We waited for the fog to lift a bit before weighing anchor in Duck Harbor and leaving Isle au Haut behind. No sooner had we rounded the point outside the harbor than the fog closed in again, limiting visibility to less than 300 meters.
There’s nothing quite like sailing in fog. It leaves one to wonder how the ancient mariners managed in fog without dashing themselves and their boats against the rocks more often, though I supposed that happened with regularity. According to the International Rules for Avoidance of Collision at Sea, a.k.a., the “Colregs,” a vessel under way in fog must reduce speed to “bare steerageway” if necessary to keep from plowing into another unseen vessel or rock. A sailing vessel 12 meters in length (like ours) under way in fog must also make a sound – a whistle or a horn, for example – of four seconds duration every two minutes. I carry a couple of noise makers for such a purpose, and on this occasion I chose the vuvuzelo I obtained in Portugal during European Cup matches in 2011 for the job, blowing through it at the prescribed intervals, though I doubt any of the lobstermen aboard their vessels could hear it over the growling of their motors. Undaunted, we proceeded ahead, eyes glued to the chart plotter and depth sounder to make sure we were on the course plotted in before leaving the safety of Duck Harbor.
Our next destination was Frenchboro, a small fishing village on Long Island. The pilot book informs us that “Frenchboro is remote, very remote, and a wonderful place to visit. Here a few dozen islanders in a lobstering community cling to their century-old way of life with great determination and considerable ingenuity.
“Long Island is largely owned by the Rockeller family, and Frenchboro, on Lunt Harbor, is the only community. The rest of the island’s 2,500 acres in undeveloped, with only a few cellar holes to tell the story of former settlers. Well-maintained trails allow visitors to enjoy the island’s considerable natural beauty.”
Our reason for going to Frenchboro was single-minded. Through multiple sources, we had heard the lobster dinner at “Lunts Dockside Deli” was worth the trip.Shortly after picking up a Lunt’s mooring ball, we rowed ashore and found out for ourselves that that was indeed the case.
We stayed the night and walked around the island on the nature trails the next morning, some well-marked and some not, finding some great raspberries along the way. We then dropped the mooring line and motored across smooth water to Southwest Harbor on Mt. Desert Island.