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.


FRENCHMAN BAY

Travelog

Your Sign is often completely responsible for the first impression your company makes. You need to make a good one. With complete professionalism, SIERRA SIGNS AND DESIGNS will put your best foot forward. They do both 2-D and 3-D interior and exterior signs, vinyl graphics and installation, custom vehicle graphics and magnetics, banners, lawn signs and real estate signs. With a Sierra Sign, people will want to get to know you.

Sharing space with Sierra Signs and Designs, ARTFUL INFUSIONZ creates artful jewelry—fun, one-of-a-kind and custom pieces for all tastes. Company owner Sarah Zylstra specializes in unique designs, drawings, wood burnings, paintings, commercial artwork and more. Call 207/422-3339.
Rather than treating each health problem individually, Winter Harbor's Dr.Benjamin Newman, THE

At MDI IMPORTED CAR SERVICE, David White runs perhaps the world's greenest auto repair business. Among other things, he heats his place with recycled motor oil and wastes next to nothing. A certified Bosch Automotive Service Center, MDI Imported Car Service understands foreign cars like few others.

We like getting breakfast at the TIDEWAY MARKET. Our favorite is their biscuits and sausage gravey, but there are several additional tempting offerings. For lunch, Scott's Steak Bomb is always good. Other favorites include the Texas BBQ Pork Sandwich, the Homemade Chicken Salad Sandwich, and, if you're really hungry, the 12-inch Downeast Belly Buster Italian Sandwich. There's also made-from-scratch pizza and fresh chicken tenders. Between bites you can check your e-mail with their free WIFI.

When we whacked a big buck with our Bonneville, we took the badly dented vehicle to PRECISION AUTO BODY. Owner Bernie Gordon got right on it, fixed it up in no time flat. Our car looked brand new. And at a price my insurance company found very attractive. Bernie's got himself a spanking new facility on Route One. Neatest, cleanest, best equipped body shop around. They call themselves collision specialists. I call them miracle men.





Boat traffic in Frenchman Bay, Maine’s most dramatic bay, is a very real consideration for sailors in small vessels. Numerous vessels from cruise ships to schooners to yachts to all manner of smaller boats make their way to and from this summer hot spot. The Cat, a high-speed ferry that runs between Bar Harbor and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, sends out a huge wake—a wake that would be a veritable tidal wave to a kayaker. In fog it’s no fun to be the smallest and most vulnerable boat in the crowd. Mackerel Cove is also a good harbor, but it has fewer facilities. Buckle Harbor on the northwest coast is an attractive and secure little anchorage.

CRANBERRY ISLES

It’s a short trip over to Great Cranberry Island, which has a sizable permanent population.You can come in at the town dock and walk the quiet roads of the island or stop by the general store or café. You’ll find popplestone beaches on the exposed southern shore.
The Cranberries are beautiful and peaceful islands, with miles of walks and spectacular views of sea and mountains.
On Great Cranberry, if it’s not spring or fall, moorings may be available from Newman and Gray. You can anchor outside the moored boats, in 16 to 25 feet at low. There is considerable exposure from northwest to northeast.
Exercise caution going through narrow passages between these offshore islands. Potential trouble spots include The Gut between Great Cranberry and Little Cranberry, and where the bar forms between Little Cranberry and Baker. The most convenient put-ins for Little Cranberry are in Northeast Harbor and Manset.
Little Cranberry Island offers a pleasant stop, complete with museum, public rest rooms, and restaurant. The southernmost of the three docks on the waterfront is the town dock; paddlers may land on either beach flanking this dock.
Beal and Bunker (244-3575) provides regular passenger ferry service between Little Cranberry and Northeast Harbor. The ferry can carry a few kayaks if the weather turns bad while you’re staying on Little Cranberry.

Western Way
and Eastern Way are the two main entrances to Southwest and Northeast Harbors.

MANSET

In Manset, there is a concrete public ramp with water at all tides. Limited overnight parking; call the harbormaster (244-7913) to make arrangements. Many find the gravel beach next to the ramp more convenient for launching small vessels. There is a portable toilet at the ramp.

SOUTHWEST HARBOR

The launch site at Southwest Harbor is extremely congested and there is very little parking. Spaces available to the public have a three-hour limit. This site might be useful in spring and fall, but should be avoided in summer when it is crowded with visitors.
The concrete all-tide ramp between the Coast Guard Station and the Oceanarium on Clark Point Road has two and eight-hour parking spaces. The site has portable outhouses.
In Southwest Harbor, kayakers can launch from the upper town dock floats on Clark Point Road, a few blocks from the center of town. There is very limited overnight parking at the upper town dock, and you must register with the Southwest Harbor Police. A better option is the free parking in the upper lot beyond the Southwest Harbor Municipal Offices.

