Cousins and islands. Those are the two predominant themes for this season. The past week saw plenty of both.
Leaving Mt. Desert Island, we mostly motored, sometimes sailed, under overcast skies to Naskeag Point and the summer home of Cousin Charlotte Houston Dallett, age 92. We set anchor in good mud just inside Smuttynose Island at the southeast end of Eggemoggin Reach just east of Brooklin, Maine. Charlotte’s #1 son Matthew dinghied out to the boat to welcome us. We enjoyed a warm reception by Charlotte, Matthew and wife Mary, daughter Estelina (Estey for short) and husband Alan over the next 24 hours, sharing a couple of wonderful meals, touring the area, and reacquainting. Many thanks for the wonderful hospitality they offered at their absolutely priceless retreat overlooking the harbor.
Estey joined us for the sail up to Blue Hill harbor and another cousin rendezvous. More good mud greeted our anchor there. In a late breaker, we learned that Chris Hoopes and fam were on holiday up from Manhattan to visit Rockland and Bar Harbor. A brief engagement over lunch was hastily arranged for the Blue Hill Harbor House, which was not far off either their land route or our sailing itinerary. We caught up on summer doings over Reuben sandwiches and chicken salad.
Yet more fog fouled our 20 mile voyage to Duck Harbor at the south end of Isle au Haut. Thankfully, the visibility improved for the final mile and despite the late hour only one other boat was in the small harbor leaving ample room for Windleblo. Rain was forecast the next day, but only an off again on again thick mist arrived. Undaunted, we scrambled over Duck Harbor Mountain foraging for berries along the way. In the end, we collected almost a quart, not quite enough for pie but certainly adequate for French toast. Isle au Haut again proved a magical place, despite the fog laced views.
The weather finally cleared in time for a brief sail up to Green Island where we had heard of a warm(ish) fresh water swimming hole in an old abandoned quarry. The small slot on the island’s southeast flank where we were to anchor required a stern line to shore to keep from swinging, but once set up we found the quarry for a leisurely swim and bask in the warm(ish) sun. (Warmth here being a relative term. Like Norway, it seems it is never actually warm here, which is why one comes here to begin with…to escape the summer heat down south.) Like every other, this island has a story all its own. Now protected by the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Green Island was quarried over a hundred years ago for its good quality granite, which now forms curbs along Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, among other things. A 1907 government survey notes that Green Island produced a coarse-textured, even-grained biotite granite in a pink-buff color, which was shipped to New York and Boston for bridges and buildings.
Leaving Green Island, we enjoyed a cracking good sail on a beam reach all the way into Camden where we found another Hallberg-Rassy lying on a mooring ball. Turns out it was Yarona, the very same Yarona we last encountered in Uvala Razetinovac near Trogir, Croatia, more than two years ago. Barrie and Kathy Stott were aboard as we dinghied toward them. Grins all around, we caught up over G&Ts with tall tales of exciting voyaging.
It seems each place we visit tops the last in this splendid cruising ground.