Day 10 – Somes Sound to Prospect Harbor

Day 10 – Somes Sound to Prospect Harbor

Prospect Harbor, Maine Chart
Click to view the full chart

We woke up and ate breakfast in Somes, the quiet broken only by the occasional sound of a porpoise’s nearby exhale or an Osprey’s cry. One harbor porpoise swam close by right at the surface, the shiny black back meeting a light gray underbelly. We sailed off the anchor again, on a run in light winds. As we approached the narrowest part of the sound, I decided to attempt pictures from The Dingy. We wrapped her line on a winch this time, so Andrew could easily let it out and pull it back in while manning the tiller. I soon experienced firsthand the instability of the towed dinghy with weight in the front. She fish tailed violently, but by kneeling just behind the center I was able to ride smoothly for some pictures.

Isla from The Dingy, sailing Maine
Not as pleasant as it looks

Andrew pulled me back in as the wind died and became variable, causing a minor accidental jibe. The outgoing tide kept us moving slowly, and after a long while we entered the broader part of the sound. The wind changed directions entirely here; we sailed close-hauled to get out to open water.

Bear Island Light, Maine
This lighthouse is just for decoration

The weather was gorgeous, and soon we were on a reach enjoying the views of Acadia’s mountains, Cadillac, Door, Champlain, as well as the Beehive, Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs, and Bald Porcupine Island, as we sailed towards Schoodic Point.

Mount Desert Island, Maine Sailing
Slower boat, no trades

We made good time sailing at six knots and circled up towards Prospect Harbor. Back on a run with the sails balanced well, we barely needed to touch the tiller to stay on course. Fifty yards off the bow was a porpoise chasing fish at tremendous speed, splashing the surface and changing directions in an instant. We anchored outside the lobster boat moorings, just offshore of a somewhat odiferous lobster processing facility, and rowed to what turned out to be the town pier.

Prospect Harbor, Maine
Spot the one other sailboat

The angle of the dock ramp was steep, evidence of the growing tides. Seagulls were congregating on the rocks below the pier, and when they dispersed they revealed a gruesome scene.

Rotting Fish
We’re all set for dinner

We walked around the cove to Prospect light, but found it closed to the public, property of the United States Navy. The deli at the crossroads was permanently closed, and there wasn’t much to see amongst the dispersed vacation homes. Committed to eating out, we walked two and a half miles down to Birch Harbor. There, we walked into the one bustling restaurant, the Pickled Wrinkle. A wrinkle is a type of large carnivorous snail, a whelk, apparently. We passed on the pickled snails and split a large, safe pizza. I regret not trying the snails, but you can imagine your gut’s vote after sailing for hours and smelling those fish.

After a hurried walk along the dark shoulder-less road we arrived back at the pier. We walked down the now less steep ramp, where it became clear The Dingy was not were we left her. I spotted an oar floating between the supports of the dock, and we then discovered her capsized, submerged under her neighbor. The other oar was in arm’s reach from a nearby dingy. It appeared in the rising tide (a fifteen foot swing), she had lodged under a horizontal beam and filled with water. We thought ourselves fortunate to recover both oars, who knows how long they had been floating around. With great effort we dragged our poor dinghy up on dock, drained her, and rowed back to Isla to sleep.

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