Located in Bass Harbor, on the “quiet side” of Mount Desert Island, the BEACHFRONT COTTAGES provide quality lodging at affordable prices. Captain’s Quarters, a spacious, modern cottage, sleeps up to 6, right on the ocean just 40 feet from high tide! Enjoy awesome views of the working harbor, and Swan's Island, off in the distance.

Marine Systems Custom Boatbuilders, Inc. is a large yard situated two miles from the shore. Marine Subcontractors, Inc. on Clark Point Road is a boat yard that will tackle just about anything having to do with boats and guarantee your satisfaction.
In Away for the Weekend: 52 Great Getaways in the Six New England States for Every Season of the Year, Eleanor Berman singled out two special, easy-to-overlook attractions in Southwest Harbor: The Gilley Museum and the Mt. Desert Oceanarium, which it called "a great place for kids, with its touch tanks and other hands-on exhibits, including phones for listening in to the songs of whales." In Traveling with Children in the USA, Leila Hadley applauded just one privately operated attraction on MDI: The Oceanarium. Call 207-244-7330.
Beal’s Lobster Pier has been in the same location and in the same family for three-quarters of a century. Whatever your nautical needs, the friendly folks at Beal’s will show you the way.

The people at DeMURO'S TOP OF THE HILL RESTAURANT say they serve "spectacular Maine fare, best food and prices on the Island!!!" There is outdoor dining,dancing, and live entertainment. There is a nice cocktail lounge, childrens' menu, and daily and early bird specials. The fish is fresh, the bread is made might there. Enjoy lobster, fine wine, and imported beers. Mention this Captain D Listing for a Free Dessert.

Downeast Maine doesn’t get anymore authentic than at BRANDON & LAURA'S CAFE on Seal Cove Road in Southwest Harbor. Formally the Kozy Kove, the restaurant has been completely renovated with many new menu selections. Brandon and Laura worked at the previous restaurant and when it became available to purchase they did. Laura makes some of the finest homemade deserts you’ll find in the area. Brandon is an experienced cook who knows how to please his customers. Stop by and say you saw their ad in Capt. D. Call 207-244-5551.

SOUTHWEST BOAT MARINE SERVICES serves the individual needs of anybody with a boat. From metal fabrications and welding to underwater hull inspections, Southwest Boat is the company to turn to.

THE MOORINGS RESTAURANT & PIER is a family restaurant on the ocean. For the grownups, there is dancing with live entertainment.

Sawyer's Specialties has the biggest selection of fine wines north of Boston. The second Saturday of every month from 2 to 6 p.m., the folks here sponsor wine tastings.
For a good cup of espresso, check out Jumpin’ Java on Main Street. The Seaweed Cafe is the only restaurant Downeast we know of that serves real sushi. The Quiet Side Café on Main Street is an ice cream shop, but it’s also a terrific place to eat.

Enjoy boating along the sheer faces of Somes Sound, bearing in mind that the wind can sweep along the fjord’s walls and make headway difficult. On the west side of the Sound, watch for Valley Cove, one of the grandest spots on MDI. Several huge, steel-balled moorings are set in the cove, and Hinckley maintains a few others. All of them are used by visiting boats at their own risk on a first-come-first-served basis. Although the wind can funnel up and down Somes Sound and gusts sometimes blow down from the mountains, protection here is good. You come come ashsore on the shoutern shore near a small footbridge. To the left, the trail leads thrugh a spruce forest to the summit of Flying Mountain. The Apalachian Mountain Club calls this trail "the greatests reward on the island for a small effort." Views from the summit are unsurpassed.
The picnic area along Sargent Drive does not have a launch ramp, but it is possible to put in canoes and kayaks along the shore.

