The Cows Yard - God's country

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sat 9 Jul 2011 19:00

Position           44:29.93N 067:31.62W

Date                2000 – Saturday 9 July 2011 (UTC -4)


Rain! And lots of it, this morning.  A useful reason to catch up on indoor jobs, never forgetting the previously mentioned quote that live aboard cruising is yacht maintenance in exotic places.  Job 1, un-bung the tumble dyer; our wonderful John Lewis towels at four years old are still moulting worse than a labrador.  This simple sounding job required removing a cupboard’s internal bulkhead and then detaching the outlet hose from its mounting, at arms length and entirely by feel to gain access to the back of the outlet grill at which stage you can scrape off the accumulated damp, slimy grot – get the general idea; lovely!  Job 2, easy and clean, re-affix the guest cabin heater hose to its outlet grill.  Job 3, replace yet another cupboard lock; these have a design fault and we require to carry dozens of them as they go very frequently, often without even being used, they just collapse with age.


Joy of joy, virtue is rewarded and it stopped raining so we could make a move; this time all of 9 miles to The Cows Yard at Head Harbor Island.  We were fortunate enough to meet Scott and Kitty Kuhner (OCC) at Norfolk and Scott sent me his notes on good anchorages in Maine.  I quote, “The Cows Yard.  When you anchor here you will almost certainly be alone and definitely be in God’s Country (One of the Best)”.  He is definitely not wrong. 




Not the easiest place to get into but definitely worth the effort.  We even had a seal pop up its head to inspect us as we arrived.



In need of some shore side exercise we landed the dinghy at a very fine looking jetty and followed the boardwalk up to the long low grey cottage described in the Pilot as being prominent on the starboard headland of entrance into The Cows Yard.



There we called on the owners to ask their permission to trespass. Don and Page Dwyer had just arrived and opened up the house for the summer.  Page’s grandfather had bought all 1600 acres of Head Harbor Island and the adjoining Steele Harbor Island in 1930 from a bank, after repossession, at $1 per acre.  The house was built by grandfather in 1931.  Today access is still only by boat, there is no running water, a well and bucket job sufficing, no electricity paraffin and propane being used for lighting and refrigeration.  They were delighted for us to try our hand at the tracks in the woods but gave a warning that whilst the island did not have skunks or porcupines local fishermen claimed to have seen bears this year.  Bear boat charter anyone?


Well we had a good ramble through very overgrown forest turning back when found ourselves sinking in swamp, no doubt helped by the rain earlier in the day.  The view back towards the boat was good.



Don and Page turned out when we returned to see how we had got on.  On hearing about the swamp they explained that it was increasing in size due to the industry of an increasing colony of beavers that are busy damming the outlets that should provide natural drainage.  A real first for “Gardeners’ Question Time” and one up on bats in the belfry.


This was definitely voted as our best anchorage yet as we watched the sun setting behind the trees.


Dinner - round two of the chicken, served as chicken fried rice.