had a low-key dinner on board, and we streamed a movie for a while, until Denise started falling asleep.  We both went to bed early hoping for a better night’s sleep and no surprises.

Tuesday (8/24) – Derecktor Robinhood marina, Georgetown, Maine

Denise started the day with another run in this very hilly area, but a shorter one than on Saturday. She took pretty much the same route and saw the same houses.  The rain had stopped and the sun was now out, but it was a very hot 82 degrees, especially for Maine.

We were supposed to leave today and our plans called for two night anchoring in Oven Mouth Cove, a night at 5-Islands on a free mooring (if we could get it), and then to Boothbay Harbor for the weekend.  All of these destinations are no more than 5 miles from where we currently are and we had some flexibility in the schedule.  We made the decision to stay another day, taking advantage of shore power to run the air conditioners, and to get some projects done. Once the marina gave us the ok to stay, we settled into getting some of them done.

Denise managed to publish another blog update, and Mark tackled the tedious task of replacing our port navigation light.  This required emptying everything from the anchor locker, which he put on the deck of the boat, and then crawling into that small space to get to the light. It is a real pain, but he did it and now we have a working port-side running light again.  We also had some client work to do, and we laid out an itinerary for the following week of adventure.

Mark inside anchor locker – he’s really in there
Port light replacement project

In celebration of our hard work for the day, Mark used the marina grill and cooked us some delicious steaks for dinner. We were happy we got so much accomplished and that we had decided to stay another day. Tomorrow we would leave and head out for another adventure to a few new locations we have yet to explore.

Port Clyde Revisited!

Portland to Port Clyde – Trip 2

Thursday (8/19) – Port Clyde, Maine

We were in no hurry to leave this morning as our trip to Port Clyde was only 20 miles and it was mostly open water where we could cruise at 20 knots.  Denise went for a quick walk around downtown to take a few last minute pictures, and then after breakfast settled down into work for a few hours.  We were quite happy to wake up to a dry main salon with no leaking windows, despite the rain from last night.

Finally, at 11:15 we left Rockland under cloudy and overcast skies, with minimal wind. There was a little fog hanging around the cliffs at Owl’s Head as we rounded the point and took the channel through Owl’s Head Bay, but visibility was good and we didn’t need radar at all.

We cruised along passing lobster pots and the islands along Muscle Ridge Channel and Whitehead Light as we had now done 2 other times on this adventure.  Finally coming up to Mosquito Island and entering the channel to Port Clyde with the Marshall Point Lighthouse marking its entrance.

Marshall Point Lighthouse

We arrived at the mooring ball just off Larry & Diane’s dock, hooked up without issue, and Larry was on the porch with a hello wave.  We settled in for a quick lunch, then deployed our dinghy over to their floating dock and tied up.  We spent a few minutes of meeting with them, and then we went off for a walk into town to do some exploring. Along the way we passed a nice park (Annie Jones Collins Memorial Park), the Post Office, the Ocean House Inn, a few churches, and finally the General Store. Here we purchased some milk and then headed back to the dinghy, then back to the boat to get ready for our meet-up with our Port Clyde friends.

During our afternoon the fog came in pretty thick, and rain had been threatening.  We managed to make it from the boat back to Larry and Diane’s for drinks, and Dolly & Mack joined us.  Here we got to see Larry’s car, a “Minor 1000”, made by Minor Motors in the UK which he has fully restored. You can read about these cute cars here.   Mark even got to ride in it as we all headed out to “The Barn”. 

Larry’s car – Morris Minor 1000

And that is when it began to sprinkle.  By the time we arrived at The Barn, it was pouring raining, which probably kept the crowds to a minimum. But shortly after we arrived, the place started to fill in with the locals.  Of course our hosts know everyone and we met some of their friends. 

The Barn is owned by Linda Bean (of LL Bean) who also owns rental property and has the Andrew Wyeth gallery in town.  It is definitely a locals spot and is located across from the General Store. It is eclectically decorated (to say the least), and the focal point is the u-shaped bar that takes up over half the room.  The rest is filled with overstuffed chairs, couches and benches for socializing.

Inside “The Barn”
Dolly, Denise & Diane – at The Barn

After a few rounds of drinks and socializing, and when the rains seemed to subside, we drove to the Black Harpoon for a second visit and had another wonderful meal.

Dinner at the Black Harpoon again

Finally, the rain subsided and we said good-bye to Mack and Dolly before heading back to Larry & Diane’s.  Although they welcomed us to stay awhile and visit, even spend the night, we knew we needed to get back to the boat and prepare for tomorrow.  We thanked our hosts for another wonderful visit and promised to come visit again.

We took the dinghy back to the boat, hoisted it back on Island Office and settled in for the night.  All night long it rained and our boat was cozy and dry on the inside.  We were so happy to have the new windows and this issue now behind us.

Port Clyde Pals!

