Next stop... Mt. Desert Island

Rockland, Maine
This is just a quick stop to pick up friends, Mark and Dawn, flying in from Bellingham.  Waiting for them at the Town Wharf is the perfect location to check out the mega yacht with the helicopter on the back and the quirky lobster boats in the harbor.

The next morning, we continue on our way northeast to Mt. Desert Island. A perfect cruising day. Bright sunshine, blue sky, light breeze, and… oh yes… a million more lobster buoys!

Mt. Desert Island/Southwest Harbor
We pick up a mooring buoy from Hinckley Marine Services in Southwest Harbor.  This mooring field is a great location at the crossroads of the harbor and the entrance to Somes Sound with easy access to Northeast Harbor, Cranberry Island Ferry, the free Islander Bus shuttle, and a short dinghy hop to Beal’s Lobster Pier.  We watch the boats deliver lobster to the holding tanks at the head of the pier and head for the picnic tables for a great Maine lobster dinner.

Mark & Dawn Jeseritz

After dinner, snapshot of “Maine Life” is captured as we watch a father and son team unload their catch at the dock.  As we take photos, one of the dock hands jokes, “How about a dollar for the kid’s college fund?” Karl goes back and gives the boy a $5.00 bill… the boy looks at Karl and his dad, smiles and asks, “What is this for?”

A dinghy trip up Somes Sound is a journey back in time.  Few houses peek through the trees, but most of the rocky shoreline appears uninhabited and is part of Arcadia National Park.  The head of the sound is home to Mt. Desert Campground where we camped almost 40 years ago.  The campground is easily recognizable and looks unchanged.

After Mark and Dawn return to Bellingham, we continue to explore Southwest Harbor.  The town is a close-knit community that takes care of each other and visitors.  On Sunday morning, we leave the dinghy at the town dock and have breakfast at the “donations only” Common Cause café.  This is a volunteer run breakfast available 7-days a week during the summer serving fresh-made popovers, hot porridge, coffee, and juice to anyone who shows up.  All they ask is a donation that will help provide food for islanders in need in the off season, especially children and seniors.  Sunday’s breakfast includes local live music and a sing-along… you don't need to remember the words, they hand out song sheets!

We also need to mention our incredibly gracious help from the staff at the local West Marine store. Since the busses are now on their infrequent “off season” schedule, we walk the 1.5 miles to West Marine to cash in on some of their Labor Day Sale specials.  The two staff in the store go above and beyond to help us with information on dinghies and motors, ICW cruising/marina tips, and a ride back to the Hinckley dock from one of the staff who was ending their shift.  That’s what you call customer service!!

On a clear crisp sunny day, we ferry our folding bikes to shore in the dinghy and ride south to Seawall and the lighthouse.

On the return trip, we pick up lobster and invite our “neighbors” to an authentic Maine dinner.  Our “neighbors” happen to be two French fellows, Patrick and Stefan who sailed Patrick’s Hanse 545, Pilgrim, into Southwest Harbor to have it hauled out and stored for the winter.  They originally were headed northeast crossing the Atlantic to bring the boat to France when double hurricanes, solid fog, no wind, and a near collision with a fishing boat required a U-turn back to the Gulf of Maine.  Patrick and his wife plan to return in spring 2018 to enjoy the New England coast before sailing Pilgrim to her new home in the Mediterranean.

Stefan, Patrick, and Nora


Unfortunately, after making the starboard hydraulic steering cylinder repair in Port Clyde, the opposite side started leaking to the point that it must be replaced.  After several nation-wide attempts to find a replacement cylinder, Fisheries Supply, our “go-to” marine store in Seattle comes through with the part in-stock and ships it to us in Maine.  A big shout-out/thank you to Fisheries Supply!

All the staff at Hinckley Marine Service also are a tremendous help. After receiving the cylinder, one of their terrific mechanics comes out to Bravo (still on a mooring buoy) and completes the repair. Once we can safely move again, Hinckley dock staff stay late to help us refuel and fill water tanks.  The office staff are also super helpful with other UPS packages and a bonus gift of super delicious home-grown tomatoes! is here and we have to leave, but we look forward to another summer’s visit to Southwest HarborFall.

Fall is here and we have to leave, but we look forward to another summer’s visit to Southwest Harbor.


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