We have now “turned around” and are headed back south (actually, more west yet at this point). Words can hardly describe the time we had in the Bar Harbor area. The beauty, peace, solitude and serenity of the place was amazing. We ended up staying at anchor at the top of Somes Sound for a week and a half and it worked out so well. The anchorage area where we were had a dinghy dock owned by a neighborhood association and allowed transient boaters to use the dock and only asked for a donation at the end of the stay. Free public transportation is provided all around the islandand funded by LL Bean, allowing us to go wherever we wanted to on Mt. Desert Island. We took it numerous times almost every day and was so appreciated.
If you have not been to Mt. Desert Island on which Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, and many other small towns are located, we would highly recommend a visit. We had camped at the Mt. Desert Island many years ago on a trip with our family and my older sister’s and it was so cool to once again walk through that campground. Throughout the campground platforms are built at each site for tents as the ground is too rocky for tent stakes. But despite the rockiness of the ground the vegetation and trees are incredibly beautiful. As we said way back when, we still look forward to coming back there with a tent to camp.
There are so many different types of trails around the island that are part of Acadia National Park and we had the opportunity to go on three of them. Sharon and Max took the bus into town one day and then transferred to another bus to walk a beautiful trail that goes along the shore of Jordan Pond. Another day we all went on a hike that began on the southeast side of the island by what they call Thunder Hole. It is an area that when the tide is coming in and there are waves on the ocean the water thunders mightily as it is funneled through this area, sounding like thunder. The hike we went on was the Gorham Trail and was labeled as a Moderate in difficulty, but believe us when we say it was a lot more difficult than that! It was a great four mile or so hike, but we definitely were going up steep climbs over tree stumps and rocks and was an accomplishment to get to the top. And it was probably even more difficult coming down the steep path in order to keep from slipping or falling.
But the views we were able to see were awe-inspiring. We could see the vast expanse of the blue of the ocean and way down we could see waves crashing and exploding around rocks and the shore. It almost took our breath away to see the beauty God has created.
Once we were down from this trail we revisited Sandy Beach, where the trail ended, and reminisced about our visit way-back when where both my sister’s and our family laid on the beach at night for a ranger led star gazing event. What a cool night that was!
Another day we enjoyed another trail along Somes Sound. It was supposed to be an easier trail, but because of trail maintenance we ended up having to go on the Peak Valley Trail and it ended up being even more intense than the earlier one. But we took our time and were once again treated to incredible scenery and views. Even Max enjoyed these hikes! After the Peak Valley Trail we hiked the remaining mile and a half to the town of Southwest Harbor and rewarder ourselves with an ice cream cone. Well deserved! Thankfully we were able to take the bus back to the dinghy dock. Not only were our legs tired but it was once again getting quite warm.
We certainly did have some rain while in Somes Sound. We had one day we never even left the boat as it was windy and somewhat rainy. But it ended up being a delightful day of just reading and relaxing while watching the world go by around us.
This past Sunday we did enjoy some time with our good friends, Jeff and Linda Allen. Jeff was our boat broker in selling our old boat and buying Adventures Await and is an all-around great guy. So is his wife! They are now both retired and traveling around the country in their 41 foot motor coach and happened to be in the area the same time as us. So we did lunch at a local restaurant in Bar Harbor and had a wonderful time.
To say our time in the Bar Harbor/Mt. Desert Island area was good is an understatement. It was a good time for us to settle back and relax and just be tourists. We spent time in the town of Bar Harbor on numerous days and enjoyed it, but were also glad to get out of the bustle of so many people and tourists and get back to the quietness of our boat. Cell coverage at the boat was basically non-existent and most of the time we had No Service blaring at us from our phones. So occasionally we had to go into town to do things like check email, update our Navionics charts and order supplies for the next couple of weeks. But we were always glad to get away from the busy-ness and back to our boat. (It also was kind of nice to not have cell service and therefore put the phone aside and just enjoy where we were.)
We left Somes Sound and the Bar Harbor area yesterday morning, Wednesday, Aug. 14, and traveled about 39 nautical miles to an anchorage toward the top of Penobscot Bay by Castine, ME. We went through a ridiculously gorgeous passage called Eggemoggin Reach to get here and were once again in awe of the beauty of the ocean, trees and skies. We spent the day in Castine today and toured the fort ruins, a lighthouse and learned so much about the history of the town. Many of the homes boasted being built in the late 1700’s and survived many wars and intense fighting in the area.
We will be leaving here tomorrow,and will return to the Southport, ME, area to where our friends, Bob and Mary, keep their boat Winsome. Hodgdon Yacht Services is there and we will be hauling our boat out of the water for up to five days, beginning next Monday, to get some things done before we head south. I found out we can change the type of bottom paint to something that actually works. (Long story about our useless bottom paint that we totally repainted two months ago, but I won’t go into it here!) I also would like to see if I can get our cutlass bearing replaced and possibly get the shaft seal replaced. Both of these are preventive, but the cutlass bearing has been on my mind to replace even before we left so it will be good to get that taken care of. I have the replacements for both the cutlass bearing and shaft seal with me, I just may need some help from Hodgdon Yacht Service to actually do them. We’ll let you know how it goes.