Friday, August 10, 2007

Opechee Harbor - Surrounded by Islands

The Opechee Harbor is just north of the Casco Passage and is formed by a ring of small islands. The anchorage is well protected with 9 feet of water at low tide. The views on all sides are fabulous and Mt Desert can be seen to the east. When we weighed anchor in the morning (temperature was 55F) I found a starfish hanging on to the anchor (which delayed upping the anchor awhile). We visited four of the islands and ran Lance to give him some exercise. There were lots of tidal pools, lots of mussels and I found a crab hiding under a rock (when I picked it up to anchor the painter from the dinghy). On the way in we picked up a lobster pot but after towing it for a couple of boat lengths, it came off without fouling the prop or rudder. That's the second one we towed for a short distance. The problem is that some of the lobster buoys have a toggle and some don't and some of the ones that do have a toggle are underwater! We've seen several toggles that are 3 to 5 feet under as we pass them by. Those are hard to avoid if not seen! Additionally, the toggles can be 30 to 50 feet away from the visible lobster buoy (see photo)! Again, you have to note which way the current is going and pass the more visible main buoy on the down current side (the toggle will be up current since it's connected to the lobster trap on the ocean bottom). After awhile, you learn to look ahead for "fairways" where, by chance, there is a boat width passage through the thicket of lobster pots. You do this while actively avoiding the pots immediately in front of you. It becomes easier after awhile. Oh the joys of Maine cruising.