New England Cape Cod - Maine

mjsouleman

Sustaining Member
Moderator
Any one with experience like to share sailing experiences/wisdom for Cape Cod to Maine sails?

I am planning a September 10 day round trip to Bar Harbor Maine from Portsmith Rhode Island and seeking advice from others that have done the same or similar sails.

Mark "Souleman" Soule
 

Akavishon

Member III
Hi Mark, I've been up the Maine coast a few times (from Boston), below are some thoughts that may help you plan your trip.

* Of all the beautiful destinations in Maine, Bar Harbor was not on my top-20 list. I'd recommend investing in a cruising guide:

* The season turns early up in Maine: I remember seeing my breath in the air, in early September, and it can get rather foggy. Watch the hurricane season, it can ruin any cruising plans / schedule.

* Sailing "down" (the wind) to Maine is generally a pleasant run, with the prevailing south-westerly winds; Coming back home ("up" - against the prevailing winds) can be tedious beating. I'd recommend you go fast to your final/furthest point, then slowly work your way back respecting the weather / conditions. Ten days is not a long time, and the coast has so much to offer.

* Lots and lots of lobster traps, which are a magnet for fin keels, spade rudders and exposed props. Very (!!) tedious, and potentially dangerous if you get hung up at night. The ocean is chilly - I used to carry a neoprene suit for going overboard.

* From RI, you may want to time your passage through the Cape Cod Canal, and stop at Provincetown. Straight jump to Monhegan Island (or Matinicus), or via Isles of Shoals (off Portsmouth NH). After Monhegan, jump to Frenchboro, then Bar Harbor. On the way back home you may want to hug the coast (lobster traps!) and stop more frequently.

YMMV of course, and I'm sure there will be more good thoughts on this thread ... good luck and enjoy Maine!
Zoran
 

gstepler

Member I
Any one with experience like to share sailing experiences/wisdom for Cape Cod to Maine sails?

I am planning a September 10 day round trip to Bar Harbor Maine from Portsmith Rhode Island and seeking advice from others that have done the same or similar sails.

Mark "Souleman" Soule
Hi Mark,

My experience is limited to Buzzards Bay, Cape Cod Canal and up to Cape Ann, with my mooring being in Salem Harbor (Winter Island). I'll second the observations about timing the Canal, fog, lobster pots and hurricanes (experienced them all last fall bringing the new-to-me boat home in October).

Belatedly, congrats on retirement and welcome to New England! Let me know if you have any specific questions I might be qualified to answer.

Greg
 

mjsouleman

Sustaining Member
Moderator
Thanks for the advice, sounds like I need to either extend my schedule or reduce my itinerary.
 

dhill

Member II
Just made the journey from Shelburne, VT to Boothbay Harbor, ME, down Lake Champlain, through the Champlain canal, down the Hudson, through New York Harbor, up the East River, through Long Island Sound, through Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod Canal, across Massachusetts Bay and up the Maine coast to Boothbay.

Buzzards Bay is shallow and can be choppy. If you time the currents through the Cape Cod Canal, you can motor through the 12 mile canal in about an hour (I passed several joggers). Gloucester and Newburyport harbormasters are very accommodating. Gloucester harbormaster has moorings (channel 14) and provides a shuttle service ashore (channel 72) with bathrooms and showers. Many restaurants nearby. Newburyport harbormaster has a great dock at only $50/night, complete with very nice bathrooms, showers, and someone on the dock to attend to your needs. Both harbors are well protected. Watch your charts carefully in Newburyport and stay in the channel. Many restaurants and things to do nearby as well. Maine Yacht Center in Portland Harbor is also a great stop and much more reasonable than the marinas right in Portland. Easy cab/Uber/Lyft ride into the city. Very nice facilities and well protected. The mouth of the Kennebec River is shallow and can build up quickly.

I'm biased, but Boothbay Harbor is a great stop. Also recommend Seguin Island, Damariscove, and Monhegan. Pass by Eastern Egg Rock in Muscongus Bay to see puffins. Harbor Island in Muscongus is also very nice. Port Clyde is a nice stop as well. Camden is another. I've heard great things about the Fox Island Thorofare, which I hope to explore with my "new to me" Ericson. I second the recommendation for 'A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast'. Lots of things to see in Maine!

Have a great voyage and hope to see you around!
Dave
 
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mjsouleman

Sustaining Member
Moderator
Hi Dave,
You gave the best descriptions, I will definitely reach out to you for more information as my plans gel.

Mark "Souleman" Soule
 

dhill

Member II
My experience in Maine is mostly west of Penobscot, an area which I’ve explored for many years and still find new places to see each year. I bought the Ericson to explore further afield. Here is another, what appears to be a great resource, that I found while contemplating a voyage to Nova Scotia once Canada opens up again.


 
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