Tag Archives: Vinalhaven Island

Replacements in Rockland!

Seal Bay to Rockland

Saturday (8/14) – Rockland, Maine

In the morning of this beautiful place (Seal Bay), there was a bit of fog hanging over the rocks and trees; it was so eerie, but so Maine!  And in no time after sunrise, the fog burned off and we were treated to a seal feeding on the fish.

We could have stayed here for days, but we were not going to be able to. There was bad weather forecasted, we needed to go to church, and we had now two appointments with Back Cove scheduled.  So, just after 9:00 am we pulled up the anchor and left Seal Bay.  Here are some remaining pictures of this beautiful place.

We left the channel at Seal Bay and rounded Calderwood Neck on Vinalhaven, with an interesting structure sitting on the promontory point.

Leaving Seal Bay – Structure on VHI

We headed back around Widow Island and the eastern end of the Fox Island Thoroughfare, passing the boats in the harbor at North Haven and eventually heading out across West Penobscot Bay. 

North Haven moorings

It was a short destination today (<20 miles) with a direct shot into Rockland Harbor from the Fox Islands Thoroughfare.  We passed the Breakwater Lighthouse to our right, and dodged the ferry and lobster boats, both creating large wakes that smashed across the bow of our boat.  Additionally, it was Saturday and there were lots of pleasure craft and sailboats all around. It was difficult to set up the boat for docking until the very last minute, but finally we were able to pull into the assigned slip at Rockland Landing Marina.

Once the boat was settled, we went to check in at the marina office where Kevin, the owner provided us with the necessary information for our stay (Wi-Fi password, bathroom codes, etc.).  We then went back to the boat, ate some lunch, and then worked on emails, cataloging pictures, and starting the next blog posting.

IO – 1st slip at Rockland Landing Marina

All morning we had watched the forecasted rain get pushed out, and we could see on weather radar that it was eventually coming. Finally, around 3:00 pm the bank of dark clouds could be seen just over downtown Rockland, and then it started to rain.  With it came some very violent wind and lightening, not unlike a summer thunderstorm in Florida. Fortunately, it didn’t last all night and it cleared up in the late afternoon.

Big storm in Rockland

In the evening, we walked into downtown for dinner at “Rustica”, a restaurant we ate at in 2017 and were anxious to go back and enjoy.  There were no tables available, but again there were seats at the bar that we took and were happy to reconnect with “David”, the bartender who waited on us then.  Denise loved their eggplant parmesan, so she ordered it, and Mark got his usual: chicken parmesan. Both were as delicious as we remembered and we had a great time talking with David and hearing about their 2020 and 2021 challenges in the restaurant.

“David” at Rustica
“Rustica”

After dinner we walked around town a bit and took a few pictures of some of the sights of Rockland.  We then walked back to the marina and were treated to a beautiful sky at sunset.

Sunday (8/15) – Rockland, Maine

One of the benefits of returning to places you have been is you know what is there and how to get around. We knew there was a Catholic Church in Rockland and had looked up the mass times on the internet, double-checking for any Covid-related changes.  We also knew it was a mile uphill from the marina, and with fair weather we could walk to and from church, which is exactly what we did. We attended 8:00 am mass at St. Bernard’s and was happy to see they were not suggesting the wearing of masks (like so many other churches now).

After mass we walked back through the downtown area and saw artists at work painting the murals on the sides of an old building. This community is very arts-oriented with the Farnsworth and Wyatt museums located right downtown, and the Transportation Museum located out towards Owls Head and the airport.  We visited all of these museums when here in 2017 and you can read about our post here.

Once back on the boat, we had a series of boat chores to do; Mark worked mostly outside while Denise worked inside.  Defrosting the refrigerator took less time than expected because it was so warm outside.  However, it is still a big job and by the time it was finished it was time for lunch.  But not before Mark got in his favorite domestic chore of all – vacuuming!

