Sunday, July 31st – lay day in Northeast Harbor

Epilogue to Saturday, July 30th.  Beginning at 9 PM, an outdoor tent wedding reception at the Asticou Lodge (head of the harbor) makes its presence known in the form of upbeat music performed by a live band.  The harbor is surrounded on three sides by mountains, which acts as a natural amplifier.   Actually, the performance is quite solid.  It is a soul band complete with horns and backup vocalists punching out Motown music from the 70s in three part harmony.  Under normal circumstances, we would be thoroughly entertained by tonight’s free concert.  But on this particular occasion, we are exhausted by our descent from Cadillac Mountain.  We have no problem falling asleep despite the pulsating music wafting over the water and into the cabin of Cutter Loose.  

However, 11 PM marks the end of the music and the beginning of the fireworks display.  Is this a dream?  Or could a wedding reception with a live soul band and fireworks really be happening on a Saturday night in sleepy little Northeast Harbor? 

 This is not your average small town pyrotechnics display.  These are powerful explosions that reverberate in one’s chest and illuminate the entire harbor.  There is no denying that we are now awake, so we might as well enjoy the show. 

The 30 minute performance is of a caliber comparable to a fireworks display in a major urban area on the 4th of July.  To augment the fireworks, there are colored lights in the shape of flowers visible around the perimeter of the harbor.  Now we can make out the running lights of a boat parading through the harbor with the identical pattern of colored lights displayed high in its rigging.  Soon, the boaters in the harbor are getting into the act, sounding their horns and shouting oohs and ahhs and other exclamations of encouragement.  After the grand finale, the harbor is filled with smoke and the frenzied cheers of appreciation from an enthusiastic audience.  To borrow a phrase from Jimmy Buffet, “that was the night they painted the sky”.

On Sunday morning, we are on the 9 AM bus to attend worship services at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church.  We take advantage of this opportunity to accomplish grocery shopping at the supermarket on Cottage Street, just a few blocks from the Village Green bus stop in Bar Harbor.  This is the preferred alternative to the small market in Northeast Harbor, which is passable but pricey and offers only a limited selection of necessities for the galley. 

We are beginning to view Bar Harbor in a more positive light, not necessarily as a place to base the boat, but as a sub-destination for groceries, dining and cultural events.  The slower pace and mountain scenery of Northeast Harbor is unparalleled, which makes it the preferred harbor for cruising sailors.  Bar Harbor is a short 25 minute free bus ride from Northeast Harbor.  This is a best of both worlds scenario.

The balance of the day is devoted to chores, including laundry and replenishing the fuel and water supply aboard Cutter Loose at Clifton Dock.  Time seems to evaporate on these admin days.  Before we know it, the sun is disappearing behind the mountains.  Many of the weekend visitors have already cleared out of the harbor, leaving behind an abundance of vacant moorings.  We look forward to a quiet, restful night.

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