Saturday, July 16, 2016

Out And About...

 Waterfront Tenants Harbor
 Boat Ramp .. Looks a little tricky..
 Some vessels in and around the harbor...
 Lobster impoundment...
Atwood's Quarry...

We decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather that we've been having here on the coast of Maine and head down (my apologies to "Downeast" ) the shoreline, ending up in Tenant's Harbor.

Located in St. George , on a peninsula, TH is a small, tucked away harbor that still has a good mix of fishermen intermingled with pleasure boaters.  It's a bit off the Rt. 1 beaten path and therefore still has the old time Maine flavor to it.

The boat ramp looked a little tricky to me so if we were going to do some cruising in that area we would probably opt for launching in Rockland which is just "up" the coast. With it's fjord-like geography that part of the Maine coast would lend itself to lots of exploring and rubber-necking.

There's lots of history to discover in and around TH including taking a peek at Atwood's Quarry and a lobster impoundment nearby.

It's so nice to have such beautiful Maine spots in our backyard..
truly a pleasure..

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Wood stove..single malt..12ga semi..dusting of snow..
It's just about perfect...

Image and title stolen from...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Sunday, November 8, 2015

And Now..Moving On Without Andre

Coming off the heels of losing Ray last June, this morning is truly a BITTERsweet moment for me..another one of our big yellow boys, Andre, is leaving us.

However in this case he is off to Guiding Eyes For The Blind in Yorktown Heights New York where we hope he will start a new chapter in his life,   We'll know on Tuesday as that's  when he takes his guide dog school entrance exam. Fingers crossed...I guess..

Seeing him go in for training is especially difficult on me, more than the others we've sent off, with the exception of Big Ray.  Andre is such wonderful dog and so closely associated for me with Ray, his absence in our home will be a huge void.  But we of course wish Andre the best, with high hopes that he will become a life changing addition to a blind person's life.

I have no way of knowing if our paths will ever cross again but Andre has certainly left a profound and enduring mark on my life..

Good luck and thank you Andre...

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Island Hopping ....The Last Cruise

It was a flat-arse calm, September morning on Penobscot Bay and we were now not far off Deer Isle.  All the elements were aligned properly, a cloudless sky, an incoming tide and the bay as still as a mill pond. 
We had left Belfast Public Landing, about 40 minutes earlier, not long after sunrise.  Having just cleared the No Wake buoy, located at entrance to the inner harbor, I opened up the throttle leaving The Monument behind us.  Very shortly we were in The Middle Grounds and quickly bearing down on Islesboro's Turtle Head. 
With our four stroke, 50HP Merc doing it's thing and with the water barely showing a ripple , we made good time as we rounded Turtle Head, quickly making our way down the Eastern Gut which separates Islesboro and Cape Rosier.  Soon our primary destination was insight, Barred Island.  Barred is a beautiful double headed island, with each of its heads separated by a gravel bar that becomes exposed on a dropping tide. However our incoming tide had turned about an hour before we arrived and there was still plenty of time before the bar became submerged again.
Coming around the eastern point we approached the bar slowly, cutting the engine to gently drift onto the rounded stones of the shore.  We, of course, have beached many times on an outgoing tide which is fine but it does have an accompanying concern about grounding out.  We came really, really close one time on Sears Island and  were very fortunate that we managed to re-float our boat.  But no such worry this unplanned, extended stay.
No boating experience for us is complete without our boat dog and once on shore we kept very close tabs on Andre as the island is sensitive, ecologically speaking.  We made sure that we stayed on the bar rather that exploring the wooded parts of the island, wanting to leave no impact on it's natural setting. Our shore time was very brief and  after a light snack,  not on the urchins,  we boarded and continued on to some of the many other islands in that area.
 As it turned out we weren't the only ones on the bay taking advantage of the warm sun and the calm waters...
I've always thought the the lobster boats with a mizzen sail (?) on the stern were very cool. They are not a rare sight but are still somewhat unusual.
Moving on we came across this very small island that seemed to have all the comforts.  And on a day like this one made island life very appealing.  I'm not sure that I would feel the same way during a northeaster.  But it was lovely nonetheless.


