There is nothing quite as satisfying as being underway early in the morning after a weather-related delay. We have paid homage to Mother Nature and she has rewarded us with a magnificent day. The sky is crystal clear. The sun is shining. A few residual ocean swells from the east offer a gentle reminder of the storm that has passed. A mug of hot tea takes the chill out of the early morning air. We are back in exploration mode. Wow, this is living.
Cutter Loose has been flirting with Maine for the past few days, passing across the border, then retreating to New Hampshire. Today we take our first full step in cruising the coast of the Pine Tree State. Our journey will take us some 50 miles along the southern coast of Maine, past Kennebunkport and Cape Elizabeth and into Casco Bay. We elect to sail a few miles to the northeast past Portland Harbor and into Hussey Sound in search of an anchorage for the night.
Casco Bay is an archipelago of over 200 islands, most of which are long and narrow and extend from the southwest to the northeast. It would take the better part of a lifetme to explore all of these islands. There is deep water between most of the islands, but some of the passageways are extremely narrow. The rocky outcroppings exposed at low tide are intimidating.
Ferries, lobster boats and pleasure craft seem to be everywhere in this island chain. Portland is the Seattle of the east coast. Casco Bay island residents commute to Portland via ferries. Many of the homes are perched on bluffs overlooking the water. Almost every island has a ferry dock. Rule #1 is to anticipate the movement of the ferries and avoid being caught where the ferries want to be.
Since the weather tonight is calm, we opt for an anchorage in Chandler Cove, just off of Little Chebeague Island. From here, it is a short run to Portland Harbor in the morning.