Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The Basin is a very protected natural harbor, located up the New Meadows River, between Portland and Boothbay Harbor. It was noted in the research and planning as a possible place to visit for the natural beauty, but more for a hurricane hole in case of bad weather. The Basin served as a refuge twice, as Last Dance experienced weather not conducive to travel along the coast, both on the way up the coast and on the way back down. It was a pleasant place to be stuck. On the journey out of Maine, while at anchor in the Basin, a note was sent to friends updating the location and progress. The fact that the crew was "stuck" in such a location brought no sympathy from friends.
Winds first brought Last Dance to the Basin, but as the winds died, the fog moved in. The rocky shore lies 200 feet off Last Dance's bow.
It was at the Basin that the crew first experienced fog and high winds at the same time. Experience had been that a benefit of fog was calm winds and smooth seas - not always true in Maine.
There is one point on the rocky shore where public lands adjoin the Basin. At higher tides, a dinghy can be tied to a tree along the rocks. This landtrust has some rough trails providing some hiking and exploring opportunities.
These trails provided the crew their first opportunity to take A Walk in the Maine woods. Such experiences have provided the inspiration for many a book to be written.
One of the trails leads by an old mica mine.
The mine tailings, consisting of white quartz and pieces of mica, paved this trail. A couple pieces of mica reflect the sunlight on the trail.
Not far from the Basin, along the New Meadows River, is another harbor, Sebasco. This harbor is filled with lobster boats. Along the shore are lobster docks, where the lobstermen maintain their traps and land the lobster they catch.
Walking up one of the lobster docks, through the lobster pound, lies a small restaurant. It provided the first lobster rolls sampled by the crew on the Maine trip. A nice, enjoyable, and delicious diversion while waiting for the weather to change.
Wildlife visited the Basin, performing and entertaining the crew. This harbor seal is lying on a rock in the center of the Basin, right where one might expect the deepest water to be. Diligent study of charts is a must in Maine.
The haunting cry of the Loon always creates a search for the source. These solitary birds call out with one voice while on the water and a different one from land.
While the fog creates navigation difficulties, it does make for some peaceful, serene, and beautiful scenes.
Ram Island Light marks the island lying off the entrance to Boothbay Harbor. In the distance, Hendricks Head Light can be seen. The Maine coast has many interesting lighthouses. Navigating the Maine coast, with islands and shoals scattered ramdomly, must have been a huge challenge to mariners centuries ago.
This area of the Maine coast is filled with rivers and bays. Boothbay was chosen as the descriptor because it is the best known place name, due to its success as a tourist destination. This small area of coastline also has the Sheepscot River, Kennebec River, Damariscotta River, Cross River, Robinhood Cove, Ebenecook Harbor, Linekin Bay, Johns Bay, Pleasant Cove, Poorhouse Cove, and another Seal Cove - cruising destinations that are seemingly endless, as goes much of the Maine coast.
Arrival in Boothbay Harbor was on a day with a bit of fog. Time on the water in Maine teaches mariners how to navigate in the fog quickly, or the mariner rarely leaves anchor. The Catholic Church watches over the lobster boats in the bay. Catholic Churches are easy to spot, they don't have weather vanes on the steeples.
There is some quaintness remaining in the downtown section of Boothbay, although much of it has been populated by tourist trade shops.
For a small town, Boothbay Harbor has a nice-sized library and an amazing large Friends-of-the-Library used book store. It fills an entire house located directly behind the library. There are so many books for sale that the lower priced ones are relagated to the porch for display.
A Morning Dove, that was hatched in a nest on top of the bookshelves, returned this year. He sits on the books and is quite tame. Wildlife and books, two of the pleasures of cruising.
Love Cove was a must for the Last Dance crew. Spending a night in Love just seemed appropriate. The narrow cove proved to be a great shelter on a windy day and the guest mooring made the stay easy. This image is looking into Love Cove through the cut, near high tide.
Looking from Last Dance back through the same cut near low tide demonstrates the importance of checking charts before even taking the dinghy on a trip through a cove. A ridge of rock lies exposed by a couple feet.
The third crew member stands watch on the dinghy trip back to Love Cove.