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Ahoy from Castine, Maine!
Right now we're in the delightful little town of Castine, which is about 17 miles from Wooden Boat, where we were yesterday. As I was writing yesterday's log, a heavy fogbank rolled in which delayed our departure until the sun burned it away. However, that allowed me to publish the photo album Acadia national park. You can find the images from there at http://www.geoffschultz.org/2008_Sailing/Photos/ME_Acadia/
After the fog lifted, we motored to Castine in almost calm winds. There was just enough wind to ripple the water, so I had to smile when I saw boats out with their sails up. Clearly they didn't have far to go or were in no hurry to get there! However, since we wanted to get to Castine before dark and still have a chance to explore the town, we turned on the motor and moved.
I have to say that this area is one of the prettiest that we've seen in all of this trip. The coastline of the Penobscot bay is just stunning, with lots of little rocky islands studded with beautiful houses. Certainly the Seganay fjord in Canada was more impressive, but it took a lot of work to get there! If there's one thing that I'm starting to dislike, it would be that it feels like all of the good anchorages have been taken over by mooring balls and the only place to anchor is on the periphery, if at all.
We've also been stunned at the price of dockage. It's supposed to frost/freeze tonight, so we thought that we'd pull into a dock and have heat. We were amazed to find off-season rates of $2.75/ft + $15 for power (regular season $4.25/ft) and mooring balls at $40/night! Considering that this is a hole in the water which comes with zero amenities, that's a lot of money. We've gotten used to $1/ft which includes power! I can also only imagine what this area is like at high season with tons of boats competing for a limited number of spots. However, we were fortunate enough to be lent a mooring from Jeff Siegel from ActiveCaptain.com, and we're very appreciative of that.
Castine is a wonderful town with a ton of history. It's one of the oldest communities in North America, as it's been occupied continuously since the early 1600s. It's been controlled by France, Holland and England and it's been the home to several tribes of native Americans. We picked up a walking tour guide from the local bookstore and wandered through the town. There are LOTS of wonderful old homes and they have a museum which is surprisingly good. I would love to see the area in falls colors.
Castine is also home to the Maine Maritime Academy, which provides 4 year schooling to those wanting to go into the Maritime industry. They have a large training ship which you can tour and we very much enjoyed that. It's not often that you can visit the bridge, engine room and engine control room of a large, active ship.
Today we're headed to Rockland, which is about 25 miles from here and is at the mouth of the Penobscot Bay. We had a cold front go through last night which shifted the winds to the N, so hopefully we'll be able to sail.
-- Geoff & Sue