Friday, August 18, 2017

Ile au Haut and Vinalhaven

Tramping with the Tramps
We woke to really foggy morning at Frenchboro on Tuesday (15th August 2017) and could only just make out the small islands behind as, however as people who regularly sail in these waters have told us, if you don’t go in the fog you never go anywhere. So we slipped the mooring and slowly motored out the channel, Andrew on the helm and radar and me spotting for pots and boats on the side deck. There was no wind but really strong currents that pulled the floats from the pots under the water.
Morning in Frenchboro

Fog up and down on passage

As the morning progressed, the fog lifted a bit and we could start to see land in patches, then it would come down again. We did see into the bay we fancied on Ile au Haut and it looked clear there so we gingerly headed in. The trip was only about 20 miles but it was pretty tense with such thick fog.

Ile au Haut

Ile au Haut, pronounced ‘isla ho’ is largely part of Acadia National Park and has a permenant polulation of 73; it’s a walking paradise however we didn’t get a chance to take any hikes as bad weather was due the next day. We did however have a nice walk around the small township and everyone was super friendly. They had the smallest post office I had ever seen and a great lobster shack however the thing that we found interesting is that many of the cars on the island were really old, quirky or had number plates from really far away places such as California and Alaska, however when we spotted one with a Tassie Plate we figured something was up….. It turns out that in Maine on islands with no state maintained roads and no regular car ferry registered island vehicles are exempt from inspection laws – there are apparently 13 of these islands and Ile au Haut is one and the islanders obviously enjoy having some fun with this rule. I wish I had taken photos of more of the cars…..
Church Ile au Haut

Lobster Art
Post Office
Check out the plate!

We had a really nice afternoon and a pleasant night, but weather was due Wednesday night so we opted to head into a more protected spot. Just 7 miles away on Vinalhaven we snuck into Seal Bay. This spot required very close attention to the chart and a lot of weaving between rocks, however the result was just amazing and one of the most beautiful, secluded spots we have been in. We managed to persuade Steve and Fi on Supertramp to come and join us, as they were close by and we had a great afternoon exploring by dinghy and a hike on one of the islands reserves. That night Fi treated us to a fabulous dinner and we supplied the Blueberry Ice-cream – a real Maine fav. It was a fun night with so many laughs that ended up with a few ‘Allens’ – this is brandy coffee, also from Maine that we discovered in Rockland on our last night out with these guys; a glass with ice, a good helping of Allen’s topped up with milk – delicious!!
Entering Seal Bay
Our View in Seal Bay
Always a fun night when these two boats are anchored together

This turned out to be one of our favourite anchorages and I would highly recommend it in a bit of a blow as we were snug as bugs.

Andrew did have a wake up call in the middle of the night, but this was only to hear that James had done brilliantly in his A-Levels and had got into his first choice of University – he is one super proud Dad!!
At the airport - parcels just left for their owners to collect

View from the walk

Our beautiful spot

Boys in the mud

Girls with Allens
Over the last few days we had started to make plans to haul Askari out in Newport, to replace the rudder that we damaged way back in Mustique. We felt we had sampled a good share of Maine and ticked off a number of places on our wish list, we were also ready for a bit of warmth. So next morning we took the stunning North Haven Vinalhaven thoroughfare and headed back to Rockland to refuel, check up on Ley and Neil on Crystal Blues for a night and then we started our trip South West early Friday morning.

Passing through the thoroughfare

Passing through the thoroughfare

North Haven

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