NORTHEAST HARBOR

What comes to mind when you hear "Northeast Harbor" is its yacht-filled harbor. It is a destination of sailors from all over. On the west side of the harbor, near the southern end, is the large town dock and marina. The inner portion is reserved for commercial use, but the outer finger floats are available to yachts, with 10 feet alongside at low. For dockage check with the harbormaster (Ch. 09, 16, 68; 207/276-5737) or look for him in his gray office at the head of the pier. Reservations are recommended.
The town rents about 50 moorings, identified by bright green pickup buoys and three-digit numbers on the float. They vary in weight. Boats 40-50 feet should use 400-series; boats 30-40 feet the 300 series; boats 20-30 feet the 200 series; and boats less than 20 feet the 100-series moorings. Another 25 boats can be accommodated on floats moored in the harbor. The moorings and floats can’t be reserved until the day you plan to arrive. The town mooring agent will come by to collect the fee.
If the town moorings are all taken, additional moorings are sometimes available through Clifton’s Dock or the MDI Water Taxi (Ch. 16, 68; 207/244-7312).
All of the deep water in the inner harbor is full of moorings, and anchoring is not allowed. There appears to be space on the east side of the entrance, but it is exposed, and the bottom is hard clay.
The marina, a town-owned facility, has a paved ramp with water at all tides; fee for trailered boats. Limited overnight parking available nearby at the Northeast Harbor police station on Sea Street; pay for parking at the station.
At Northeast Harbor, a sign on the ramp directs you to check in at the harbormaster’s office. If you unload your boat away from the ramp and hand carry to the ramp, you do not need to pay the fee.
The town dock here is one of the largest facilities of its kind, with many floats, parking spaces, open greens, and tennis courts. The dock is used by tour boats, ferries, fishing boats, and yachts, so traffic is heavy. Water and electricity are available at the public float, where you can tie up for two hours, with 8 or 9 at low. They also have holding tank pump-out facilities.
There are pay phones at the dock, and the Mount Desert Chamber of Commerce maintains a facility for yachtsmen providing showers, a reading room, a paperback book swap, and recent copies of The New York Times. They will even rent you towels and a hair dryer.
Clifton Dock (207/276-5308) on the west side of the entrance to Northeast Harbor is a convenient spot to take on gas, diesel, water, or ice, with 22 feet alongside the fuel float. Pump-outs also are available.
The Mount Desert Yacht Yard (207/276-5114) at the northwestern end of the harbor has moorings and dockage for its customers, but they are occasionally available to others. There is water and electricity, but no fuel.
The Great Harbor Maritime Museum displays pictures of some of the boats associated with the region.

It is possible to launch kayaks from the head of Otter Cove. The shore of the cove is sand, rock, or mud, depending on the tide. Otter Cove opens directly to the south, so launching or landing with a stiff south wind can be problematic; a chop can develop at the mouth of the cove.

The National Park Service asks that paddles not launch from Sand Beach and discourages landings except in emergencies. The beach is often crowded with visitors. Island.

BAR HARBOR

Bar Harbor
is named for the long gravel and sand bar extending across the head of the harbor from Bridge Street to Bar Island.
As a yachting center, Bar Harbor is small compared to Southwest or Northeast Harbor, but there is still a constant coming and going of boats of every size and description. The Cat—the high-speed ferry to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia—ports here. The QE2 and other cruise liners make Bar Harbor a regular port of call.
All of the moorings and shore facilities of Bar Harbor are east of the bar connecting Bar Island to Mount Desert, and the approach is without dangers except in fog. The usual path from the south is east of Bald Porcupine Island, which has cliffs at its southern end. It is also possible to run between the breakwater west of Porcupine Island and the Mount Desert shore. The breakwater is covered at high, but its western end is marked by a white beacon.
In Bar Harbor, there’s a paved public ramp next to the town pier. Visit the harbormaster’s office at the pier to obtain a recreational boater parking sticker and instruction for all day or overnight parking.
East of the town pier, Bar Harbor maintains a number of rental moorings separated from the private moorings to the north by an approach channel. A mooring can be reserved by calling the harbormaster (Ch. 09, 16; 207/288-5571). The harbormaster also rents overnight dockage n the two town floats east of the pier with 8 to 9 feet at low.
You can anchor outside of the moorings in 15 to 30 feet at low with good holding ground and fairly good protection from the breakwater to the south and the surrounding islands.
Floats on the east side of the municipal pier are for pleasure boats; floats on the west side are for fishermen. Overnight dockage is rented by the harbormaster, whose office is on the pier. Water and electricity are available.
Restrooms and phones are on the pier by the harbormaster’s office.
Harbor Place (207/288-3322) is the building next to the municipal pier, owned by and home to Bar Harbor Whale Watch. Its fuel dock is open to the public, with gas, diesel, water, and pump-outs. Owner Bob Collier also has five or six rental moorings. Reservations should be made in advance by calling 207/288-5410.
The Harborside Hotel and Marina hopes to expand its marina by adding three 8-foot-long seasonal floats 60 feet apart along with a ramp. Plans are to dredge the harbor opening it up to yachts 100-feet-long and longer.
Fisherman’s Landing (207/288-4632) is a commercial wharf providing fuel. Their float dries out at low.
The Bar Harbor Regency Hotel and Marina (Ch. 09, 16; 207/288-9723), a Holiday Inn Sun Spree Resort, has slips for transients to 160 feet and one mooring. Water, ice, electricity, showers, and laundry are available, but no fuel. Visitors may eat at the hotel or have food delivered to the floats. Kayaks can launch from a marina slip. There are slips available for rent in the marina.

