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!

7 thoughts on “Rackliff Island

  1. Lovely post Russ, nice to have some history! For our honeymoon we stayed in Camden, for our 25tyh anniversary, we went back and stopped at the Marshall Lighthouse where i bought a fleece with the lighthouse embroidered on it.


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