Rackliff Island

Ever since we drove upon “my family’s” island 32 years ago, I thought it would be cool to someday visit by boat. We needed very calm weather, as you’re pretty much anchoring in an unprotected cove right off the Atlantic Ocean. Rackliff Island is a small island, connected to the mainland with a causeway, in the vicinity of Port Clyde.  My Rackliffe family (their variation at the time was without an “e” at the end) has northeast roots going back to William Rackliff who settled in Portsmouth, NH in 1640. Within a few years, the expanding family moved northward throughout Maine.  300 years later, best I can determine, Rackliff Island was likely owned by Alvin Rackliff as he lived on nearby Weir Point.  Alvin was a lifelong lobsterman who passed away in 2012 at nearly 92.  Until age 78, he was still hauling 800 lobster pots. Alvin would be a bit surprised (& disappointed) that his island has been subdivided into lots with houses running $600,00 – $2,000,00+.

That’s us with Rackliff Island in the background
While anchored there, I zoomed off to a passing lobster boat & bought lobsters right off the boat. The best lobsters ever!
This is an unedited photo of sailing schooners sailing by in Penobscot Bay – the weather was a bit funky, which gave it a great look
A rainbow over Boothbay Harbor
You can never outsmart the lobster boats … one night we anchored far away from any lobster pots & away from any channels or fairways so we would be able to sleep past 5 AM without being waked or hit by one with a forecast of heavy fog. Apparently we found their favorite foggy day Menhaden (bait fish) spot as 4 lobster boats surrounded us very early with their nets.
One of our favorite stops is at Five Island Lobster Co. in Georgetown. They have 3 moorings for boaters to use & their lobster is great! Some of the tiny 5 islands have rustic cottages & it’s fun to kayak around them.
We’ve seen hundreds of seals, but usually just their heads looking around before they swim under. This guy was going crazy trying to eat an entire school of fish.

The Marshall Point lighthouse used in the filming of Forest Gump. Forest (Tom Hanks) concluded his cross-county run on the walkway out to the lighthouse.

The weather has been unusually cool & rainy up here the last few weeks – we were hoping for the same glorious July weather we experienced 3 years ago, but … not this year.

We’re continuing to head back south – Lori says we can’t stop until we find some warmth!

Rockland & Belfast Maine

With the seas calmed down, we’re off to Maine!

A few miles offshore, we spotted this fin swimming alongside …

Shark!!?

 

 

 

No … but something almost as scary … an Ocean Sunfish.  They were given this name as they appear to be sunning themselves while swimming on their sides near the surface.  This one appeared to be a youngin’, as adults grow to over 6 feet. This photo is not distorted – they have a very unique roundish shape, including their distinctly shaped tail.

One of the lighthouses out on the Isles of Shoals, a cluster of 9 small islands 6 miles off the coast of New Hampshire & Maine.
Hard to see & a bit blurry at this zoom level, but this is an Atlantic Puffin we spotted passing Eastern Egg Rock. This tiny island 2 miles off the Maine coast is one of only 6 nesting islands in the entire U.S.  Researchers on the island study them while hiding behind wooden blinds.  The little white flags are likely marking nests, which the puffins build between the boulders.
Now! you can tell we’re in Maine!
After brief anchoring stops in Harpswell & Friendship, our first stay was in Rockland. We are beginning our lobster cuisine with a lobster BLT accompanied by lobster stew.

Belfast was our next stop. This was our most-favorite stop 3 years ago during the Lobsta Crawl cruise with other PDQ boat owners.  Lobsta Crawl video from 3 years ago

We had a few nice days here, but not as much as back then.  This time, no visit from Benj & Lily, no Celtic Festival & our favorite french bakery closed down last week  😦

Saved by a bike trip to a fairly new donut shop, The Only Donut, featuring potato flour brioche donuts!

We often stumble upon unique surprises … now covered in shrink wrap within sight of our slip in Belfast is the USS Sequoia as she arrived 2 years ago aboard a barge from Virginia.  The Sequoia was known as the “floating White House” with 8 U.S. presidents using her between 1993 – 1977.  Numerous famous events took place aboard, including Roosevelt & Churchill planning D-day with maps on the salon table, JFK’s last birthday party & Nixon’s making his fateful decision to resign. You can spend a few hours reading the very fascinating history & viewing photos on-line from numerous sources.  After tens of millions of dollars & several years of restoration right here, she will be re-launched & cruise back to DC under private ownership.

Belfast will be our most “Down East” destination.  We’ll spend the next few weeks more slowly heading south stopping at all of the great spots we’ve sped by!