27th July 2013 - To Swan's Island, Maine

Sun 28 Jul 2013 21:20
After a couple days we made an early start for Swan’s Island, located near Mount Desert and Bar Harbor. The 47.5nm to Swans Island required some careful navigation, between rocks and lobster pots! The infamous lobster pots, that come with sailing in this territory can be a real pain and some folk hate these with such avengeance, they say they will never sail in these waters again!  However to negotiate them successfully, it’s a case of reading how the lobster pots lie;  straight up with one buoy, or the other type, with two buoys and a line in-between.  The line in-between is supposed to be weighted, but this was not always the case, so it was essential to pass either side.  

We negotiated the Fox IslandsThororfare, which provides a convenient and fascinating passage from west to east.   It winds for approximately 8 miles between the islands of North Haven and Vinalhaven and can be as wide as 200 metres and as narrow as 30 metres.   Once through we headed for the archipelago known as Merchants Row, which are a wonderland of passages for the visiting yachtsman.  There are 30-40 of darkly wooded islands fringed with white and pink sloping granite shores. We managed to get a terrific sail through Merchants Row and even overtook a local Windjammer.  We had planned to make for Burnt Coat Harbour, but decided to abort as the anchorage would have been  untenable and too rolley in a South Westerly wind.  So we made for Mackerel Cove on the north coast of Swans Island. The key to Mackerel Cove is the enormous ledge off Roderick Head and only a tiny portion of it is visible at high tide, but we anchored safely in 5.2m of water under the keel at HW and 1.9m at LW. 


A unusual restaurant/bar in North Haven

Summer Cottage and gatehouse (above).  Wealthy folk from Boston, New York etc have properties on these islands.

Beautiful scenery as we wind our way through the ‘thorofare'

Overtaking a ‘Windjammer’ in Merchants Row

The numerous lobster pots randomly dotted all over Maine waters

Anchorage at Mackerel Cove, Swan’s Island

Following morning woke up to fog