Pulpit harbor, Vinalhaven Island, Maine
Tuesday 21st August
Beautiful morning after a blissfully quiet night and with only a fairly short journey to the next stop we had a slow morning. Boats were gradually moving off and so we headed off just after 1000 hours and made our way out of the secluded bay and worked our way around the northern end of North Haven Island. Sadly there was absolutely no wind at all and so we had to motor round to the eastern side of Vinalhaven Island and into the stunning, totally protected network of bays all surrounded by pine forests and granite shorelines, leading to Seal Bay. We dropped anchor and were soon joined by Tony and Rachelle on Saltwhistle III who rafted up beside us. The rally organisers had arranged a competitive scavenger hunt which involved us all heading off ashore to wander through the forests hunting for various items. The slight catch was that the clues were cryptic and required both a comprehensive knowledge of botany and biology, but being American did seem to be an additional benefit when it came to understanding things! It was great fun though and by chance we found ourselves wandering along with John and Angela (Galadrial) who shared our relaxed attitude to the event. Strictly speaking we were being timed, but since there was little chance of us completing all the questions, we did not over exert ourselves.
We returned to Serafina and had a succession of people aboard for drinks over the next few hours and then once the last ones had departed (and when I say departed. Halcyon then set sail for an overnight passage to Newport!), Tony and Rachelle kindly barbequed some chicken and gave us a lovely supper on board Saltwhistle.
This anchorage has one unique feature and that is that it is the very first place anywhere in the USA that we have been where were unable to get a free wifi signal, or a phone signal for that matter. The good folks of Maine are pretty parochial and consider the coastline of their state as ‘God’s own cruising ground’. People moving into Maine are ‘from Away’ and remain from Away for all of their lives. It also seems that if these ‘from Away’ people have children born in Maine they too are still considered outsiders. “If your cat climbed into the oven and had kittens, would you call them biscuits?” is the local logical defence for this view! However, Vinalhaven takes this whole attitude to an extreme and short of being a direct descendant of one of the founding fathers, your status is likely to remain ‘from Away’. Listening to the local lobster boatmen on the VHF radio also revealed that some have a guttural and completely indecipherable dialect – by which I mean a good less understandable that even the ‘UnitedStatesCoastguardSectorNorthEasternNewEngland’ coastguards manage to be.