The Harbor Hop

Trip Start Jul 26, 2008
Trip End Aug 03, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Maine
Friday, August 1, 2008

Today we spent a lot of time going from harbor to harbor. Our first harbor stop was in Northeast Harbor. We took quite a bit of time watching the ships come and go in and out of the harbor. It seems everyone anchors their boat in the deeper parts of the harbor and then ride smaller dingies into the docks. I have attached a picture of a rather large yacht with it's small boat beside it. Not quite a dingy...

Northeast Harbor has had quite an eventful week for a quiet town. Three of the shops on Main Street caught on fire Monday and burned to the ground. As you will see in the picture, the shops are right next to each other. It is a miracle that only two shops went up in flames. We overheard someone talking today saying that there was no wind that day. This is an oddity, especially with the shops being so close to the harbor. Sadly enough, though, there were some homes above the shops and those apartments were also destroyed. We saw an elderly woman sifting through pictures and objects recovered from the rubble to see if any of her belongings could be salvaged. It was really a depressing sight. You could tell she was devasted, but the encouraging part of this scene was the townspeople who had gathered to help her sort through it all. We saw a real vision of community in that moment. (Out of respect for the woman, we opted not to take a picture. However, it is an image that will remain in my memory.)

The next stop on our harbor tour was Southwest Harbor. This area is very similar to Northeast Harbor. By the time we got there, the fog was really starting to roll in. The sun was all but gone and the temperatures were starting to come down (the temps dropped from 76 to 73 degrees in the short time we were there). Both of the harbor towns had the same kind of shops and restaurants along the main road through town, while having a busy harbor with all kinds of boats coming in and out. Both of these areas are obviously favorite sailing stops along the Maine coast.

The last harbor we went to was Bass Harbor so that we could see the Bass Harbor Light. This is one of the most photographed lighthouses in Maine; you may recognize it. I don't know what it is about a lighthouse that draws so many people, but it seemed as though everyone on Mt. Desert Island was there while we were there. It was amazing that we were able to snap a couple of shots of the lighthouse while no one was in front of it! The lighthouse is actually built into the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean. In the picture from the side of the lighthouse, take a look to the right. You should be able to see the ocean there, but it was so foggy that the visibility was very poor. When we took the trail leading to the ocean side of the lighthouse, visibility was so bad that we could hear boats sounding their horns in front of us in the ocean, but we could not see one part of them. I guess this is the fog we've heard so much about!

We slowly worked our way back to our favorite harbor, Bar Harbor, and got ready for dinner. By the time we headed out, everyone we passed was wearing long sleeves and/ or jackets and long pants. It was very chilly tonight, by far the coolest night we've had. The restaurant we ate at had outdoor seating. They were apparently desperate to use this seating, so they brought out three enormous heaters in order to use the outdoor tables. (By the way, we hear that it's been in the upper 90s all week back home. Sure hate we've missed that! Ha, ha!)

We plan to go back and visit some of our favorite places tomorrow. I guess tomorrow's entry will be along the lines of a "Best of Bar Harbor" entry. Where do you think we're heading?
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