We left Lunenburg Nova Scotia after a few nights on the hook. The weather looked good for our westerly trip to Cape Negro, or if we are feeling up to it, we could keep on and make Maine in one trip.
The trip to the Cape was just almost perfect. We had very small beam seas, and so we decided to keep on moving and go directly to Maine’s Northeast Harbor.
We passed Cape Sable at about 11:00 pm. It was a dark night, but the conditions were still good. We had a current push us along and we were averaging over 7 knots for the whole trip so far.
I took the watch just as we were at the Cape. Here we felt the first, of the famous Bay of Fundy currents, as the current ebbed and was now slowing us down. At the same engine speed of 1700 I saw that our speed over ground was less than 4.5 knots. We lost over 3 knots speed. The GPS said we would arrive at NE Harbor at 11:00 the next night; 24 hours away. Shit that is depressing.
I bumped up the engine to about 1800 and we were not making 5 knots. And of course the seas were now picking up a bit. But we slogged on, and as we made painfully slow progress the current started to let up and we were not doing 6 knots again.
Just at day break the seas picked up and were on the starboard forward quarter. The ride got uncomfortable and irritating. My patience was rather strained, as both Jenny and I were up and sleeping was not really possible.
We continued to buck the closely spaced waves, but at least our speed picked up as the tide and current changed, and began to push us along. Soon we were making over 7 knots again, and as we got closer to Maine, the seas laid down. After 6 hours of slogging, the ride flattened out and became nice again.
About 20 miles offshore the Maine coastline we spotted our first lobster pot. The water depth was over 300 feet and there are lobster traps out here.
As we got closer and closer the lobster trap floats grew more and more concentrated. We made or waypoint for Northeast Harbor and the pots were thick. Luckily the floats are connected to the traps with sinking line, not polypropylene (floating) line, we navigating around the pots is doable.
We found our next waypoint, and then spotted the channel markers, while dodging floats that must be every 50 feet or so. Even inside the designated channel there are floats.
I read that there are over 3 million lobster traps in Maine. That the harvest which is over 44 % of all fisheries is worth $433 million, but that the fishery is in decline. I wonder why?
So dodging lobster pots is a way of life here in Maine.
We made our way into Northeast Harbor, and called Clark and Michelle on Roam, who are on a mooring buoy in the bay.
We wait for a faster motor yacht as he approaches the marked channel from our starboard side, we slide along behind the motor yacht, around the traps, and into the well protected harbor. There are numerous ‘down east’ boats, Hinckley, sail and picnic boats, of course tons of working lobster boats. It is very picturesque, and peaceful.
Clark and Michelle know we are near and are in their dingy and help us pick up a mooring next to them. It is 6:30 pm and we are happy to be here in Maine.
We hoist our yellow Q flag, and say hello and good bye to Clark and Michelle as we are off limits until we are cleared. We called Customs and Border Patrol, who take our details and say that officers will come to the marina to clear us in. We have a much deserved cocktail, sitting on the fly bridge and enjoy the surroundings. The harbor is fairly small and protected from all directions, with a bit more fetch from the south. The surrounding hills are quite high, and heavily forested with lots of pines, and a variety of hardwood trees, already beginning to turn colors. There are some large and very opulent homes overlooking the harbor. It’s beautiful.
We receive a call back from CBP, that we will be cleared in tomorrow morning. So we fix some dinner, and go to bed by about 8:30 and sleep peacefully.
It’s Sunday morning. We wait for CBP to call us to clear us; we are not in a big hurry today. We launch the dinghy. But take a long and leisurely morning, bacon and eggs for breakfast, tapping into the slloowww Wi-Fi system. Reading our emails, not surfing the internet. We were able to post on Facebook.
Finally at about 1100 we get the call that the officers are on the dock at Northeast Harbour. We head over with our boat paperwork, and get cleared back into the US, no problems. They stamp Jenny’s passport, giving her another 6 months on the US VISA. We check in with the marina and pay for the mooring for a week.
We are here, legal aliens. We take the q flag down on the boat, and put up the US courtesy flag.
Later, we stop by and say hello to Clark and Michelle on Roam. That afternoon we watch the New England Patriots play the Houston Texans. We enjoyed sitting at the bar, had some nice nachos and a few beers as Brady played his typical excellent game.