We are fortunate that our friends David and Susan on Dragonfly (N47) recommended Dysart’s Marina in Southwest Harbor. As a result we booked the summer well in advance and are fortunate to have done so. The marina is full for the brief season. More importantly, the marina is the summer home to several icons in the small world-crossing trawler community. We have been here only a week and have been thrilled to spend time with Milt and Judy Baker on Bluewater (N47). Milt established and runs the Nordhavn Owners Group, an invaluable resource for all Nordhavn owners. He and Judy helped organize the Nordhavn North Atlantic Rally, have taken their boat across the Atlantic to the Med and spent several seasons there, and have cruised the East Coast for many years. Both are delightful, generous to the extreme, and an incredible source of information. Their guests for the past several days were Scott and Mary Flanders of Egret (N46). Egret circumnavigated and was the first Nordhavn to round the Horn. We enjoyed dinner aboard Bluewater with these guys and what an evening it was. If ever you need inspiration to travel far and wide on your boat talk to these guys or any of the many other Nordhavn owners who are traveling the globe. Their experiences in Patagonia, the Chilean Channels, the Med, crossing the North Atlantic via Greenland and Iceland, the South Pacific, on and on…..is remarkable. Makes me want to cast off the lines and go now. Bruce Kessler aboard Spirit of Zopilote is also here. Bruce captivated the boating community by circumnavigating in his Northern Marine boat Zopilote and reignited interest in crossing oceans on powerboats. Today there are hundreds of ocean travelers exploring the world in their trawlers.
We’ve spent the week getting to know Southwest Harbor, we’ve walked the short half-mile into town several times with stops at restaurants, the grocery store, haircut for the Captain, etc. Yesterday we had a wonderful time with the Bakers and Flanders traveling by tour boat to Frenchboro on Long Island. The boat departed Bass Harbor and traveled past various islands enroute to Frenchboro with stops to view sea lions, eagles, terns, guillemots, eider ducks, etc. The guide grew up in Southwest Harbor and provided a terrific summary of the region’s history, Long Island’s history, the wildlife in the area, and the lobster industry. Several conservation success stories were shared; Eider ducks were hunted to near extinction for their down but are now thriving; the bald headed eagle is also now present in large numbers; protected islands that were stripped of their spruce forests 100 years ago are now reforested and pristine. A bit of encouraging news amongst otherwise bleak forecasts for planet Earth.
After a nice lobster roll lunch in Frenchboro and a brief walk about town (any walk here would be brief) we motored back to Bass Harbor with a stop along the way to pull up a lobster pot and show us how the lobsters are sized and sexed. I was happy to learn that, in spite of the 3 million lobster traps set each year (a million of which we have had to dodge), the lobster population is increasing and that overfishing isn’t an issue. The cod industry is another matter; there are no more cod fisheries in the northeast, they are gone, completely wiped out here by overfishing…a hard-learned lesson.
Yet another fabulous day cruising!