Day 4 – Rockland to North Haven

Day 4 – Rockland to North Haven

Rockland Harbor, Maine
Click on the image to view the full chart

I woke up to a loud tapping on the outside of the hull, right next to my head. Andrew was moving around above deck investigating, and after I put clothes on I went up to see a pink plastic lobster buoy bouncing against the port side. Isla had spun around our anchor and the wind was pushing her against the bobbing alarm clock. I dragged it around the bow to starboard and it drifted away slowly.

After breakfast we rowed The Dingy back to town and bought tubing, shackles, a switch relay, and a few other things for the day’s boat improvement. We went back out to Isla and set to work. We installed a usb charger into the rat’s nest of wiring, fixed the fuel pump connection, fixed the lights in the v-berth, hooked up the drain pipe for the holding tank, and fixed the wiring for the anchor light. In addition we put up the curtains and reorganized, which made the cabin feel much less cluttered, and the groceries more accessible from the stove.

Isla Interior, sailing Maine
Contact us to display your art here, openings available after the Wiener-dog exhibit moves on

After a lunch which included perishables, namely apples and cheese, we put up the sails and headed for North Haven. As we approached the light house on the breakwater I went below deck to grab my camera. I came back up to find the coast guard pulling up beside us, lights flashing. Two of the six officers on their boat boarded us, navy blue uniforms and caps, red life preservers, black boots, sunglasses, utility belts with holstered handguns. One took down license and registration information while the other followed Andrew around below deck, checking our safety gear.

I manned the helm and hoped this wouldn’t lead to anything expensive. After checking our life preservers, flares, air horn, etc, we received a verbal warning for not having placards. These placards are stickers instructing you not to throw oil or trash in the ocean, in much longer sentences, that you have to display. Andrew told me later it’s a good idea to fail something small, otherwise they’ll keep looking until they find something worse. The officers chatted for a minute while we tacked; one was from Fort Collins, where I lived the last two years.

Coast Guard in Rockland Harbor, Maine
Busted, they must not have had placards either

They hopped back on their RIB, which had been following us closely during the inspection, and sped off to board the next boat. Later, we noticed that the officer had written our port of call (the well known Peaks Island, spelled out in big letters on the transom), as Pete’s Island, we had a good laugh. 

Rockland Harbor Breakwater Light

We sailed back into the fog, and held a steady course, close hauled, for an hour.

Sailing in mist, Maine

The air was thick with moisture; it was accumulating on our clothes and dripping off the rigging. We tacked and in turn became totally disoriented in the grey. The winds shifted, died, and left us barely moving amidst the ominous sounds of a fog horn, ferry horn, and occasional motor.

Vinalhaven Brown's Head Light, fog, Maine
Prettier Fog

We decided to motor the rest of the way to North Haven; the fog eased slightly in the Fox Island Thoroughfare between North and Vinal Haven, and we moored amongst the numerous lobster boats in the harbor.

North Haven Fog, Maine
Anecdote: The Maine coast is foggy in July

We rowed ashore and ate dinner with Andrew’s cousin and her kids, who vacation there in the summer. After dinner we took much needed showers at the Ernest family’s house next door. We rowed back to Isla in fog so thick that our headlamps reflected light back and obscured our view, making our search for her blurry outline difficult. Andrew wearing his headlamp backwards as he rowed, I spotted her, and we climbed back on board. Tired, we enjoyed some peanut butter and graham crackers and went to sleep.

4 Replies to “Day 4 – Rockland to North Haven”

  1. I’m enjoying reading about your cruise. If I can get my engine squared away, I hope to sail Down East from Rhode Island next summer. I was wondering about the challenges of the fog. I won’t have radar, but thought of getting a radar reflector so at least others might see me. Are you anchoring or staying on moorings? I’m hope to economize by anchoring as much as possible. Anyway, really enjoying your writing style and glad to see a couple of young guys having a great adventure. Fair winds.

    1. We did the trip without radar, or a reflector for the most part. There happened to be a reflector at the town dump on North Haven as we made our way back south, and so we had one from then on. In the fog we kept the air horn handy, eyes peeled, and in general didn’t feel too vulnerable. I read up on how to signal with the airhorn, and we did make a point of checking the Cat’s schedule when we approached Yarmouth, NS. Many years ago they hit a boat in the fog. In July the mornings were often foggy, but that decreased towards August as the water temperature caught up to the air.

      As you might guess from our dump acquired radar reflector, we were trying to minimize costs as well, and tried to anchor frequently. We had a few destinations where that wasn’t an option, and did splurge for a dock one night in Halifax. Andrew kept better notes on where we anchored / moored; I’m hoping to add those to the posts soon. Thanks for reading along, I’m happy to know this might help you with your own trip!

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