Monday, August 25, 2008

Phippsburg, ME to Portsmouth, NH

We stayed at our anchorage in the Basin overnight again on the 19th to wait out some weather that was passing through. There was a chilly rain a good bit of the day, inspiring Joe to request chili for dinner – which really did hit the spot! This picture, taken at near low tide, shows the rocky shoreline and the extreme tides changes – often nine or ten feet. The next day dawned bright and sunny, if a bit windy, and we started off on our planned trip to Will’s Gut.

As we left the Basin we again ran the gamut of the lobster pots.

And on our way up to Harpswell Harbor, there they were again. You may wonder why we keep harping on these lobster pots, thinking that we would be accustomed to crab pots anyway. There are soooo many more lobster pots (3 million licensed in Maine!) – even in 150 feet of water or more! Anyway, we made it through to Harpswell Harbor and dropped anchor.

Another pleasant anchorage, but the real draw here is the cribstone bridge that connects Bailey and Orrs Islands.
It is constructed of granite slabs – held in place by their own weight – in an open design to let the water run through. It is thought to be the only granite cribstone bridge in existence. Of course there’s always a price to pay – this time it was the big “ding” in the dinghy prop from a submerged rock when we went to take the pictures.

Besides seeing the bridge, though, there happened to be a restaurant right there that just happened to sell lobsters and blueberry pie (the absolute best ever).
Another interesting thing we noticed in this area is the construction of the piers. Some appeared to be on driven pilings, but other's seemed to be using the same crib design as the bridge except out of wood.
Thursday, the 21st, we made the short trip from Harpswell to Portland, ME. During our travels in Maine we've passed many, many small islands. All of them must have a name, of course, and we've enjoyed trying to pronounce some of them!
This one was easy to pronounce but hard to figure where it came from - Junk of Pork Island.
We managed to get a mooring at the Centerboard Yacht Club in South Portland. Included in the reasonable mooring fee was use of the laundry and shower as well as a launch service that would take us to the yacht club or across the river to Portland. We made good use of the launch and really explored Portland.
Joe describes the city as a “gentle” San Francisco. Although the biggest city in Maine, it is certainly much smaller than San Francisco. It has hills – thankfully, also much smaller than San Francisco’s! We took a trolley tour for a great over view of the city and at least a “drive by” of many sights and also learned lots of interesting stuff – including that Portland is second only to San Francisco in the number of restaurants per capita.
Seafood is abundant of course, but one night Joe gave me a treat and took me to the Flatbread Company – delicious pizza cooked in a wood fired stone oven. Yes, Joe had finally had his fill of lobster!
While we were eating we could look out at some of the fishing boats. Joe especially liked this one and thought we should find out who did their lettering for them in case we need to replace ours.
There has been a big push to encourage independent businesses to locate in downtown Portland - chain stores have been almost completely shut out, although we did see two Starbuck's. We also made it to the Museum of Art displaying a variety of artists and a special Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit;
Victoria House which was the first “summer” mansion built in Maine – about 150 years ago;

mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, built in 1869 and recently – beautifully – renovated.

I wouldn't want to jump to any conclusions about the Catholic community in Portland - but this sign was across from the entrance.

Also during our 3 ½ day stay, Joe managed to change the engine and transmission oils and go to two marine supply stores, we got hair cuts (!!!), did laundry and the yacht club commodore took us to the grocery store. In case there’s any doubt – Joe and I both thoroughly enjoyed Portland and would go back. One reason to go back is somehow we were within blocks of the LL Bean Outlet store and MISSED it! Monday, the 25th, we got a late start under overcast skies.
On the way into Portland I took - or thought I did - some great pictures of the Portland light. All bad as it turned out. This is the best the weather allowed on our way out. It's one of the most photographed light houses in the country. The weather cleared up and made it down to Portsmouth.
This time with no plans to stay more than overnight we opted for a mooring away from the city in Pepperell Cove – beautiful day and sunset!
If you'd like to see more pictures, follow the link to our picasa albums: (it's not always updated at the same time as this one, but I catch up eventually!)

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