Such a deal! Randy Sprague of RANDY SPRAGUE HEATING & PLUMBING on Rte 102 in Bar Harbor will provide you Priority Service for an annual fee of just $49.95. This puts you at the front of the line, guaranteeing you emergency service within an hour! This is a pretty inexpensive price for total peace of mind.

CAR PORT AUTO REPAIR on the Bar Harbor Road in Ellsworth offers the best in service, with estimates, diagnostics, repair and warranty—using only factory-approved parts & lubricants. The guys here service all makes and models, including European vehicles, BMW, Mini, and Volkswagen.

Sheep Porcupine Island hosts nesting birds, so visitation is discouraged. The island is part of Acadia National Park. Ospreys, black guillemots, and other species nest of Long Porcupine. Owned by Nature Conservancy, it is closed Feb 15 thru Aug 15.The end of the breakwater that extends from Bald Porcupine Island to within 250 yards of the shore is marked by a light; the breakwater is not entirely covered at high tide.
The shoreline from Dorr Point south is bold and rocky, with few safe havens. Dorr Point is located at the southern end of the town of Bar Harbor just south of Compass Harbor.
When the wind is from the south, the cliffs on the south side of Long Porcupine can throw back swells to create a confusing chop.
Although Hulls Cove is exposed and offers little protection, a cluster of boats re moored off the small clubhouse of the Bar Harbor Yacht Club (207/288-3275). The club has a guest mooring or you can anchor off in 24 feet at low. The club has limited facilities. On the north side of Hulls Cove, Bar Harbor Boating (207/288-5797) has gas, water, and electricity at the floats with 6 feet alongside at low. They have a marine railway and can handle repairs.
The Ovens are sea caves located east of Sand Beach point on Eastern Bay. Seals use the Hub during pupping, so please avoid this island during May and June.
Mount Desert Narrows is the northern thoroughfare between Blue Hill Bay and Frenchman Bay. The current floods westward and ebbs eastward. Current can be what the Coast Pilot calls "turbulent." The launch ramp here has been called "one of the most user-friendly launch ramps on the coast of Maine." Extra-wide, it’s made of huge granite blocks that can handle everything from sea kayaks to seaplanes; parking is more than ample; and the view of Mount Desert Island is worth the trip. The ramp is all-tide except during the very lowest of spring tides. Smaller boats can go from eastern into Western Bay, but the Narrows is shoal and unmarked and the fixed bridge has a vertical clearance of only 35 feet.
Back on the mainland, there is an all-tide gravel launch ramp, picnic area, camping area and bathroom facilities in Lamoine State Park.

Almost a mile past Lamoine State Park is Lamoine Beach, which has a hard-surface, all-tide ramp. There is no fee.

Flanders Bay, East Sullivan, has a small launch site with a gravel ramp and parking for about eight cars

Look for the Shanahan’s enterprises on Flander’s Bay. Barbara Shanahan runs a nice antique shop and rents cabins and campsites. Everything is on the ocean and accessible to kayakers and canoeists as well as motorists. Call 207/422-6408.

Experienced sea kayakers may choose to run through the narrows with the current some time before or after slack. When it is high tide in Sullivan, the water through the falls is fast and pushy but runnable for people who understand the dynamics of white water and who are comfortable with fast currents.

Sullivan Falls is a reversing falls that forms at the head of Sullivan Harbor. The Coast Pilot is effusive in its warning: "Tidal currents are swift and dangerous…There is a great turbulence whenever the current is running at strength…Tidal currents through the falls are dangerous at strength…. Navigation through the falls is safe only at slack water."

West of Sorrento and Back Cove, there are few anchorages or facilities, but the open waters are perfect for pleasant sailing against the magnificent backdrop of Mount Desert. In Back Cove, the West Cove Boat Yard has several moorings. Anchorage is good in the middle of the cove in 7 to 9 feet at low with a mud bottom.

SORRENTO

The launch site at Sorrento Harbor is well used during summer. There is a town pier and available parking. There is a portable toilet behind the gray fence.
Water and Electricity are available at the town wharf with four feet alongside at low. Rocks lurk off the west end, so at low tide, approach the floats from the east. The town wharf has a pay phone, but the nearest groceries are three miles away.
The Sorrento Yacht Club uses the town wharf and has no facilities except for guest moorings. Their office is in the library.

WINTER HARBOR

Winter Harbor provides varying degrees of protection depending on which part you choose. There are three coves: Sand Cove to the west, Inner Winter Harbor, and Henry Cove to the east. Sand Cove, home to the Winter Harbor Yacht Club, is quite deep, but wide open. Henry Cove, exposed to south and southwest winds is the least used. The best of the them is Inner Winter Harbor, a tight almost landlocked hole.
For a mooring in Sand Cove, inquire at the yacht club headquarters (Ch. 16 or 71; 207/963-2275). The mooring floats are mostly white lobster buoys marked "Guest." You can anchor off to the north or outside the moored boats, as Club floats have water and electricity with 20 feet alongside. The southern floats are private. The club is hospitable to visiting yachtsmen and offers launch service and showers. Lunch is served in the comfortable clubhouse. There is a pay phone.
The inner harbor is jammed with lobsterboats, floats, and dinghies, and there is no room to anchor. On a given night, there may be tow or three moorings available. Ask a lobsterman. Sometimes eight or nine yachts will be here, nested three on a mooring. This little harbor is extremely well protected.
The Town Wharf is the first dock on the east side. Water is available.
Winter Harbor Marine (Ch. 09; 207/963-7449) has several rental moorings and dockage is planned at their floats. The floats with six feet at low have water, diesel and gas on tap as well as pump-out facilities and electricity. They haul with a hydraulic trailer and can handle most repairs, including outboards. The yard has ice and a small chandlery. They have showers and laundry facilities and run a shuttle service to Bar Harbor.

THE VILLAGE DOCTOR, has developed a patient-centered focus that addresses a patient's state of health wholisticly. A typical visit involves a thorough discussion of one's medical history, a review of current conditions, and a thorough discussion of preventive measures. Appointments generally last between thirty and sixty minutes. Don't let the home-like atmosphere fool you; Dr. Newman has. state-of-the art medical equipment and can perform many procedures in his treatment room. This is old-fashioned, personalized care from a by-gone era coupled with Internet ease. When appropiate, Dr. Newman even makes house calls!

For fine dining in an elegant atmosphere, check out FISHERMAN'S INN RESTAURANT. They promise "Real Food Done Well"!

Looking for a good time? Besides food and drink, the NAUTICA PUB on East Schoodic Drive in Birch Hqrbor provides pool tables, darts, regulation horseshoes, and big-screen television. For smokers, there is a screened-in deck. If you over-indulge, the owner runs a special bus to get you home safely.


The Schoodic section of Acadia National Park is comprised of 2,080 acres and features a 7.2-mile shore drive. At the entrance to the park, there is Frazier's Point, a picnic-rest area where you can stop for a barbecue picnic, sit and enjoy the panoramic view, or try saltwater fishing off the end of a pier stretching into the cove.
From the western side of the park bordering the sound, there is a view of Mount Desert Island's mountains. A short distance from the shore, there is a turn-out and a trail leading to the Raven's Nest where the sea has carved a ragged "W' into the cliffs rising above them.
The waters of the sound are linked to two quiet coves by a short ride through the woods to a promontory where at twilight deer may be seen feeding at the roadside. At the coves, you may find sea-ducks or blue heron. From here you can hike along a winding road to the top of Schoodic Mountain, a headland 400 feet above the ocean. From the summit, you can see magnificent views into the Bay of Fundy.
On the east side of Big Moose Island, there is a cove at which turbulent seas have erected ever higher stacks of beach rock. When the tide is right, a sand bar stretches to Little Moose Island, on which there are trails leading to high elevations and fine views.
Schoodic Point juts further out into open sea than any other point on the U.S. eastern coast. Here the sea crashes in, sending geysers of spray 40 feet into the air. The gulls are almost tame.
If you want to stretch your legs, consider the 1.3-mile-long Anvil Trail, accessible from the Blueberry Hill parking area. If you don't like retracing your steps, head down the westernmost trail, which eventually comes out on a gravel road. You can follow the road until you see a trail straight ahead near a ranger's house. That trail takes you through nice, level, grassy and wooded areas back to your car.
Leaving the park, you can see several clear illustrations of Maine's famed rocky coast, where beaches have been hammered from the cliffs by the pounding seas.
Once out of the park, you come upon Wonsqueak Harbor, where the rocks have turned red and the waters are so narrow the lobster boats are moored single file. This harbor got its name from the legend of an Indian brave who punished his cheating squaw by drowning her. As she went down the the last time, she managed to emit one squeak.