Mark’s favorite hobby

During the day we had a chance to meet some of the seasonal slip holders, all of whom have been very nice to us. Mark began talking to one who offered the use of his car.  Denise started talking with a guy (Ray on “Seal of Approval”) who come to find out knows Kenny Eaton in Castine; Eaton’s is where we stayed in 2017 and 2019.  He also knows Bill Weir, Denise’s business associate from Winter Park and Kenny’s stern-man on his lobster boat. They are all friends and Ray has gone “lobstering” with them.  We chatted for a long time and then Denise felt compelled to contact Bill and tell him we were not going to Castine on this visit, but would connect with him in Winter Park when we are back home in the fall. We also met Ray’s wife Marion, and they both offered us the use of their mooring ball should we go to Holbrook State Park, near Castine. We are so appreciative of the generosity of the people we meet, especially in Maine.

Ray & Marion “Seal of Approval”

In the evening we walked to “Claws” for a dinner of lobster rolls. This is one of our favorite spots to get a lobster roll, as they pile on the lobster meat.  We took the Rooks clan here when they were with us in 2019, and they too were impressed.  But even though we arrived early for dinner (5:30) there was the longest line we have ever seen here.  We had to wait a while, but because of a newly added deck, there was plenty of seating.  The food and view were terrific and the view is one of the best in Rockland.

On our way back to the boat we strolled through the downtown area and took note of which places would be open on Monday and which would be closed (many).  We then returned to the boat and settled in watching a little TV for the rest of the night.

Monday (8/16) – Rockland, Maine

Denise started the morning with a long out-and-back run on the footpath around Rockland Harbor, past Sandy Beach and up around the neighborhood and out towards Owl’s Head.  Here are some pictures from her run:

Today was a work day and a day committed to working on the blog; we are way behind at this point.  While Denise spent most of the day on this task, Mark was able to borrow one of the local’s car and went to the grocery store.  When he returned, he spent the rest of the day on conference calls or working for our clients.   He also confirmed our meeting with in the morning with Jaime (BC National Sales Manager).

We also had a few conversations with local boaters who would temporarily tie up to the end of our dock and pick up crew.  One such conversation was with a woman Denise met named “Janet” who looks very similar to a running buddy (Doreen). The resemblance was uncanny and forced Denise to do a double-take when she saw her from afar.

Come to find out Janet was on a Kady Krogen and knows our friends Mack & Vicki (“Confetti”) whom we cruised with on the DE Loop and had dinner with in Beaufort, SC in April.  Another small world story.

In the afternoon, Keith (BC Manufacturing Engineer) came by to see about our windows. He came dressed in work clothes and wanted to meet us then take a look at the windows. He did so and then said he would be back tomorrow to test out a few things.

The rest of the day was unexciting, and other than a short walk after dinner onboard, we were treated to a very nice sunset.

Sunset over RLM

Tuesday (8/17) – Rockland, Maine

Today was a busy day, starting with our breakfast meeting with Jaime (Back Cove).  We had a nice conversation getting to know one another and discussing our many adventures on our boat.  He said he was unaware of anyone that had put more miles on a single boat; they have some people that have had several models and cumulatively they may be close to our 22,000 nm. It is possible they may want to do a feature on us in the future, but right now all the marketing information is about the introduction of the new 37’ model (called 372) they are launching at the Newport Boat Show in September. We really don’t care either way and it will be interesting to see how this develops.

After our meeting, we split up in order to accomplish a few errands: Mark went to Walgreens then back to the boat, while Denise went to the Post Office to retrieve a package they were holding; apparently the USPS does not recognize the marina’s address, only their PO Box. Funny UPS and Fed-EX deliveries come right to the marina. After the PO stop, Denise did some minor souvenir, and gift-shopping at a few stores downtown, and stopped by Hamilton’s to pick up a boat cleaner before returning to the boat.

