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Author Cruising the Coast of Maine
PHILIP & SHARON MERLIER
FELLSMERE, FLORIDA

Boat Name: SWIZZLE STICK

Model/Year: 1990 C22

Hull No.

Hailing Port: FELLSMERE, FLORIDA
01/22/2004 10:19 PM Pacific Time

It is time to start making plans for next summer. I would like to strongly recommend that everyone try a trip to the coast of Maine!!!! Almost every year since I purchased my 1990 C22 we have been spending two months each summer on the boat cruising the Maine coast. It is our favorite place to sail (even better than the Virgin Islands). Some of the things to enjoy: Protected sailing; Good wind; Nice temperatures; Countless anchorages; Nature at its best; The best seafood that you can get yourself or buy landside; etc.. If anyone is interested I will be happy to invest the time typing out some insights and information that would facilitate a top notch trip. Just let us know.

Unfortunately we will not be going there this year due to the extremely high mileage on our tow vehicle. So we are going to splash our boat here in Florida and go to the Bahamas.



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01/23/2004 10:39 AM Pacific Time

Two months of sailing? I'm jealous.
I'm far away from that but we spent a couple of weekends on our boat so far. This summer will be first one on my 1986 C22 I bought last fall. I'm upgrading from Capri 18 that I had for number of years. We live in Ct and sailing the coast of Maine sounds really cool. I will appreciate any recommendations. E-mail me at piotrowski.a@comcast.net. Thanks.
-Art
Chip Lee
Utica, NY

Boat Name: Martha Pearl

Model/Year: 1980 C-22

Hull No. #9742

Hailing Port: Black River Bay, NY
01/24/2004 6:50 AM Pacific Time

Cruising the Maine Coast has been one of my dreams, but I can't get away from my business in upstate NY for more than a week. If you were only able to do long weekends or one-week jaunts, could you recommend an area/town in which to start in Maine?

How is the frequency of launches and transient slips on the coast? I have a 1980 C-22 and no dinghy, but we do have an inflatable we could bring if moorings/anchorages are the only way to go.

My wife really likes to explore deserted coves, etc., in the St. Lawrence River with me, but she also likes to shower and explore towns once in a while, so I'd like to make our first trip there one with everything she likes. We'd appreciate any help you "old salts could give.

Chip & MaryAnn Lee
PHILIP & SHARON MERLIER
FELLSMERE, FLORIDA

Boat Name: SWIZZLE STICK

Model/Year: 1990 C22

Hull No.

Hailing Port: FELLSMERE, FLORIDA
01/24/2004 5:05 PM Pacific Time

I will first address the message from Chip & Mary Ann since it is shorter and much easier. Later for Art and others I will summarize pertinent information on this site but will save the long version to be mailed anyone who contacts me via email (Basecamp97@Yahoo.com) and lets me know what their regular postal mailing address is.
For people who live in the northeast, it is very feasible to visit the Maine coast on a long weekend or week. While cruising there I have met many people in the same situation. All you have to do is leave your boat up there and go visit whenever you can get away from work. It probably would be best to leave the boat in the water on a mooring. Launching each time takes a lot of time, ramps tend to be poor and parking for a trailer can be very hard to find. I am most familiar with the central coast of Maine although you probably can find something in the South of Maine. I personally have found the sailing to be much better in the central coast area. The south tends to be very crowded and there are a lot more power boat wakes. Most everyone in Maine leaves their boats on moorings. Slips are limited and of course more expensive. I have found a hard dinghy to be the way to go in Maine if you are interested in exploring. The first and last year that I took an inflatable I was worried the whole time that I was going to put a hole in it dragging it up the rocky shores covered with sharp shells etc.. West Marine now sells a rather inexpensive and light hard shell dinghy. Exploring the countless islands and foraging for seafood is one of our favorite activities. Unfortunately we are at the other end of the spectrum === we go sailing to get away from towns and civilization so we can't give much advice about tourist areas. I strongly recommend leaving your boat at Northeast Harbor on Mt. Desert Island. Reasons: Ellsworth is close by with all the big stores; Northeast Harbor has the best launch ramp around; moorings are always available and reasonably priced for small boats; very nice dinghy dock; there is a very nice yachtmans building where you can take showers and send email; car & trailer parking is available for a price; grocery & marine stores are within walking distance; restaurants and tourist stores close by; excellent hiking and sightseeing in the area; and last but not least the some of the best sailing on the coast. You could go away for several nights or come back to NE harbor each evening for the amenities it has to offer. Crime is not an issue in the area and I am sure your boat would be very safe.
"A Cruising Guide To The Maine Coast" by Hank & Jan Taft & Curtis Rindlaub is an excellent reference!!!
Region 2 Chart Kit by Maptech will get you anywhere you want to go.
Harbormaster @ NE Harbor: 207-276-5737.
Haynes Garage (parking): 207-276-3773
Recommended gear:
Plow anchor (we use two Delta anchors).
Lots of anchor rode.
Dinghy
Handheld GPS (We use Garmin GpsMap76 - works very well)
VHF radio
Mosquito protection (half hour at dawn and dusk)
Water shoes (for landing on rocky shores)
Foul weather outfits
For all the details send your mailing address to my email and I will send you a copy.
Just go --- you won't regret it.
Chip Lee
Utica, NY

Boat Name: Martha Pearl

Model/Year: 1980 C-22

Hull No. #9742

Hailing Port: Black River Bay, NY
01/24/2004 8:51 PM Pacific Time

Thank you very much, Philip & Sharon, for your detailed reply, espceially for the advice on dinghies and the cruising guide. Hope to see you on the water sometime!