Belfast to Port Clyde

Wednesday (8/4) – Port Clyde, Maine

Wanting to get in one more run in this town before leaving, Denise took off at 6:00 am down the Harbor Walk path for a short run.  Expecting to be on mooring balls for the next two nights, she was happy to get in the run, even though her body really wanted to sleep in.  On her return back to the boat, she saw our friends Ruth & Herb (“Ancient Mariners”) leave Belfast.

“Ancient Mariners” – leaving

After breakfast Mark had a few things to do while Denise went with Ryan (“Rebecca”) to the Redemption Center to cash in our collected bottles and (mostly Diet Coke) cans.  Ryan had a rental car and was kind to assist us in getting these items off our boat, and collecting a whopping 85 cents.  Denise offered to pay for the gas, but at 2 miles each way he wouldn’t take it. Plus, we probably would have netted about 15 cents when it was all said and done.  It was hardly worth the effort, but we hate to see these items go into landfills and we certainly would like to redeem some of the deposit we have to pay with each purchase.

Once back on the boat we made preparations to leave, but first moved the boat over to the fuel dock to get a pump out.  Finally, just after 9:30 am we said good bye to the wonderful staff at Belfast City Marina and our new friend Ryan and headed out on to Penobscot Bay.

Our trip took us past the island of Islesboro to our left, and along the shores of the mainland to our right.  We had a terrific view of the Camden Hills as we went along, eventually passing the towns of Camden, Rockport and then Rockland.  This is very familiar cruising ground for us and we always enjoy this section of Penobscot Bay, especially when there is no fog.  Dodging the ferries between Camden and Islesboro or between Rockland and Vinalhaven was our only challenge, except the lobster pots….always the lobster pots.

Camden harbor
Passing the ferry near Rockland
Rockland

Once past Rockland, we cruised through Owls Head Bay, leaving Owls Head lighthouse to our right.

Owl’s Head Lighthouse

We then took the short-cut route called Muscle Ridge Channel, as we headed west. It took us around a few rock islands and several small harbors and coves, including one called Seal Harbor; not to be confused with Seal Cove, Seal Bay or Seal Harbor in other parts of coastal Maine.  Eventually we passed by the Whitehead Island Lighthouse, where its location is very critical.  This point is known as one of the foggiest spots on the coast, with about a quarter of the days spent in fog during any given year.

Whitehead Island Lighthouse

We passed by Mosquito Island and shortly thereafter the Marshall Point Lighthouse. Once we saw this lighthouse, we were reminded that we had traveled here by car for our anniversary weekend in 2018.   Not only had we been to the lighthouse, we had also visited the town of Port Clyde.

Marshall Pint Lighthouse

Here we turned north and cruised through the Port Clyde Inlet and navigated around the numerous lobster boats on moorings. 

Port Clyde Harbor
Lobster boats on moorings in harbor

We slowly made our way up into the top of the harbor and to our mooring ball for the night, complements of one of our cruising friends whom we met at Dolphin Marina (see post here). Mack & Dolly who are from Oviedo but have a summer home in Port Clyde had invited us to come to visit.  They are friends with Larry & Diane, who live year-round in Port Clyde and whose house overlooks the harbor. Come to find out, Larry is the town Mayor. They have a dock where Mack keeps his boat in the summer, when not on his mooring which we were staying on for the evening.  It is less than 200 feet from Mack’s dock.  We secured our boat on the mooring and had our lunch aboard, all the while establishing contact with our hosts for the evening activities.

Larry & Diane Bailey’s house

In late afternoon we launched our dinghy, and took it to the dock at Larry & Diane’s house.  Then we walked up the steps to their back porch and met our hosts.  They had cocktails and happy hour food spread out, and they had made dinner reservations for later.  We sat on their porch overlooking their view of both Port Clyde Harbor to the south, and the rocks and channel that leads to St. George River to our northwest.

When it was time for dinner, they took us to the Black Harpoon, a local’s restaurant and bar that is eclectically decorated and got crowded fast with the summer residents.  Here Mack and Larry knew everyone and would stop those passing by our table to introduce us.  We had great conversation, laughs, and got to know each other a little bit. Before the meal was done, they invited us to stay another night so we could join them at another local spot (“The Barn”). Given the forecasted weather, our plans didn’t allow for it, but we thanked them for the invite and left open the door to coming back in a few weeks, when we return to the Penobscot Bay area.

After dinner we said goodbye to Mack & Dolly as they were driving to another part of town, and Larry & Diane took us back to their home (and our dinghy).  We ended up talking to them for a while before heading back to the boat, and capturing this magnificent picture of our Island Office from their back porch.

We had a lot of fun with these two couples, and we really want to come back for a Thursday night at “The Barn”. Our hosts were beyond gracious and we feel honored that they invited us into their circle of friends. It was quite an experience and we loved it, so we will most likely make it happen.

Our sunset this evening: