Let Captain D help you enjoy Downeast Maine, Acadia National Park, Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, Belfast, Searsport, Bucksport, Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Machias, Eastport, Calais, Bangor, Ellsworth, affordable gift shops, galleries, reasonable restaurants, outstanding real estate, interesting lodging, and great Maine books.



BLUE HILL BAY



Travelog








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.











On the 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.


BLUEHILL

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 day use.
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 in 2001.

All of the offerings (except frames) at Blue Moon Images Gallery on the Surry Road are made in Maine.


ELLSWORTH

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.

MIKE'S COUNTRY STORE on 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.

GLASSOURCE, 151 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.

Tucked 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 people here will buy, sell and pawn just about anything. Call 207/667-6533. Co-owner Angela Nevells is a licensed auctioneer (# AUC1523).

The Blues 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.

"We're 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.

STORAGE PLUS 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.

There 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 allowed.
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.


BASS HARBOR

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 the harbor.
C.H. Rich Co. (207/244-3485) provides gas and diesel from its pier.


SWANS ISLAND

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 facilities.
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.