3 September, 2015
We stayed on a mooring/dock (They’re like a piece of dock with an anchor, detached from land like a mooring. Ours was about 40’ long, so we could tie alongside and get off the boat and onto it. Ours had a water spigot as well-pretty cool) at Northeast Harbor until September 3rd. While we were there, we took the dinghies to shore with Steve and Julia and hiked the 3 miles up to Jordan Pond via Thuya Gardens. Thuya Lodge and Gardens is a 140 acre preserve which was gifted to the residents of Mt. Desert Island by a Boston landscape architect, Joseph Henry Curtis in 1928. He built a lodge on the site, where he summered from the 1880’s until the 1920’s. This cabin has been restored, and is furnished with much of its’ original furnishings, and is now open to the public. The semi-formal English Border Garden, (which is extensive-several acres, was in full bloom) and much of the landscaping throughout the property was created by Charles Savage, a landscape architect who was the Trustee of the property for some 37 years during the mid 1900’s. The gardens and beautifully restored lodge are a must-see for visitors to the island. Our hike to Jordan Pond traversed a mixed hardwood forest on well-groomed trails. With the sun filtering down through the canopy, and temperatures in the low 70’s, it was a perfect day for a stroll. We emerged at Jordan Pond’s restaurant just in time for a fashionably late lunch. Famous for its’ popovers, the restaurant made some pretty fancy sandwiches as well, all washed down with a glass (or two) of prosecco. After lunch, we all hiked the 3 mile trail around Jordan Pond (a freshwater reservoir supplying drinking water for the island). The terrain was flat, but traversed several different ecosystems ranging from boggy to rocky to forested. At the end of the day, we hopped on one of the free Acadia Park Service buses for a ride back to the boats. We spent another day sprucing up the boats-Steve washing and waxing, and us beginning the painful process leading up to varnishing our rails. After a day of sanding and scraping, the Girl was looking pretty shabby, and will probably continue to until she’s finally varnished (I don’t know when). While we were engaged in rehab, Cindra and Dave slid in to the other side of our float, aboard their 37’ Beneteau sailboat, “Restless”. We were having S & J over for Suzanne’s now-famous Cioppino (San Francisco fish stew-hers with lobster, Halibut, mussels, and scallops), so we invited Dave and Cindra too. It turned out to be a great mix, and we all had a fun evening of sips, eats, and conversation. “Restless” and “Erben Renewal” left the next day, and Suzanne and I spent the afternoon exploring and shopping in the village of Northeast Harbor. Suz was able to augment her wardrobe, and I got to pick up a few kitchen gadgets. It was a nice justthetwoofus day. I called Hinckley Boat Yard, over in Southwest Harbor, late in the afternoon, to confirm our haul-out for the next day (the 3rd). When I spoke to Will, the service manager, he said that he’d be in Northeast that evening, and would stop by the boat to go through our wishlist with us.
On the morning of the 3rd, we were off the mooring by 08h00, and on the mooring at Hinckley by 08h35. The tide state dictated a 14h30 haulout, so we spent the morning packing our bags for our flight to Asheville, North Carolina, where our daughter, Alison would be marrying our soon-to-be son, Ben Wells. We watched the guys hauling smaller boats through the early afternoon. Around 14h15, we heard the “beep, beep, beep” of the 80 ton lift as it moved towards the ramp. No activity for another half an hour-we figured that it was break time. By 15h00, there was still no activity, the tide was falling, and our ride to the airport was still coming at 1700h. Call on the VHF. “What’s happenin’ guys?” “Did you hear that bang?” (Uh Oh) “The Travelift is broken, don’t think it’ll be fixed ‘till Tuesday (Monday was Labor Day)”. Now I’m getting’ a little nervous. First, I’m not sure the Girl will go 4 days on her batteries while she’s hanging on a mooring, and we’ve got several months of food in the freezers. Second, no one but me has ever driven our Girl into or out of a lift, we’ve always been there. No problem, Hinckley will cover our dockage down at the marina so we can plug in, and they’ll send a guy out right now so I can show him how to run the boat. Still not feeling real great about this. Well………..Shaun, the dockmaster comes out to the boat, and we go through the systems. Turns out he’s a delivery captain in the off-season when not working for Hinckley. Okay, now I’m feeling better-not best, but much better. We got the Girl up to the dock at Great Harbor Marina, had some dinner, said goodbye to “Alizann”, and waited for Nick(Nick and his Dad Nick are SW harbor police officers and have a taxi company- City Cab) to pick us up for our hour and a half ride to the Sheraton at Bangor airport. We both had a little unease about the way the day had unfolded, but our negative thoughts were overshadowed by the fantastic upcoming events in North Carolina that we were so looking forward to.
As it turned out, the broken lift was a mere foreshadowing of the events that were to unfold in Maine. But more on that,