What is really nice about a small boat is that it allows you to get up close and personal. With the motor trimmed all the way up a couple of feet of water will do. And will allow you to enjoy the sights and sounds of the nature that surrounds you.
Even though this nest was unoccupied, you can't help but admired the imagination of the builders.
Below is just another example of small island life on Penobscot Bay.  Small in size but large in life.....

Time for one more stop, this time at Pond Island Preserve with it's fine beach and Deer Isle in the background... This is one we've been to before on numerous occasions and is a favorite of ours, as it is for many other boaters and kayakers.  A great spot to stretch your legs.

It's just a short cruise from Pond Island back to Islesboro and as we neared Turtle Head and our final leg returning to Belfast we passed a couple of hikers standing on what I've always thought looks like a ship's prow, the cutting edge of Islesboro.
Closing in on Belfast and with the Northport shoreline looming larger, we converged with The Thunder Bay, "thundering" down the western gut,  heading toward her home port of Rockland. It's not often that the TB gets up our way but it's always great to see her.
We made it back to the boat ramp just as the bay started to chop up.  And we'll be sure to return again next summer for more small island hopping.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Boost For The Spirit...

 What a joy it is to be able to view the magnificence of a Maine autumn morning on the way to work. Some see only the lanes of the highway and the tail lights of the cars ahead of them..
 But here in Maine and a lot of other spots in New England we are witness to something that means so much more... 
a treat for the eyes and a boost for the spirit..
Soon the color of fall will diminish and fade away to grays and browns but not long after that the dazzling days of winter will transform the landscape and hopefully, boost our spirits once again. 

Such is life in Maine..and how fortunate we are to witness and to experience that transformation.  If only we take the time to truly appreciate it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Lobstering With The Grandson,,Catchin' Bugs

It was a beautiful afternoon to get out on the bay with my grandson Dustin and my nephew Bryan, along with his wife Rebecca and daughter Hailey.  It was Dustin's first experience with the intricate art of catching lobsters. . Bryan, who learned the art of catching those spiny, delicacies from his grandfather, DJ,  met us with, in fact, his grand dads old boat, at the Belfast Public Landing. 

Well actually it is a new "old" boat as  Bryan has immensely improved it from the old DJ days. Anyways,  soon we were off The Battery to the first buoy, floating upright as if at attention. Much easier to "latch" onto nowadays as compared to old floating warp,  gaff days..

Quickly Bryan had the pot warp engaged in the knee activated hauler and even more quickly the trap was revealed from the shallow waters and was on the working shelf to the immense interest of Dustin and Hailey.
And just like that we had our first lobster.... except..
it was a notched female laden with eggs. And after the quick inspection by our curious crew, she was over the side, the lobster, not Hailey.

Now we were on to the next set of traps, with the process repeating itself.. and with Hailey and Dustin anticipating the haul..

This time a different eggs..but to my experienced eye, honed to a sharpness from those long ago days of lobstering with my old man,  this particular bug looked a bit undersized to me. However with an expert check on the guage, and after a mild rebuke directed toward me from Bryan..

 the next thing I saw was the claw bands slipping over the crusher and pincer. Another upgrade from the days of the sharpened wooden, flat sided pegs that we used to insert behind the moving portion of the claws in order to immobilize them. 
(And by the way..check out the lovely bucket of bait that was supplied to Bryan by a professional fisherman, Brad. Anyways, I digress..)

And quick as Jack flew over the candlestick, our lobster landed in the bottom of the bucket..our first keeper..or should I say keepa'?

Of course Dustin, now having deemed himself a bonafide deckhand,  had to make sure all was in order and that the creature had settled in.

(Oh and Hailey? She said her Dad looked like a princess in his white fishing bibs.)

Dustin was curious about the trap and buoy set up and found a way to help by tossing the buoy back into the water after the trap was reset.  However he wasn't all that enthusiastic about the bait bucket, sorry Brad.  Who knows, maybe there is a future stern man in the making?

After hauling about a third of Bryan's traps we were as close to the marina as we were going to get, so we decided to head back so poor Bryan could get the rest of this traps tended before dark. 

On the way back we came across a pair of harbor seals basking in the late summer sun.

It was a fabulous couple of hours on the bay with my nephew Bryan and grandson Dustin and niece Becca and grand niece Hailey. 

And to top it all off? 

To be back in my Dad's old boat,  very fond memories of the old days washing over me.. with DJ and Uncle Oscar..haulin' traps..catchin' bugs...