Meanwhile, Mark went back to the boat to meet with Keith (from BC). He tried a few things and they ran a test, but it didn’t work. He decided it would be best to replace the plastic tracks on which the glass slides, and would return on Wednesday with a set. He also mentioned that they have one remaining set of windows in their inventory that they have no use for (they changed the windows out on the new model and they are no longer building the old one). He had been in discussion with customer service, and suggested the windows could be taken out and replaced with those in inventory.  This is a big job and one that will require lots of scheduling on our part, so it is really our last resort. We discussed our options for this and decided that it would be best to do that while we were in Rockland and have the Back Cove resources available. We would have to work around some incoming bad weather, now forecasted for Thursday, and Keith would have to investigate the resources to do it. However, he was still hopeful that the plastic tracks would fix the issue.

During our first day’s stay, Kevin (marina owner) mentioned that we would need to move our boat if we stayed past Monday as the seasonal slip holder was returning. Since we were originally planning to stay until Wednesday morning, and now we needed to possibly stay until Friday, we were going to have to move the boat.  As soon as the previous occupants left the new location, we moved our boat to a side-tie on the main dock – about 50 feet and directly perpendicular to where we were.

Based on the information that Keith shared, that afternoon we cancelled our plans to go back to Perry Creek on Wed. and extended our stay in Rockland. Mark confirmed with the marina that we could do the work there, and that we could stay through Friday in order to get this resolved.

Meanwhile, we had already put the newly acquired steaks in the freezer for a future night at anchor. But since we had nothing defrosted to cook for dinner, we decided to go back to Rustica.  Once again we sat at the bar, although David was off tonight. We still had a terrific meal and highly recommend the place.

Wednesday (8/18) – Rockland, Maine

Taking advantage of being tied to a dock (and not an anchorage or mooring) Denise went for another quick run in Rockland.

Shortly after she was back and we had breakfast, Keith returned with new plastic slides and he went about replacing them in both sets of windows. It didn’t take very long and when he and Mark did a test, we still had water coming in the starboard side.  Our only option now was to replace the windows in our boat, and since we are in Rockland where the factory is, it makes sense to have it done here. Keith already had the team at Back Cove working on how they could make it happen, and communicated they would start at 1:00 pm today.  We were still worried about the weather impacting this project as well as our travel plans, but everyone felt like this was the best option.

Just before lunchtime, Chris (Back Cove) came to the boat and introduced himself, to see our boat, and what he and his team would be facing.  He said he would be back after lunch, and at 1:00 the team showed up.  Besides Chris, there were 3 other guys (a mix from Production and Engineering), and they were absolutely amazing.  Within 30 minutes they had both windows out. We were shocked because originally they were talking about doing one on Wednesday and the other on Friday. Now it meant they would replace both sets today.

All afternoon they prepped for the new windows, then insert them into the holes in our boat where the old windows were.  There is some millimeter adjustments that they had to make and they used a new material that acts like a popup sponge and expands to fill gaps; it never contracts. This is very different than the old hard gasket that was part of the older (9-yearold) assembly process.   

Doing the water leak test, one of the windows was not setting properly. At one point they swapped out one of the team members with the “windows guy” from the plant. In fifteen minutes and with the help of his “tools” he had the adjustments all done and we now had windows that did not leak. 

Taking out the old windows
Unwrapping the new window
The Back Cove Team – IO at side-tie
IO during window replacement
The Replacements
Water leak test

By 6:00 pm the team was done and we had our boat all put back together: we had removed all the salon cushions and personal items, and stowed everything from the galley in the guest stateroom. We celebrated with some much deserved cocktails and dinner on board.  And in the evening it started to rain and we had no leaking windows.

Now we had a decision to make: when to leave Rockland?  Should we stay through the weekend, or go on to Port Clyde as planned so we can join our friends for Thursday nights at “The Barn”.  Of significant consideration was the tropical storm Henri, who was threatening to be a hurricane by the weekend and would bring rain and wind to the coast.  It would not be a good time trying to make a passage across any of the bays after Friday, and Port Clyde is so close to the open water it would not be a place to stay beyond Thursday night.  With this in mind, we decided to leave Rockland in the morning and go to Port Clyde for one night. Then we would head up the Sheepscot River, just west of Boothbay Harbor and go to Derektor Robinhood where we stayed in 2017. It is extremely protected, and they have a loaner car we can use to drive to the nearby town of Bath and go to church.  Mark called for slip availability and we were able to get in, so that became our plan for the next few days.

