Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Westbound and down

We are westbound in the Bay of Fundy, with Head Harbor, New Brunswick astern and Grand Manan Island ahead. We are transiting Canadian waters under Innocent Passage, bound for an anchorage somewhere around Machias Bay, Maine. It's been a lovely stay in the easternmost reaches of the US.

Louise mimics the Small Town X fisherman sculpture in Eastport, Maine.

Friday evening we splashed the tender and rode in to Eastport, transiting the series of eddies between Vector and Buckman Head, which sounded like a waterfall belowdecks. The town dock, right next to a large pier that has even hosted a cruise ship, is at the north end of town, and we strolled the main drag, Water Street, through town to the "restaurant district," a cluster of three eateries all right next to one another. We had dinner on the deck at the Happy Crab, who had been happy to make an outside reservation for us.

Downtown Eastport.

Saturday was forecast to be rainy and blowing all day from late morning onward, and so we weighed anchor at 8am for the twenty-minute cruise to the Lubec Town Dock for water. I had to string together every potable-water hose we own to reach the ~140' to the spigot, and we used our entire two-hour allotment at the dock filling the tank. To be fair, Louise also ran two loads of laundry, at nearly 50 gallons a load, which amounts to having filled 20% of our tank twice.

Nerida, the Eastport Mermaid. A slightly less whimsical mascot for the town.

While we were at the dock, I hoofed it down to the post office to pick up our last two packages, including our big box of mail forwarded from our service in Florida. En route I passed the Saturday Market being set up in the park, which I thought optimistic given the forecast. Whereas the entire town was a ghost town when we arrived mid-week, on a Saturday morning it was relatively bustling.

Vector at the Lubec town dock, taking up most of it.

When we finished filling the water, we dropped lines and pulled around the corner into Johnson Bay, dropping the hook in exactly the same spot as when we first arrived. We had everything secure before the rain hit in earnest right at lunch time. It was a gully-washer for the rest of the day, acing us out of dinner at the lone other restaurant in town, open only on the weekend.

Setting up for the soon-to-be-drenched Saturday Market.

Sunday the winds clocked back around to the west, once again making it uncomfortable on the east side of the bay, and so we weighed anchor in the morning and drove right back to Buckman Head near Eastport, where we had figured to maybe get back ashore. By dinner time it was cold and choppy, though, so we opted to leave the tender on deck and remain aboard.

Yesterday was a much nicer day, and we splashed the tender in the morning, headed ashore with the backpacks, and hiked up to the IGA for the remaining provisions, for which I simply did not have room on my Walmart run. We each came back with a pack loaded with 20-30 pounds of goods.

There is apparently a critical shortage of Democratic campaign signs here. We passed this hand-made one on our way back to the dock.

We returned ashore at dinner time for a nice dinner at the WaCo Diner (we're in Washington County), which has been here for three quarters of a century. The front of the restaurant is a traditional diner, with booths, a counter, and lots of stainless. A newer addition in the back, the Schooner Room, serves dinner. We were among the few patrons on the expansive deck overlooking the water, bundled up against the brisk wind on a 60° evening. The Mainers, meanwhile, were wearing shorts and sandals. It's obvious we're "from away."

It was calm enough in Eastport to climb the mast and install the new anchor light. Here's a gratuitous shot of my "CranAnchor light," which is going into emergency spares stores.

While we would have been perfectly happy to spend another couple of days and perhaps cruise Cobscook Bay, west of Eastport, today a short window opened to go outside, and we seized the opportunity to begin our westward journey. We made a quick run ashore in the tender to drop some packages at the post office first, and then weighed anchor towards the end of the flood. Current in the narrows was already past slack, so we opted to leave via the Head Harbour Channel around the east end of Campobello Island.

Eastport behind us as we left this morning.

That route is the ship channel for Passamaquoddy Bay, and we checked in with Fundy Traffic as we crossed the check-in point just inside Canadian waters. We're exempt from reporting, but our Class-A AIS transponder has us show up on their scopes, so it's a courtesy to announce our intentions. As a bonus, they give us a traffic report for our planned route, which today was empty.

Approaching Head Harbour Light from the northwest.

The tide became fair just as we approached our turn at Head Harbour Light, and has been picking up steadily; we now have 2.5 knots behind us. Soon we will pass Sugar Loaf Rock and the Boring Stone, and then rejoin our old track near West Quoddy Head. We passed East Quoddy Head when we rounded the Head Harbour Light. We should have the hook down right around cocktail hour.


  1. Ahoy, Sean! This is my first time to comment on your blog. I follow Louise's blog all the time. I'm trying to catch up from the day y'all purchased Vector & am slowly making my way through it to the current. I'm learning so much about living on a boat through your eyes & am learning new terms as I go (splash the tender, weighed anchors, bow thrusters, mooring balls, on the hard, etc.) I didn't know you had to "de-name" a boat before you could "re-name" it....interesting. I'm so in awe at your "sea knowledge" & how you are a Jack-of-all-trades! Thanks for a totally new education to me.

  2. Thanks, Nicki. You are very brave to be reading so many of my posts, which are very wordy. I am glad you are enjoying it.


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