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Ahoy from Portland, Maine!
Once again we motored along into low single digit winds on our way from Christmas Cove to Portland. Once again we managed to avoid all of the lobster traps in the Christmas Cove lobster genocide area. Really, I have no idea how any lobsters survive there as the bottom appears to be virtually covered with lobster traps. I wonder how many times lobsters are caught before they reach legal size and are then kept. I wasn't happy with the photo that I used yesterday, so hopefully this one will show the lobster trap density better.
It's been interesting to watch the coastline become more and more populated as we've been moving south. Somewhere between Rockland and Christmas Cove the density of the houses and size of the houses increased considerably. It's amazing how many HUGE houses are located along the shorelines. Just how big of a house do people need for a summer house?
We pulled into a slip at the Maine Yacht Center which was graciously provided by Neil (who works there) and Stacey Collins of s/v Zora. We met them in La Ceiba, Honduras in 2006. They were on their way back to US after doing a circumnavigation of the Caribbean. Unfortunately we didn't get to see them as they were in the process of moving into a new home and were a bit busy.
The Maine Yacht Center is about 2 miles by foot from the historic downtown, so we dropped dinghy and headed there via water. The shoreline between the two points is covered with mooring balls. We had been offered the use of one from Roger Long, who is a fellow participant in the rec.boats.cruising newsgroup. However, he warned me that it might be pretty uncomfortable on the moorings due to all of the wakes generated by boat traffic. Since it was a lovely day, the bay was full of traffic and it was bumpy. We watched the boats on moorings rock and roll, so we were very happy to be in a slip that didn't have any of those issues.
We spent a few hours wandering around historic Portland and discovered that our favorite restaurant has changed hands and the menu is completely different. Not that it mattered, as they were booked solid for the evening. After our fill of shops and galleries, we made our way back to BlueJacket for some wine and a good Thai meal.
Today we're headed down the coast to either Biddeford Pool or Portsmouth, NH. I suspect the later as it looks wonderful out there...cold, but sunny.
-- Geoff & Sue
P.S. I have uploaded the photo album for coastline of Maine, excluding Acadia. You can find it at http://www.geoffschultz.org/2008_Sailing/Photos/Maine_Coastline/ If If I may say so myself, I think that there are some very nice images in this album.
For the cruiser:
Dockage in Portland is very expensive. DiMillos is $3.75/ft and the Maine Yacht Center is $3/ft. The former has lots of current to deal with when docking, but the MYC doesn't appear to have those issues. If you want easy access to the historic downtown, I would just pony up the additional $0.75 and stay downtown. The MCY does have beautiful facilities.
Roger Long passed on the following information: A good, quiet anchorage if the wind is in the easterly quadrant is to go up the channel between the fort and Little Diamond Island and anchor just out of the channel between the nuns. Nice view of the city and the sunset behind it.