A newsletter for sailors who use the Fifth edition of A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast.
Volume 5, number 1 June, 2009
Dear Fellow Cruisers:
Thank you for using the fifth (2008) edition of A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast. It is by far the best editon of the guide, with more detail and accuracy than ever before. But, alas, with one season under its belt I need once again to face the sad truth that: publishing a cruising guide is akin to selling fruit. As shiny as it is, it is continually going bad. First there are my mistakes. Then there is change.And then there is new information or clarification, much of it brought to my attention by cruisers like you.
For past editions of the Guide, I have tried various ways of compiling these changes. For this fifth edition, I am back to the Notices to Maine Cruisers format because it compiles all the change in one place, which should make updating your guide easier.
Thank you to all who have sent us comments. We greatly appreciate hearing about any discrepancies, misinformation, or oversights in the Guide. And please relay to us your cruising experiences, both good and bad, along the coast. Your input will be the backbone of Notices to Maine Cruisers, as well as the soul of A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast. Thank you in advance.
Portland Harbor, p. 65
South Portland has a large town dock on the south shore of the Fore River, west of the Casco Bay Bridge. It has ample depth at low and very resonable allowable docking periods. Both Hannaford's and Shaws markets are within walking distance, as are several auto parts stores.
Wiscasset, p. 131
Doug Smith offers the following discouraging details about Wiscasset:
The upper Sheepscot River, above Ovens Mouth, is choked with lobster buoys, due in part to a lobster coop, which bought a local boat yard of Westport Island several years ago, making the upper river homeport to many "new" lobsterboats. Often the current is running hard enough to pull the pot buoys 1' to 3' underwater, so they aren't visible. Wiscasset itself suffers as a cruising destination due to its lack of a market withing walking distance of the town docks.Wiscasset has continued to neglect its waterfront and provides virtually no services. Finding the harbormaster for the guest moorings can also be a frustrating task. There is a town landing, but the only facility is a public restroom, the only one in town, that is very basic and not appealing. The yacht club used to offer services to visiting boats, but they don't have any regular help and their facilities are very primitive.
The town has also lost many of its amenities that yachtsmen look for. We have no grocery or drugstore within walking distance, the downtown hardware store is now mostly a gift shop and the shopping is basically limited to antique stores.
There are several banks, Keybank is in the heart of the village, Savings Bank of Maine is next to the court house and easy pleasant walk through the historic district and the First is about a 1/4 mile up Route 27 from U.S. 1.
For very basic groceries there are two convenience stores. The Clipper Mart is located just South of the main village on U.S. 1. To get there, take a left leaving the docks and follow the road, staying to the left via Fore Street as it winds up the hill to U.S. 1. This is a pleasant 1/2 mile walk.
The second choice is Wiscasset 1 stop, which sells liquor and is located out Route 27. Leave the docks and walk 3/10 of a mile towards the bridge on U.S. 1 and take a left up the hill going South on U.S. 1. Go about 1/4 mile and take Route 27 for 1/2 mile to the store. This again is a convenience store with limited choices.
The closest grocery store is Shaw's, which is 3 miles from the Clipper Mart on U.S. 1 South (about 3.5 miles from the docks). The closest full service hardware store with some marine supplies is Ames True Value. This is the largest True Value store in Maine and is on the way to Shaw's. It is 1.7 miles South of the Clipper Mart or 2.5 miles from the docks. Either store would be an arduous treck in summer with all the traffic. There is also no local taxi service.
Across the river is the Sheepscot River Village and Resort. This is a full service resort with restaurant, bar and entertainment. They also have moorings, but are not really geared for transient boaters unless they have added this recently. Leave the docks and walk 3/10 of a mile to U.S. 1 and cross the bridge and go 9/10 of a mile to the resort.
As far as restaurants: Le Garage and Bintliff's at the Sheepscot River Village are the two "fancier" sit down restaurants with great views of the river and are open for lunch. Le Garage also has a nice bar and food service in their downstairs lounge.
Sarah's and Reds Eats are at the foot of the bridge on U.S. 1. Red's is a tourist destination with only take out and some picnic tables right on U.S. 1 with long lines. Sarah's is a casual sit down restaurant with a varied menu with a pub next door.
Out Route 27 is Mark Anthony's Italian restaurant. A small local place with the "singing chef". Check before you walk out there as they are open different days of the week depending the season and have served lunch off and on.
Treet's is still in the heart of the village with specialty foods and wines for that special occassion.
Damariscove, p. 133
Island Caretakers Nick and Tracey Euler report that the two moorings the Land Trust maintains for guests have differing depths at low. The first, just off the stone pier, has 6 feet. The second, a little further up the harbor, is good only to 4 feet.
