THE HARBOR CAFE takes
special pride in its lobster rolls. At $10.99 they provide more lobster
for less money than anywhere else. The lobsters are super-fresh as
well; they have come off the boats of local lobstermen. On Friday
nights, the Cafe hosts a big Seafood Fry; the servings are
super-generous, and seconds are on the house. Mondays feature
two-for-one Boarded Specials. There are special menus for children and
diabetics. The Harbor Cafe is open Year Round.
west side of MDI, Blue Hill Bay has long stretches of
sparkling, wide-open waters, protected from ocean swells by the many
islands at its southern entrance. Although less dramatic than
neighboring Frenchman Bay, it offers great sailing, with alluring Blue
Hill ahead and the hills of Mount Desert to the east. Unfortunately,
this magnificent sailing territory has relatively few good harbors.
Much of the beauty of Blue Hill Bay will be forever preserved. The
string of islands dividing the southern end of the bay—Bar, Trumpet,
Ship, and the Barges—have important nesting colonies of eiders and are
owned in part by The Nature Conservancy.
The Kollegewidgwok Yacht Club (Ch. 09; 207/374-5581) is in the
outer harbor on the eastern shore opposite Peters Point. It has 15
reservable guest moorings for rent. If none is available, there may be
room to anchor south of the moored boats in 17 to 24 feet.
The inner harbor provides even better protection and brings you
nearer to the town of Blue Hill. There are a number of small craft and
fishing boats moored here, but you might find room to anchor.
Sculpin Point and Harbor Point divide the
inner and outer harbors. When the tide is running at its greatest
velocity, a stiff current pours between these points.
Twin Oaks Island is a half-acre public island in the
inner section of Blue Hill Harbor and is open to visitors for careful
The ramp at Blue Hill Harbor fronts on mudflats during the
lower part of the tide cycle. The launch site has a small parking lot
and a part-tide concrete ramp. The ramp has water at and above halftide.
South Blue Hill has a concrete all-tide ramp and a
gravel parking lot.
Blue Hill Falls, a reversing tidal falls, forms at
the mouth of Salt Pond, several miles south of Blue Hill. The current
here can be challenging to the most experienced whitewater kayakers and
canoeists. Blue Hill Falls does not have a launch site and parking is
not allowed along the road at Blue Hill Falls.
Above Barlett Island, Union River Bay runs six miles northward
toward the large town of Ellsworth. The bay is more than a mile wide
and poses no obstructions.
The Union River is a small gem in the rough, offering a
half-day or evening tour with lots of wildlife. The channel was dredged
All of the offerings (except frames) at Blue Moon Images
Gallery on the Surry Road are made in Maine.
Ellsworth’s launch site has an all-tide concrete ramp, flush
toilets, and a large parking lot. There is a small grassy waterfront
park. In the evening, local musicians sometimes perform at the gazebo.
An annual Harbor Days Festival takes place here.
The river at Ellsworth has been recently dredged, opening up a
new five-foot channel, making it possible to take boats larger than a
skiff to the turning basin on Water Street. The landing is just a
couple of blocks from downtown.
Overnight dockage is just $10, a mooring just $5,
available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call ahead (VHF channel
16 and 9, or 207/667-6311 to reserve a spot.
Deep-draft vessels should ascend the river on a
rising tide, generally from about half tide or higher.This site is
popular with power-boaters because it serves as a conduit to Blue Hill
Bay and beyond.
I One way
or another, you can deal with DOWNEAST FINDS. These guys,
located at 186 High St. Ellsworth, are flexible as all get out. They
buy, sell, consign, barter and trade all kinds of stuff—quality crafts,
antiques, stained glass, fishing gear, Nascar, Old bottles, wildlife
and nature photography, you name it. They just like to deal!
The RIVERSIDE CAFE on
Main Street may not be beside the river exactly (it used to be, but it
moved), but we can heartily recommend the food. We especially like the
eggs benedict. The local chamber of commerce has voted it the Business
of the Year for the year 2000.
Water Street in Ellsworth has been in business since 1897, having
survived fires and floods and depressions and God knows what else to
become one of Maine's oldest continually run businesses. You can get
pretty much all of life's essentials here. Visit them on FACEBOOK.
