Testing Al’s “Maine Dinghy Anchoring System”

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After our two nights in Richmond Cove waiting out the rainy Sunday, we were eager to begin our trek into Maine for real. After reading the Maine Guidebook and doing a little searching online, we decided to go to Diamond Island just two miles off of Portland. We called ahead for a mooring (no anchoring there in the Cove) but only got an answering machine. Two more calls on Monday as we traveled, same story. Hmmmm…. Underway, we discussed other options. Peakes Island just before Diamond?  

Then we received some disappointing news. Magnolia had mechanical difficulties as they left Portsmouth to join us and had to turn back. They will have to stay there waiting for a part and a mechanic, possibly until Friday.  😞

Once again, the day was overcast, no sunshine. But there was no fog and the seas were very calm so we were pleased about that. Some of the sights along the way —

We are already seeing the quintessential Maine island – rocky shore and pine trees.
Maine’s oldest operating lighthouse, Portland Head Light. Built during the presidency of George Washington and first renovated in 1813, Portland Head Light 
The Ram Island Ledges are a series of stone ledges, some of which break the waters at the southern end of Casco Bay. Construction began on May 1, 1903, and was completed in 1905.
Portland was visible between the islands as we maneuvered through them.
These ferries come and go, carrying people from Portland out to the islands.

We slowly made our way through Peakes Island harbor looking for moorings or a place to anchor. We could not find anything that looked suitable, to us. 

Passing by the ferry dock on Peaks Island.

Let’s try Diamond Cove. We received a belated return call from the marina and learned that they have no moorings, only slips.. Now where? We searched the chart for something nearby. Chandler Cove on Great Chebeague Island? 

Our 15 nautical mile trip from Richmond Island to Great Chebeague Island.

We found plenty of space to anchor in Chandler Cove at Great Chebeague Island. Nothing to do, but a safe place to stop for the day. At low tide, which it was, a sandy and rocky beach was visible connecting Great Chebeage Island to Little Chebeague Island. WE NEED TO STRETCH OUR LEGS – dinghy down!

And that brings me to Al’s dinghy anchoring system, devised for this Maine trip. Every day in Maine the tides are significant – ranging from 8-11 feet of water ebbing and flowing. If you don’t pay attention, your dinghy will be left high and dry on a beach or rocks.

While at anchor in Richmond Island, Al prepared the line for his system, playing it out behind the boat to find the middle of the line.
The line was then neatly coiled in a bucket with the attached buoy at the center of the line. The bucket goes into the dinghy.
Al’s dinghy anchoring concept is simple. A pulley is attached to a float and float is anchored in deep water about 75ft from shore.
Then 150ft of floating rope goes through the pulley and is connected at each end to the bow of the boat. The rope is then tied to shore at the midway point.
There were no rocks or logs to tie the line to on this beach so Al brought along an old beach umbrella pole to screw into the sand.

Why are we doing this? #1So that Al doesn’t have to go swimming to get the dinghy when the tide comes in. #2 So that he can drop me off on a shore before sending the dinghy back out.

Ready to do some beach combing with my tall rubber boots and my sea glass bag.
After an enjoyable walk, Al pulls the dinghy back to shore for me to hop into.
We collected quite a few pieces of sea glass o n our walk, but tossed back most of it. Some of these may not be keepers in the end.
The ferry comes in and out of Chandler Cove several times a day. Makes it a bit rolly.
OOOooh! We have company! A 55+ foot Nordhaven anchored nearby.
Kindred Spirit anchored in Chandler Cove, Great Chebeague Island. We will be moving on in the morning.

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