Need a water taxi?

Bar Harbour has a bar. Not a alcoholic one for the purposes of this story, but an area of land, like Holy Island in Northumberland, that gets covered twice a day by the rise and fall of the tide. The island, maybe 400m off the mainland, is accessible an hour and an half either side of low tide. It’s a short walk from the centre of town and provides an interesting easy adventure for visitors.

We are anchored in clear view of the bar and it’s a daily sport to watch people paddle or wade their way back to the mainland. Some still choose to paddle across with a third of the bar under water on a rising tide, get to the island side, realise their misjudgement then strip down to their pants and wade back. It amuses us simple creatures.

Dave wanted to get some climbing in so we were just about to get into the tender to head ashore when a fishing boat came over saying the harbourmaster had radioed them saying there were a couple of people stuck on the island. The fishermen couldn’t get their boat in close so we would mind popping over in our dinghy. Dave ended up doing 3 trips back and forward, ultimately bringing 5 adults and 4 kids back. By now it was about 11am and one of the women said, “we were sure we had until at least 1pm before the tide came in”. I don’t think so!

Climbing delayed but only for an hour. We went to a place called Otter Point and I enjoyed some banter with a local ‘young buck’ instructor who commented on my climbing footwear. They do represent the history of climbing being around 25 years old. I’m supporting the ‘don’t throw it away when there’s still a modicum of life in it’ lobby.

We’re back in Bar Harbour as there are things we still want to do here….hire bikes for the day, walk the Precipice Trail and do a bit more climbing. For a change of scene though, we had a couple of nights over at Southwest Harbour, a 3 hour sail from here. We met Susi, a brilliantly entertaining b&b owner and longtime sailor. We were welcomed into her home, fed, watered, offered a car and regaled with tales of her family living on a boat for three years and travelling round the Pacific when she was 12, back in 1970.

She recruited Dave and I (there wasn’t much of a struggle) to help out for a few days at next week’s International One Design World Championship Regatta. It’ll be a hoot. Then we get to spend a few days with our friend Ken who is out in Maine on his hollybobs. Looking forward to a fun few days.


To go or not to go?

Canada sits about 20 miles away. We saw it today on our ‘Helen Hike’ around the The Bold Coast Trail. 4 miles on the road to the trail head, then what felt like a long 9 miles around the trail. We gratefully hitched a lift back from a generous woman and her niece. Another 4 miles on the road back to Cutler and Dave was threatening sense of humour failure, big time.

The walk itself was pretty undulating through fir and spruce forest but also provided great views on the coastal section. I didn’t see one piece of litter on the whole trail. There’s something to brag about. Not even a piece of abandoned orange peel or pistachio nut shells. That’s been our experience around Maine. It’s very clean here…and friendly.

For example, we asked one of the dock lads on the working pier about where we could get a couple of jerry cans of water. There’s just salt water on the dock so he had to think for a mo but replied that the church over the road had a kitchen downstairs with sinks. “It’s always open, have a look there” he said. “ and if the jerry’s don’t fit under the tap, Jeremy on the boat over there will be ashore in 10 minutes, that’s his house next to the church, he’ll sort you a hose”.

We filled the cans then another lobster fisherman spotted us leaving the church. “Have you got far to walk with those?” We said about 300m. “Take them to the dock and we’ll lower them down onto the platform for you with the derrick. Bring your tender round and it’ll save you the walk”.

The dilemma is do we pop over the border in Canada? Another country? We’ve love Maine. Everyone who has sailed here said we would. They were right. But at some point we have to turn round and head back west and the winds will probably dictate that.

Other remnants of news…I got older. We ate loads of mussels that we’d collected from a rocky ledge with Brian and Steph and also bought lobsters to complete the sea food fest. We had a top campfire on the beach of Knight Island. And we’ve seen no other british flagged boats since we’ve been in Maine. It feels like we’ve been off the beaten track a bit.