Downeast Highway, Ellsworth, offers an extensive line of
glass-related services, including a full line of residential glazing
products. Products and Services include Rubber Glazed Boat Windows,
Windshields, Custom Mirrors, Burglar Resistant Glass, Textured Glass,
Antique Glass, Laminated & Tempered Safety Glass, Acrylic,
Polycarbonate, Storm Windows, Vinyl Windows, Wood Windows, Insulated
Glass Units, and Energy Star Products.
into the Ray's Plumbing and Heating building off High Street in
Ellsworth, COASTAL PAWN
& AUCTION wheels and deals for all kinds of things. The
will buy, sell and pawn just about anything. Call
207/667-6533. Co-owner Angela Nevells is a licensed auctioneer (#
Wagon on Route 3 in Trenton is where BIG PETE PEARSON hangs his
over-sized hat. Jamaican-born Pearson, long known as Arizona's King of
Jazz, attracted global attention when he cut "Screamer," the album that
became Number One Worldwide. Pearson is as serious a chef as he is a
bluesman, and the eats at Blues Wagon are finestkind. Everything is
made from scratch and utterly delicious.
not a biker
shop," Betsy is quick to point out, although her BLACKSHEEP TRADING CO.
stocks lots of stuff, including the custom sheepskin
motorcycle seat covers that bikers
like. Many people, she notes, are intimidated by biker shops while
there is nothing at all scarey about her place. There is interesting
stuff here for the whole family.
on the Bangor Road in Ellsworth is a new, modern, and exceptionally
clean, quality-built, self-storage facility with over 230 self-storage
units, including 35 temperature-controlled units. Storage Plus is an
authorized Penske agent.
is a small, all-tide launch site at Bartlett Landing. In
summer, it is heavily used and parking can be at a premium. A better
option might be to launch from nearby Trenton or Seal Cove.
The Rockefellers, owners of Bartlett Island, allow careful day
use of four discrete areas on the island’s shore—two on the northeast
and one in the south. Visitors may stop along the shore, but may not
take trails or dirt roads into the interior. Fires and camping are not
The Hub is a tiny public island—mostly ledge—located
next to the northern tip of Barlette Island.
Pretty Marsh Harbor provides good anchorage in a
tranquil setting. The Pretty Marsh Picnic Area, which is in the
national park, provides views over bluffs to Pretty Marsh Harbor and
onward to Bartlett and Hardwood Islands. Here there is a stony beach.
Seal Cove has a concrete all-tide ramp plus two
places to hand-carry to a gravel beach.
In Bernard, there is a concrete ramp providing access to Bass Harbor
and the southwest side of MDI.
Situated at the southwestern corner of MDI, Bass Harbor is home
port for Mount Desert’s largest lobstering fleet. It is also a growing
yachting center. Flanked by the towns of Bernard to the west and Bass
Harbor to the east, the outer harbor is open to the south, but there is
good protection inside.
The harbormaster Tim Butler (207/244-4564) has moorings in the
middle of the harbor. From your mooring, take your dinghy to either the
upper town dock or the town dock in Manset. There are floats at the
public landing with 6 to 7 feet alongside at low and a two-hour maximum
tie-up. Pay phones and a dumpster are available at the ferry terminal.
Beach Front Cottages provide weekly rentals right
on Bass Harbor harbor.
Morris Yachts (244-5511) has slips at the head of
C.H. Rich Co. (207/244-3485) provides gas and diesel
from its pier.
Although served by several daily ferry trips from Bass Harbor, Swan’s
Island is still remote. There are only a couple of stores, no
liquor sales, and no commercial entertaiment amenities. The year round
population stands at around 250, tripling during summer. Fishing is the
main occupation. The island’s irregular shoreline provides many good
anchorages. There are three villages—Atlantic in Mackerel Cove on the
north coast and Minturn and Swan’s Island on the shores of Burnt Coat
Harbor in the osuth. Burnt Coat is the best harbor and has the most
The Swan’s Island Boathouse on the west side of the harbor has
several rental moorings rigged with lobster buoys. They are maintained
by local fishermen. There is plenty of room to anchor along the western
side of the harbor outside the moorings and northward in 17 to 25 feet
at low. It also is possible to anchor north of Harbor Island, but
swells there may give you pause.
The first long wharf north of the Boathouse belongs to the Fishermen’s
Co-op (207/526-4327) and has gas and diesel and some marine
supplies at the southern float. The manager requests that visiting
yachtsmen not buy fuel after 1 p.m. since returning lobsterboats need
the wharf space.
Kent’s Wharf (Ch. 68; 207/526-4186; www.swansislandlobster.com) has
gas, diesel, water, ice, phones, and live or cooked lobsters.