OK, this is a long one because we’re in those areas “down east” where the internet is sparse. There are lots of pictures, but I promise, very few words 😊
Another day in Maine, another lighthouse! This one is on Mark Island, just entering the throughfare to Stonington.
Stonington is a nice place to visit – they have ice cream, coffee, a little grocery store, some shops, a tiny museum, and a couple of places to eat. But mostly they have lobstering. This means they have lots and lots of lobster boats and even more lobster floats in the water. It can be challenging to navigate the waters here.
Here are a few of the almost 200 lobster boats moored here. Stonington has the distinction of being the biggest lobster town in Maine. Last year, they pulled in over $68M in lobsters!
This is the dock for one of the several lobster co-ops in town. The lobstermen use small dinghys to get to their boats that are on moorings in the harbor. Most of the men men are back already, so the dinghy dock is beginning to fill up.
As in all of Maine, the tides are extreme. This low tide has the boat dock sitting on mud.
And here we are in Stonington! Do you think they know we are boaters/tourists???
Stonington used to be a major source of carved granite, worldwide. Skilled Italian and Irish granite carvers migrated here to work. The granite mines are still on a nearby island. Interesting, 5 men still work at the granite business. They cut and carve the granite to order. This high crane meets you as you enter the channel to Stonington.
Tired of civilization, we decided to head Down East next, along the northern Maine coast which is dramatically beautiful and less inhabited. We couldn’t make it in one day, plus we needed to fill up the diesel and our water tanks. No convenient diesel or water to be had up here. We headed to SW Harbor for the diesel and water, and then anchored for the night in the Cranberry Isles. Here is the Bass Harbor lighthouse as we passed her.
Little Cranberry Island is just that – small. The town has a lobster pound, museum, church, and a place to buy lobsters. That is about it, but we enjoy going ashore. It was too late by the time we got there this time.
We watched a raft of little black and white Guillemonts. According to Wikipedia, these little 2 pound fellows can fly 61 miles from the nest to find food for their chicks. And they can dive 300 feet to find food!
Here is a good close-up of one
We left at 7 the next morning to finish our trip. The Petit Manan island and lighthouse are along our route.
A whale watching boat was stopped so Luke hailed him to ask if there were any whales? Nope, but puffins nest here… yes, they do!
Smoke saw them, too.
There are observation boxes on the island. Look carefully on the flat rocks below the white box and you’ll see puffins nesting. We didn’t see them until we looked at our picture.
Almost at our destination, Mistake Island! Here is the Mistake Island lighthouse, the Moose Peak Lighthouse, from the water.
The water in the channel beside the lighthouse was high when we arrived.
HERE is what low tide looks like!
This is the same view, toward the lighthouse.
Our dinghy is sitting aground, facing the anchorage and Latitudes. She was well afloat when we left her. You can see her long anchor line on the rocks. This shed is the old Coast Guard shed and is the beginning of the boardwalk to the lighthouse.
The next morning we went ashore for a walk. Wild iris bloomed against the old shed.
Here’s the boardwalk and Luke!
The view as you near the lighthouse is magnificent. The morning fog had burned away at Mistake, but was still drifting about on the deep water.
The boardwalk goes through tall shady bushes and opens into a field, full of spring wildflowers. The building on the right has the solar panels that maintain the unmanned lighthouse.
Luke got this spectacular picture of the lighthouse and its reflection in the small pond.
By the time we got to the lighthouse, a drifting fog surrounded it.
We startled this eagle. He flew past us and waited patiently on this tree until we left.
Here is the view after we turned around and headed back to the dinghy.
The next morning was DEFINITELY foggy – heavy fog surrounded us shortly after Luke took this picture.
After the fog lifted enough, we braved the next 10 miles to go to Roque. Roque is an archipelago of several islands. We love to anchor here and walk the mile long white beach. We didn’t get much of that done – fog came rolling in again. Fortunately, we were able to buy a couple of lobsters directly from a lobsterman before we left Mistake, so we had lobster for dinner! And yes, it is that cold here. Dense drippy fog, rain showers, a high of 57….and the boat is sitting in 50 degree water. Our living space is mostly beneath the water line. burr.