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We made our way from Long Cove yesterday into the St. George River past Port Clyde to Maple Juice Cove. It is a large bay with lots of space to anchor and has the unique distinction of being the site of the Olsen House where Andrew Wyeth did a lot of his paintings including Christina’s World. We rowed to shore and got a tour of the house yesterday. It was quite moving.

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Blogging from a Boat

We stay connected on Astraea by using the Wilson cell phone booster system shown in the photo with our AT&T iphones. I am using a bluetooth Verbatim keyboard with my iphone to write this posting too.

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An early start on Tuesday leaving our cranky pants neighbor behind took us northwest from Wreck Island into eastern Penobscot Bay with Castine as our destination. We caught some good 10 knot northwest breezes to start on our way north and were able to take some long favorable tacks with the tide at our stern cruising along near 6 knots. A great feeling.

The afternoon brought lighter breezes, thunderstorms and motorsailing north near Islesboro to reach Castine near the mouth of the Penobscot River. It is know for it’s previous military importance for the French, English, Americans and briefly the Dutch.

After tying up briefly at Eaton’s Boat Yard to get the lay of the land and find some showers, we discovered that we could be guests at the Castine Yacht Club and rent a mooring for only $25 versus the $75 it would cost to be on the docks at Eaton’s. The showers we found also happened to be at the Yacht Club. It’s more of a boat club like the Malletts Bay Boat Club where we race in Vermont – family oriented with lots of kids programs.

There were may Herreschoff designed wooden boats in the harbor last night because today was the start of a symposium and race for a whole collection of high end classic yachts. They were amazing to see.

We ate an excellent meal at Stella’s which served us fresh greens salads, wood fired pizza and lobster cakes. It was a well deserved night off for the cook and great to get off the boat for a little while.

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[Astraea is just left of center with the light grey tarp over the boom]

Mr. Cranky No Pants

You never can predict your neighbors. When we arrived at Wreck Island, there was just one boat at anchor, which we passed by while scoping out the depths. Upon passing, the owners first words were to ask us if we planned on anchoring. We did didn’t think much of this as we said we’d hoped to do so and putted off to set the anchor nearby. But not too nearby – a reasonable distance from the other boat. We set the anchor and set off in the Asteroid for shore and a little island exploration.

The Asteroid is named after the 1980s arcade game and if that rings a bell, you’ll understand immediately how she rows. Not well. In fact she’s easier to spin! Especially if there is wind or current and even more so if I’m rowing. So there we are, headed to shore not far from our neighbors, but not close, when this wet head pops out from underneath canvas covered lifelines and yells, “hey, can’t we get any privacy?” Startled, I looked up from my rowing, “uh, sorry!” And then from the wet head… “That’s just rude!” Geesh… Didn’t think we were that close at all.

Some people are just cranky pants. Or, as I guessed from the wet head and ample privacy canvas… No pants. We couldn’t have seen anything if we’d wanted to!

Later on we got treated to a few hours of the same neighbors loud generator. And again the next morning. I hope his hot showers made him happy.

The last two nights we have put out our primary anchor and also a secondary anchor to reduce the amount we swing in the anchorage. The first night we had tide pushing us one way and wind the other which made Astraea lie in a very strange position very close to a neighboring boat. I rowed the anchor out in the dinghy, placed it and brought the line back to the stern.

The second night had winds predicted that might push us close to Wreck Island and our not so friendly neighboring boat. I let out many more feet on our primary anchor and reversed the engine to get the stern of the boat near the place I wanted to drop the second anchor. Then I let out line on the second and pulled back in on the primary to get us into a nice spot. Now I feel much better in the wind and fog that we will stay put and away from boats and shore.

We sailed east out of Seal Bay into some dense fog, but good 10 knot breezes on eastern Penobscot Bay. We ended up on the same tack as a larger boat, but they couldn’t seem to get their sails set well enough to sail past us (I was proud to hold them off all the way to Stonington). We were low on ice and water so planned to visit Stonington to resupply. The Billings Marine Service on the west side of Stonington served us well with not only ice and water, but we had the opportunity to take showers. This was a welcome thing after 4 warm and salty days.

After Stonington we sailed slightly southeast to anchor near Wreck Island which used to have sheep grazing on it as part of the Forest Service experiment. We saw what looked like sheep droppings, but didn’t scare up any stray sheep. The walk along the exposed granite shores was the highlight as you can see in this photo.

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Brimstone Island

Sunday we sailed out to Brimstone Island, which we learned about from Jenny and Chris two years ago when we sailed to their families’ place on Vinalhaven. Unlike the fog of two year’s ago, we had clear sailing and a lovely view of Vinalhaven’s eastern shore. It was great to finally see the gorgeous windswept islands. We spent a few hours exploring Brimstone and admiring the shoreline of perfectly polished stones. A climb to the highest point on the island afforded a good view of Matinicus and the other outer islands. On the east shore of the island we encountered a loud group of Herring Gulls protecting some nesting young. We stayed well away – I don’t know how they defend nests, but I can only imagine it involves guano dive bombs! After a short spinnaker and a reach in moderate winds, we anchored back in Seal Bay, near Burnt Island.

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