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Ahoy from Rockland, Maine!
We had an awesome sail to here yesterday with 15-25 kts gusting to 30 kts out of the N to NE, which placed us on a broad reach. That meant we were sailing down wind and we were flying. I was regularly doing hull speed and approaching 9 kts, which is very fast for a 40' boat. I'm glad that we went to Castine on the day that we did, as had we tried to go yesterday, we would have been bashing into good sized waves for the entire trip.
We decided to pull into Journey's End marina, which feels more like a working boatyard with slips rather than a marina. However, the slips are very well maintained and the only issue that I have with the marina is Sea Gulls...lots of Sea Gulls...Just be sure to keep your hose and brush out! The breakwater for Rockland is just submerged at high tide and as a result there's a good swell that works into all of the marinas in the area with easterly winds. The slips at Journey's End are probably better protected than most as the Coast Guard wharf extends well out to the E and provides a lot of shelter.
We decided to pull into a marina due to a high pressure system that was going to be directly overhead bringing a freeze/frost warning to the area. Sitting at anchor we wouldn't have had heat until I fired up the generator in the morning, but at the marina we were plugged in and toasty. Tonight we'll be at anchor and Sue already has an oven based meal planned.
I can't say that we saw a lot of Rockland. Sue wanted to do laundry, so we got directions to the nearest laundromat, which as we found out once we started walking and using the not-to-scale map, turned out to be a mile away. Remind me not to do that again! We did see that there were lots of marine stores (such as Hamilton) nearby, so if you need parts, this is a great place for you. I also have great faith that get repairs done on anything that needs to be fixed.
One interesting thing that I saw for the first time was huge storage buildings for boats. Unlike most boat yards which have acres of boats sitting on gravel, this yard is covered by cement buildings where they store boats. They also specialize in shipping boats to points south via truck.
We had a great meal at Conte's, which is a very eclectic place below the police station. The decor can be best described as rustic antique marine complete with newspaper tablecloths, but the food is very good with extremely generous portions. Note that this is cash only.
Today we're headed to Tenant's harbor, which is only about 18 miles away. We're going to wait until it warms up and then we'll probably motor there as there's no wind.
-- Geoff & Sue
For the cruiser: Unlike other marinas in the area, the rate was a reasonable $1.70/ft. Note that the showers and bathrooms are only available during normal working hours.