Chip & MaryAnn Lee
Chip Ford
Marblehead, MA

Boat Name: Chip Ahoy

Model/Year: 1974-Swing Keel

Hull No. CTY032820374

Hailing Port: Marblehead, Mass.
07/31/2004 2:36 AM Pacific Time

Philip and Sharon:

I'm leaving Tuesday morning on my month's cruise solo up to downeast Maine, so thanks for all your advice and encouragement -- expecially the copy you sent of your own "cruising guide"! I've got old friends up in South Addison/Jonesport (just south of Machias) and that's my destination, target, something to shoot for. I may and may not make it up that far depending on the weather and my ambition; my plan is to just take it day by day for two weeks, wherever that takes me, then turn around and do it in reverse.

I tried to find your e-mail address after receiving your "cruising guide" to thank you but was unable to. You can reach me using chip@(the website domain listed below). I'll be temporarily unsubscribing from this and other lists until my return in September and will be out of touch (but by VHF and cell phone) until then.

Chip Ford --
Marblehead, Mass.
1974 C22 Swing Keel #3282 - "Chip Ahoy"
Chip Ahoy website: www.chipford.com
Chip Ford
Marblehead, MA

Boat Name: Chip Ahoy

Model/Year: 1974-Swing Keel

Hull No. CTY032820374

Hailing Port: Marblehead, Mass.
08/24/2004 11:51 AM Pacific Time


I just got back yesterday from my extended cruise up the coast of Maine as far as Portland, where I encountered all sorts of nasty weather. For those interested, I've posted Chip Ahoy's log and photo album on my website at:

http://chipford.com/maine_cruise.htm

Chip Ford --
Marblehead, Mass.
1974 C22 Swing Keel #3282 - "Chip Ahoy"
Chip Ahoy website: www.chipford.com
Aaron Mosher
Cape Elizabeth, ME

Boat Name: Euphoria

Model/Year: C22 - 1981

Hull No. 10111

Hailing Port: Casco Bay
08/24/2004 1:59 PM Pacific Time

Chip, that was a hell of a three-week trip. Sorry we couldn't get together in Portland - the sailing was obviously cruddy anyway. I'm happy you ended up on the Portland side of the river; much closer to the 'action'.

Try again in late September when the wind starts blowing - you'll make it up here in two days!

Aaron
PHILIP & SHARON MERLIER
FELLSMERE, FLORIDA

Boat Name: SWIZZLE STICK

Model/Year: 1990 C22

Hull No.

Hailing Port: FELLSMERE, FLORIDA
04/22/2005 3:19 AM Pacific Time

Hello everyone:
Summer is coming and we have great hopes of spending at least July & August 2005 on our C22 cruising the central coast of Maine again. Is anyone else thinking of going??? Does anyone know of a cellphone company with good coverage of the central coast of Maine???
Perhaps we will see you out there.
Philip & Sharon Merlier
PHILIP & SHARON MERLIER
FELLSMERE, FLORIDA

Boat Name: SWIZZLE STICK

Model/Year: 1990 C22

Hull No.

Hailing Port: FELLSMERE, FLORIDA
05/26/2005 11:19 PM Pacific Time

Heading for Maine this summer????? If anyone is thinking of launching at Northeast Harbor and sailing the coast of Maine this summer I recommend that you call Haynes garage in advance and reserve a storage spot for your tow vehicle and trailer. Parking space is becoming an issue and they are the only show in town. We plan on spending ten weeks on our C22 in Maine this summer. If anyone is interested going and has questions they may contact us at: Basecamp97@yahoo.com Hopefully we will see some of you guys out there.



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08/18/2005 4:14 AM Pacific Time


I must have missed the Merlier's last message above: I spent three days up in Northeast Harbor a couple of weeks ago, and spent a lot of time wandering the town marina's parking lot, even up to the town of Mount Desert Island's police department parking lot, where the harbormaster told me long-term parking for transients is available, but never found them.

They were there on and off, the harbormaster informed me, but weren't on a mooring while I was there: they're using Northeast Harbor as a sort of base of operations. I tried off and on during my stay to raise them on Channel 16 with no luck, so I left a note for them on the dock bulletin board before heading off further "Downeast" on my cruise. So near, yet so far!

If you're interested, you can find my cruise log/journal, photo album, and charts of the three-week, singlehanded cruise at:
http://www.chipford.com/#hot

Chip Ford --
Marblehead, Mass.
1974 Swing Keel "Chip Ahoy" #3282
Chip Ahoy website: www.chipford.com



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08/19/2005 1:52 AM Pacific Time

The Merliers ("Swizzle Stick") wrote above: "Does anyone know of a cellphone company with good coverage of the central coast of Maine???"

I used Verizon, my regular cell phone company, with its America's Choice roaming plan. I had excellent to good signal strength right up the coast as far as Mount Desert Island in Maine. As I went further "Downeast" from there it became spotty to nonexistent in places. In South Addison at my friends' home, it was nonexistent -- but aboard Chip Ahoy out on its mooring in Eastern Harbor, within eyesight from their house overlooking the harbor, it worked fine; go figure! My friends never get a signal at their home, I was told.

My biggest cell phone problem came in Boothbay Harbor, where the unit itself died (great timing). I had to rent a car and lose a day driving 20 miles to the nearest Verizon store in Brunswick to buy a new cell phone and 12v charger! (I wonder why no two cell phone plugs fit each other?!?)

See: http://www.chipford.com/#Cruise05

Chip Ford --
Marblehead, Mass.
1974 Swing Keel "Chip Ahoy" #3282
Chip Ahoy website: www.chipford.com

 
 
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