After the Blues festival we left Rockland a sunny day with a gentle breeze towards Mount Dessert Island, where one finds Acadia National Park, one of the most visited National Parks in the USA with over 3,3 million visitors every year. The trip was about 50 nM, and we had the wind just forward of the beam most of the trip, and finally we could sail most of the distance.
But it was almost an obscene amount of lobster pots
I can assure you that it is not lazy sailing, you have to have very sharp outlook all the time and slalom between the vast amount of lobster pots where off many have a double float a small one often just below the surface of the water, and then a larger float attached with a 7-8 m(ca 25 feet) line so if one sail between them one get caught.
We sailed passed this “nice” house which looks as it like to take a bath in the chilly water, it is leaning quiet a lot.
And of course, one sees many light houses
We found a very secured anchorage at Somes Harbor situated ca 8 Nm up in a narrow bay.
You can see our track up the bay, and despite being a very safe anchorage and a very early settlement, at the first it does not look very special, but we had daily a dolphin mother with her calf circling around our boat and frequently we saw seals swimming lazily in the narrow bay, and on top of that we regularly saw a white-headed eagle, rather amazing.
You can see Kerpa almost in the center and often we had the dolphin and seals circling around.
The tide is also very visible in the bay. We often complain in Sweden as we think the floating dock are so expensive to buy, but here it is just a minor cost compared to the ramp necessary to reach the floating dock.
Somes harbour did not only displayed wild life and tide, but also a few elderly ladies who still was going strong
This two ladies took a daily exercise even when wind and tide was against them, tough ladies.
There are surprisingly many cruisers and local boaters who row and do not use an engine.
Look at the dingy dock most dinghies have no engine, rarely seen elsewhere, but in other places we saw a massive amount of horse powers on smaller boats also. Americans use the whole scale from very modest to the most extreme in many areas.
Mount Dessert Island
Mount Dessert island is well worth a visit, it is not only a beautiful island but also an easy Island to visit without a car. Just go out on the road look for a bus, wave with your hand and it stops. The buss does not cost anything and take you to Bar Harbor which is the center for visitors. In Bar Harbor you find the normal B&B, Hotels, restaurants etc but also the visitors center and several buses that takes you for free around the island, the National Park fee is 15 USD and the pass is valid for 5 days.
Bar Harbour, most harbours in New England have at least one sailing ship, but in Maine there seams to be several in every village.
We took a longer trekking who started with the famous beehive. They warned people that you need to be fit and not afraid of heights and that the track is so narrow so one can not turn back but must proceed. I am no friend of heights, as example I hesitate a lot going a loft in the mast and find it very uncomfortable to go up to the second spreader, I have not yet been to the top, I fear for the day I have to. But I preach to Kerstin and my children that you have to challenge your comfort zoon, so we decided to take the trip up the beehive.
Half way up, thankfully they had iron bar, so one got a firm grip for climbing
And we already got a nice view
This was the most challenging passage and some ques developed as a few hesitated to climb the ladder if you lose your grip you will fall ….., One young woman did not want to continue she was standing there crying, while her boyfriend explained that going down was not an option, he promised I catch you if you fall. Finally she decided to climb the ladder and of course she made it, The brave are not the one doing crazy daredevil things, but the one who take a big step out of their comfort zone, like this young women. It was a great hike.
Kerstin on the top of the beehive.
The climb is not very long but on the top there are several routs to take and we choose one who took us further up to the top of Mount Champlain only ca 350 meters high so not so demanding but rewarding
A surprising thing in US, is that many young girls and young women do trekking. I would say we have seen more young females that younger men when we have been out walking, in Sweden our experience is the contrary.
The scenery remains a lot of what we see where I grew up around Stockholm. Surprisingly I recognized a scent when walking, from linden flowers, I looked around and there was linden tress that blossomed. It woke up some very old memories from my childhood, when my father took me out and rowed out to a nearby island where we picked the linden flowers which we dried and made tea from, which we used to drink regularly for a few summers
An American linden tree in full of blossom
Linden flowers, one pick the flower including the long green leaves attached to it, dry it and brew tea from it, taste quiet OK. The American linden tree has smaller leaves and blossom much later that the Swedish one who blossom very early summer.
I also found (Johannes ört), St john’s wort
St John’s Wort a knee-high plant with yellow flowers. Very well known in Sweden, for seasoning Vodka.
Pick a few handful of flower buds, put them in a litre of Vodka and let it stand for a few days, not too long, the Vodka turns red. Filter the Vodka, put in a tea spoon of sugar and you get a relatively nice “snaps” as we say in Sweden or shot, I think it called in English, if you are not too thirsty store it until the next season and the taste is very nice indeed. In Sweden you rarely taste 1 year old Johannes “snaps” as Sweden belong to the “Vodka belt” and alcoholic beverage seldom last to the next day. The Johannes ört is supposed to have other effects such as calming you down, but the alcoholic effect usually overpowers any effect of what ever we are seasoning the vodka with. This is especially common when we have our seasonal crawfish party in August, when we are singing snaps songs and consuming large amount of seasoned vodka. I can highly recommend attending a crawfish party in Sweden and/or of course a midsummer party.
Pine is a common tree here as in Sweden and when talking to a local about pine he asked me what kind of pine we had. Well I do not know, pine is pine is Sweden, but in Maine he said they have two types, the normal 5 needle pine and red pine with two needles, the red pine is dying due to attack by harmful insects he said. So, I guess we have something similar to red pine as our pines have the needles in pair of two
American 5 needles pine I just toke for granted that pine needles always came two and two, always nice to talk to people one often learn something.
As can be seen from the pictures, we had luck with the weather the day we choose to take the walk in Acadia National Park, but the weather has offered a lot of fog
The air is very moist, so we stayed aboard, and we enjoyed our self with baking
Cashew nut formed bread, taste very good
And a soft ginger cake great taste.
Unfortunately when leaving Mt Dessert Island there was fog for part of the trip, and surprisingly, AIS on boats are rare in US so not only sharp outlook for lobster pots but also for other boats are necessary, that makes mowing around not very relaxing, We have decided to head south now, and awaiting a good weather window for a trip towards Cape Cod, else we have to short jump south, but the longer we stay the more we can enjoy lobsters, we eat them rather often as they taste delicious.