Two “10” Days!

posted in: Maine | 2

The day we left Five Islands was a near perfect “10”, close enough for us to give it that score. Blue skies, calm seas, and a light breeze.

This is the view I will remember from our summer. We cruise pass island after island of various shapes and sizes, all rocky topped with tall pines.
This day’s selection of working lobster boats.
There was a perfect wind for sailing so the sails were up all around us.

Along the way we passed two lighthouses, each with their own interesting history.

Cuckolds Lighthouse, Southport, Maine is located on a pair of small islands outside of Boothbay Harbor. The tower and lighthouse keeper’s house was built in 1892 for $25,000 to provide safe passage in the fog to Boothbay Harbor. The lighthouse was automated in 1974 and then the Coast Guard designated it as unnecessary in 2004. The National Historic Lighthouse Preservation Act led to the creation of Cuckolds Island Fog Signal and Light Station. From 2010-2012 the buildings were all rebuilt. In June 2014, the beautifully restored lighthouse opened to overnight guests as the Inn at Cuckolds Lighthouse with two elegantly appointed, modern luxury suites .

Cuckolds Lighthouse, Southport, Maine.
The Inn in the lighthouse abruptly closed on July 31, 2019, right in the middle of the busy summer season with no plans to reopen. I can’t find any information on why it closed.

Tenants Harbor Lighthouse on Southern Island, is at the mouth of Tenants Harbor, St. George, Maine. Erected in 1857 the tall cylindrical tower stood 27 feet tall..  The lighthouse was decommissioned and sold at auction in 1934. In 1978 Andrew and Betsy Wyeth purchased the property. Wyeth had a studio inside the base of the bell tower.

Tenants Harbor Lighthouse

The lighthouse appears in paintings by Andrew Wyeth and by his son Jamie Wyeth. A little googling revealed these —

Signal Flag, Fog Bell, Easterly by Andrew Wyeth
Paintings by Jamie Wyeth, distinctly different from his father’s.

We headed into Tenants Harbor and were directed to our mooring by Tenants Harbor Boatyard.

Tenants Harbor Boatyard, a very friendly working yard.

After getting settled on our mooring, we went to shore to explore and have lunch. 

A view of Kindred Spirit from the hill above the boatyard.
“The Happy Clam”. A restaurant specializing in seafood and German food. A unique “biergarten.” We were reminded of the little food places we found in the Bahamas. Not by the German twist, but by the look and ambiance.
Al had the recommended Lobster Reuben, complete with sauerkraut, thousand island dressing and swiss cheese. I kept it simple and the Lobster BLT.
There were many charming homes (again) to see on our walk. This one was my favorite. Three round portholes.
Every town we have visited is blooming with flower gardens. I think that the winters are so harsh that Mainers make the most of the warmer seasons. We appreciate those efforts!

This was definitely a “10” day, ending with a lovely evening sky.

We awoke to an absolutely perfect “10” morning, too!

This was the first day of the cruise that we could have our coffee out in the cockpit, one of our favorite things to do. 

Tenants Harbor is a busy harbor, but not too busy.  Lots to watch, but never annoyingly hectic.

Lobster boats nearby. All in perfect condition.
I spent part of the morning sitting on the flybridge watching the sailing school go up and down the harbor.

The previous evening we saw a lovely schooner enter the harbor and anchor for the night. This morning they were ferrying people back and forth to shore. Just as we dropped our mooring, we could see the schooner leaving ahead of us.  Victory Chimes, is a three-masted schooner, built in Delaware in 1900, and originally known as “Edwin and Maud” named for her first captain’s children. A US National Historic Landmark, she is the last surviving Chesapeake Ram schooner.

Victory Chimes leaving Tenants Harbor

The ship is now a charter cruise boat, “offering unique 3 – 6 day all-Inclusive, Maine sailing adventures. We set off by wind and whim, so we don’t specifically know where we’ll end up. Each trip is a unique adventure, rich with fine sailing, delicious food, comfy cabins and good company.”

Outside the harbor, we pass Victory Chimes.

What a day on the water! It was so perfect that we moved to the flybridge for the short trip we had planned.

Another Maine lighthouse caught our eye – Whitehead  Island Lighthouse. Thomas Jefferson signed the authorization for the construction of a small dwelling and a stone lighthouse in 1803 on Whitehead Island at the mouth of Penobscot Bay. 

In 1982  Whitehead Light Station was automated and the dwellings and outbuildings were shuttered and abandoned.  In 1996, through the Maine Lights Program, Pine Island Camp bought the Whitehead Light Station and began a 12-year restoration process. The facility is a remote but comfortable place with a private bath in each room, electricity, and comfortable common areas, including a library.

Our route for the day was 7 nautical miles to Spaulding Island to visit our friends from the Bahamas and Maine who are rebuilding a cottage that overlooks the cove there. They suggested we might want to detour to the other side of Muscle Ridge Channel and check out a little harbor between Dix Island, High Island and Birch Island. It was a perfect place to spend an hour exploring. It reminded us of poking around in the Bahamas, finding sweet little spots to spend an afternoon. The water is incredibly clear, just not as blue. And a bit chillier.

We anchored off one of the tiny islands.
The track from Tenants Harbor to the harbor formed between Dix, High and Birch Islands, and over to Spaulding Island.

After a couple of hours of exploration, we crossed Muscle Ridge Channel to Spaulding Cove. John and Carol were preparing lobster chowder!

John and Carol’s house overlooking Spaulding Cove.
Izzy the cat is surveying our dinner as they walk to the hot tub. (John’s description!)
The chef, stirring the pot.
John’s lobster chowder, followed by rhubarb spoon cake (recipe from The Lost Kitchen.) Everything was soooooo good!!
We had a lot of catching up to do and stories were told throughout our time together. Thank you, John and Carol, for your hospitality!
From John and Carol’s deck we could see Kindred Spirit, moored near Relentless and Krytonite, two lobster boats.

2 Responses

  1. Clouds Over Boothbay | Kindred Spirit

    […] on the VHF. The photo does not do Unforgettable justice, but it does show how overcast the day was. Whitehead Island Lighthouse at the southwestern end of Penobscot Bay. I do believe this is a repeat lighthouse for the blog. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *