Casco Bay is a perfect cruising ground to shake down a new boat. There’s rocky ledge, 7 foot tides, lobster boys littering your path, and occasional fog. Adding to our thrills, NOAA forecasts seem to under predict wave heights and wind speeds. Our first venture past round rock and into Casco Bay was spiced up by 25+ mile hour winds and an internal leak in the anchor locker. The sailmaker from Doyle Sails was aboard and we were pushing Narnia to her limits with both whisker poles deployed along with a double reefed main sail. Meanwhile, Steve, the boat yard owner, was below trying to identify where the water was coming in. Back at the dock, Steve, the project manager, found the leak allowed water from the anchor locker to spill over into the V-berth wetting the new memory foam mattress on it’s way to the bilge. Did I mention I forgot to turn the bilge pumps on? Clean up took a few days to complete and Erik and I spent a day developing and printing checklists to ensure we never forget a crucial detail again.
The next time we ventured out, we sailed to Sebasco Harbor. It’s a beautiful little mooring field. Sebasco Resort was hosting a wedding that weekend but the grounds are extensive and the resort has a restaurant with outside dining and an ice cream shack open till 8 pm! Sailing to Sebasco was uneventful but we knew a front was coming, so we left early the next morning and motored back to our home base, GIBY.
After a few repairs, replacements and remarks, Narnia was again ready for another sail. This time we ventured out Round Rock and headed south past Half Way Rock towards Handy Boat in Falmouth, Maine. Since the sea wind was essentially nonexistent, the diesel engine’s iron wind propelled us 20+ nautical miles in record time. Handy Boat has moorings, showers, and a great restaurant but nothing compared to the hospitality of Scott and Odette.
Scott is a long term friend of Erik’s and they cooked a wonderful lobster meal which we enjoyed on their porch overlooking the mooring field. During dinner, the conversation settled on choosing our next destination. Keen to go north again and try to visit Boothbay Harbor before the summer tourist season blossomed into crowded anchorages, we asked Scott for a recommendation. A native of Casco Bay, Scott recommended Five Islands, located on the Sheepscot River, as a destination along the way to Boothbay Harbor. The next morning we cast off the mooring and headed back north towards Boothbay Harbor.