Here are some other pictures from Rockland:

Sanctuary in Seal Bay!

South Portland to Seal Bay – Vinalhaven

Friday (8/13) – Seal Bay – Vinalhaven, Maine

The day started with one final run in South Portland for Denise. She took the path through Bug Light Park, and again along the South Portland pathway, but today she ventured back into the Ferry Village and the eastern shore of Portland Harbor. Here she ran past the USCG Sector Northern New England, and also discovered an old church-turned musical theater.

Once back on the boat, we made plans for departure, pulled out of our slip and went to the fuel dock for a fill-up and a pump out before leaving Portland.  It was a clear and beautiful day with a slight breeze that had Denise a little concerned with the waves we might face.

We pulled out of Spring Point Marina, leaving Fort Gorges in our wake and the Spring Point Light to our right.  We also got to see Fort Preble from the water.

We cruised the channel between Jewel Island and Cushing Island, with its high cliffs that blocked the waves and wind. As soon as we came out of the protection of Cushing Island and entered the open Casco Bay, we faced rolling swells of 2′ -3’ on our side beam. This was most uncomfortable and Denise was worried about getting seasick.  Fortunately, our course had us turn in a more northerly direction as we headed towards Cape Small, and by the time we passed Sequin Island things were far more comfortable.

Sequin Island & Lighthouse

Once again we passed by the Cuckholds lighthouse, and Squirrel Island near Boothbay Harbor, only this time we could see them clearly as there was no fog.

We rounded Pemaquid Point and entered Muscongus Bay once again, cruising past Eastern Egg Rock where there was a tour boat showing passengers the puffins (if they are still there this late in the year).

Tour boat at Eastern Egg Rock Island

It was nice that it was clear and we had no fog for this 3rd pass of this area on this year’s adventure.  We even got to see the Whitehead Lighthouse and the beautiful coast of Whitehead Island.

Whitehead Island Lighthouse

Just after noon we entered into West Penobscot Bay and soon thereafter passed by the Fiddlers Ledge day beacon and into the Fox Islands Thoroughfare (FIT).  Again, for the first time on this trip we had no fog and got to clearly see the Fox Ears islands (with its US flag flying high) and cruised through North Haven Harbor.

This time however, we continued east through the FIT passing the farms on the north shore of North Haven Island, before turning right just before the Goose Rocks Light, and passing Widow Island to our left.

We continued southeast around the Calderwood Neck on Vinalhaven Island, and turned into the channel for Seal Bay.  From here there are numerous rocks and ledges and (naturally) lobster pots to navigate around.  But taking it slowly we were able to dodge them all and find a nice place to anchor in about 15 feet of water (at low tide).  It was 1:30 pm when we ended our voyage and felt comfortable with the anchor’s set.

This bay is quite large with lots of different places to anchor, and when we arrived there was already a good number of boats here, including 2 yachts, a 3-sailboat raft up, and another Back Cove right near us.

Anchorage at Seal Bay

We spent the rest of the day taking in the scenery, watching people take their dogs to the rocky islands in order to do their “business”, and watch the boats coming into or leaving the anchorage. 

We hung out on the boat, reading books and attempting to do some email. Our cell signal was very poor and no Wi-Fi exists in this area, so we were forced to just enjoy the entertainment that nature provided. Oh pooh!  We didn’t even launch the dinghy as we were so content to just take it all in and relax.  That evening we got treated to a great sunset and beauty of it on the surrounding rocks.

Over the last week or so, Mark had been working the leaking window issue with both the manufacturer of the windows (Bomon) and Back Cove’s Customer Service team.  Over the last year or so we have tried everything that the manufacturer suggested to fix the leaks and now it has only gotten worse.  Because we are going to be in Rockland, Back Cove is going to send an engineer out to meet us while we are there, to see if we can get this issue fixed. So now we will have 2 appointments with Back Cove in the coming days.

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