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Ahoy from Wooden Boat Harbor, Maine!
We've had an absolutely wonderful time since we arrived in Maine! The major change is that the sun has been out and it's been warm. We've actually been in shorts and at some points were commenting that it was quite warm (of course, it's all relative). The remains of Ike quickly blew through on Monday and by mid-morning blue sky was appearing. Sue and I went into shore at Northeast Harbor to explore and get a propane tank filled. At the harbormaster's office, we inquired about renting a car, and they made it sound like we needed to take a taxi on a 20 mile drive to get one. We nixed that idea and did our errands. On the way back we stopped at the Chamber of Commerce where a very nice gentleman gave us the scoop on the area and told us that Enterprise would pick us up. We jumped at that and by noon we had a car.
When I was a child my parents and I visited Acadia national park, and the memories of that trip have always stuck with me. I absolutely loved the majestic cliffs, tidal pools and the incredible view from the top of Cadillac mountain. I really wanted to see that again and to share it with Sue, who had never been there. Acadia national park is the number 2 most visited park in the US and I'm really glad that we were there off-season as we had very light crowds. We were also blessed with wonderful air clarity as the winds and the rain associated with Ike did a great job of clearing the sky. I can also assure you that it was WINDY atop of Cadillac mountain. We picked the perfect 24 hour period to have a car, as by late morning the next day clouds began rolling in. As it was, we got to explore most of Mt. Desert island .
On Tuesday we returned the car and looked for a location to head to. We chose Wooden Boat Harbor as it houses the Wooden Boat School, where as the name implies, they teach people how to build wooden boats. It's also supposed to be very pretty and you can either pick up one of their moorings or anchor in good holding mud. Our (old) guide said that the moorings were free, so we picked one up and headed into the shore to see what was going on at the school. When we got ashore we found that our free mooring was now $15, which is fine as it supports the school. The school facility itself is very nice, but the students must have been warned not to get into potentially lengthy conversations with visiting cruisers, as no one even said hello to us.
Today we're headed another 17 miles down the Penobscot Bay to Castine, which happens to be the home of ActiveCaptain.com, which is a web site that I use all of the time and whose concept I really love. It allows cruisers to create markers for marinas, anchorages and places of interest and rate them. You can also download the database onto a Palm device and take it with you on the water. I don't understand their business model, as a lot of the content is free and I'd like to discuss this with the owner.
I'm way behind on publishing photo albums/videos and my Internet connection from here is tenuous at best, so I'll try to get them uploaded soon. There are a lot of nice images from this area.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser:
If you don't want to rent a car, you can take the free bus system throughout the area. It runs every 1/2 of an hour, and makes frequent stops within the park and elsewhere. Being a photographer, I like to stop all of the time and that wouldn't work well for me.