Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Windjammer Cruise Photos - September 13-17, 2008

As promised, here are some pictures from the Maine Windjammer Cruise we just returned from. I took close to 50 shots, using a film camera, and was largely disappointed with the overall results. And I do think at least some of it may have been shoddy processing. From now on, I'll be sticking to digital. Here are a few of the best of the rest.

We arrived in Camden, ME, on Saturday the 13th. Mount Battie, in Camden Hills State Park, has an auto road to the summit, where there are stunning views of Camden and its harbor.

We boarded the boat on Saturday night, adjusted to our tiny cabins, and spent the night docked in Camden harbor. Sunday morning dawned very foggy and windy, and this was the only picture I took all day. The Lewis R. French is the middle schooner in this shot. After a hearty breakfast, we left the harbor and set sail around 10am. The rest of the day was very windy with a cold drizzle, and we wore raingear for the entire day. Note the canopies over the decks while anchored.

Sunday night was spent anchored in Carter Cove, a small bay off Vinalhaven Island. The winds were so strong that we lowered the "storm anchor", which is somewhat bigger and heavier than the normal one. The wind howled all night, but in the morning, the fog quickly lifted. On Monday, the strong winds continued, up to 30-40 mph with small craft advisories. As we crossed some bays exposed to the open ocean, we had 6-8 foot swells and the boat was rocking every which way. It was a pretty wild ride, but an amazing experience.

We were supposed to throw this immediately if anyone went overboard. Thankfully, despite some rough seas at times, that didn't happen.

Monday night, we anchored in Bass Harbor, at the southwest corner of Mount Desert Island, near Acadia National Park. Many of us walked to see the Bass Harbor Lighthouse.

Walking back to the boat, we had a good view of the French and other boats docked in the harbor. The French is the middle one of the three boats at right center.

Sunset was beautiful in Bass Harbor.

It was quickly followed by moonrise, with an almost-full moon. I slept on deck this night instead of in our cabin, in a sleeping bag. It was cool, but much quieter than the cabins with their thin walls and many snorers.

On Tuesday, we got an early start, and put ashore at Hell's Half Acre, a small island with a rocky beach, for a lobster feast at lunchtime. Here, Captain Garth Wells (left) steers the boat and First Mate Eric (right) sits on top of the lobster pot as the first party goes ashore.

They were soon followed by Garth's wife Jenny and crew member Annika, with the rest of the food. We had hamburgers and hot dogs as appetizers while the lobster preparations were underway.

A view of the French in partial sail from the rocky beach. This would be our only opportunity for shots of the boat with sails up, since we were usually on the boat when that was the case.

While the lobsters were steaming, we walked around the entire perimeter of this small rocky island. This was actually at high tide.

Another shot of the French from the island.

And another.

The beach was solid granite, not sand. In the background is the rest of the group (22 passengers and 4 crew) enjoying the appetizers and conversation.

Jenny, Captain Garth, and Annika removing rubber bands from the lobster claws and throwing the lobsters in the pot.

Lobsters and corn-on-the-cob on a bed of seaweed for serving. The meat was removed from the shells of any leftover lobsters and turned up the next morning for breakfast as lobster quiche. The food on this trip was just incredible from start to finish.

Heading back to the French after lunch and cleanup. In the afternoon, we sailed to Pulpit Harbor, on the northwest shore of North Haven Island, where we anchored for the night. Dinner, as if any of us needed any, was homemade soup, salad, and cornbread.

On Wednesday, we set sail back to Camden on a very calm day. Maine lobster fishermen were everywhere, as were their multi-colored buoys.

Camden harbor appears in the distance. Mount Battie, where we started this trip, is behind and to the right of the picture. We arrived back in port around 11am, packed up and hit the road for home after a very memorable adventure.

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