Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mackerel Cove on Swan Island

After we went to bed I got up and looked out the wind and the stars were out. I got Ann up and we went out on deck to marvel at the stars! The Milky Way was visible right down to the horizon! Overhead the stars were brilliant, I've never seen them so bright and the Milky Way was clearly visible across the entire sky. The moon was not up so we had a dark sky for viewing the stars. We were just stunned. Living near civilization (and lights!) you get used to seeing just a few stars at night. It's quite a sight out in the Maine islands.

Morning dawned once again with full sunlight and no fog. We had our breakfast in the cockpit watching the lobstermen hauling traps. The wind came up, around 6 to 8 kts so we hauled anchor around 11:00 and started out. The fun part of sailing in Maine is that you're not in a hurry. We had only 10 miles to go so were we happy with our lazy sail of 3 to 5 kits towards Mackerel Cove. The sun was out, the sky was blue, the winds were warm, we had fun sailing. I still haven't broken out my heavier sailing jacket, the one I wore everyday last year. It's been polo shirt days ever since we've been here. I have a supply of long sleeved shirts, both cotton and flannel along but the weather's been so warm I haven't used them yet.

We have an "anchor" marker on our chartplotter for the best place to anchor in Mackerel Cove so we headed right in with Ann at the helm and me at the bow ready to drop the anchor on her signal. Once executed, Ann marks the spot on the GPS and backs down to dig the anchor in. It's very hard to drag an anchor in Maine! The bottom is 95% of the time mud, thick gooey mud. In most places you could probably anchor with 1:1 scope! However, we had a surprise. Just behind us was a lobster trap line floating on the surface. If we had caught that in our prop as we were backing down, it would have been trouble. Lobstermen often two floats with a string of lobster traps between them. What was floating was a line between one of the lobster traps in the string. Normally, the line is not visible since the traps are usually in deep water. Here the traps were only in 10 ft of water and since the line floats, it was near the surface. What a hazard!

Tomorrow we're headed for Northeast Harbor where there should be an internet connection!