Port Clyde, p. 190
The harbormaster writes: "Port Clyde. PCGS controls 20 moorings. Anchoring should be done outside of the middle of the harbor as there is much ferry/dragger/lobster harvester traffic in the unmarked channel area (mid-harbor)."
Ragged Island (Criehaven), p. 187
Dr. John Maul writes: "I want to mention that when we went into Criehaven in a really dense fog last week; I moved up the harbor toward the beach and turned in to pick up a nice large mooring buoy, so I could row in and get someone's permission. They said that buoy belonged to a man who had a very nice lobster yacht tied up at the last dock on the right and he only used it in a storm (name may be Cleveland and they were referring to using the mooring only in a storm). But when the tide drained out, I noted with some alarm a ledge just to the northeast of this mooring to which a number of large chains appeared to be fixed. These may be the "cables" that hold the moorings. If you are up there you may want to take a look for yourself. This ledge stands out sixty or more feet from shore. It is off the north shore at the eastern end of the harbor and there is nothing there to mark it. It is a good thing that we did not swing too wide on picking up the mooring. The harbor was great and we never saw anything of Ragged Island or Matinicus due to the fog."
Tenants Harbor and Long Cove, p. 190
St. George Harbormaster Dave Schmanska clarifies anchoring and mooring in Tenants: "There is NO anchoring in the area inside of the first (seaward) red and green channel markers. The inner harbor is now closed to additional mooring placement, thus there is no room for safe anchoring. Anchoring is still allowed outside (seaward) of the red and greens and in Long Cove. Mooring rentals are only available from Cod End and Lyman/Morse (THBY). Arts Lobsters and Withams Wharf do NOT rent moorings, sell fuel/gas/lobsters or any thing else at the retail level. Cod End has dredged and has around ten feet at the gas float at low water. My phone number at the Town Office is 207.372.6363."
Long Cove, p. 191
Great Eastern Mussel Farms is out of business due to repeated harvesting closures and Canadian mussels flooding the market.
Passages East From Camden, p. 210
The red bell south of Robinsons Rock is bell "12." It previously was bell "8." We cuaght the change in the text, but not in the sketch chart above it, which still shows the bell as number "8."
Hurricane Island, p. 225
Hurricane Island is no longer being used by Hurricane Island Outward Bound. In fact, the name "Hurricane Island" has been dropped from this pioneer of expeditionarly learning, and the organization is now known simply as Outward Bound. Their Maine-coast programs are headquartered at Wheeler Bay in St. George, between Tenants Harbor and Muscle Ridge Channel. There are no moorings or docks at Hurricane Island, but the school's buildings remain. A new attempt is underway to use this incredible island for all educational interests. More information can be found at http://www.hurricaneisland.net.
Frenchboro, p. 291
Big happenings on Frenchboro! Frenchboro has a new town float and ramp, located on the eastern side of the harbor, "up inside." Jay and Tammy Desjardin have opened the Offshore Store, selling lobsters, stews, baked goods, marine supplies, and other outport necessities. They monitor VHF Ch. 80 or call 334-2943, e-mail or visit http://www.offshorestoreandmore.com. And don't forget to visit the Marissa's Frenchboro Bakery and Island Candy Shop. Out of a winter population of 51, 16 are kids under the age of 14, so this is the place to be. See http://www.frenchborobakery.com , 207-460-2099. The address is 99 Happy Place.
Northeast Harbor, p. 313
Clifton's Dock no longer offers pump-outs. Instead use Northeast Harbor Marina.
Cutler, p. 358
Cutler is not technically an Immigrations and Customs port and therefore should only be used as a port of entry in an emergency. Eastport (and Lubec with more difficulty) and Bar Harbor are official.
Head Harbour, Campobello, p. 378.
Jerry Axler reports that Neuman's Marina, on the south side of the narrow harbor, continues to be a work-in-progress, but that the folks there couldn't be more helpful. He entered via CANPASS on a Saturday with no problems, though he did have a little troubl rounding up a Canadian courtesy flag in Northeast Harbor (he got the last one at Brown's Hardware).
Eastport, p. 385
Jerry gives away this secret, too: what makes Rosie's hot dogs so good is the mustard that comes from Raye's mustard, made right in town.
FUNDY AND SAINT JOHN
Saint Andrews, p. 398.
The Seafarers' Internet Cafe is no more.
Boat Charters in Maine, p. 448
Hinckley Yacht Charters is located at Great Harbor Marina in Southwest Harbort, not at the Hinckley yard in Manset. Their web page is www.hinckleycharters.com (not hinckleyyachtcharters.com)
Notices to Maine Cruisers vol. 4 #1 spring 2002 Use this link if you are using the FOURTH edtion of A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast*
Notices to Maine Cruisers vol. 3 Use this link if you are using the THIRD edtion of A Cruising Guide to the Maine Coast*
* Please note that past Notices do not detail nearly all the changes that go into a new edition.
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