Our journey from Kimball Island to Somes Sound was another long day of motorsailing, but it was completely worth the effort.
As we approached Mount Desert Island and the Acadia National Park area, the elevation of the land rose in absolute beauty. It was like we had entered a different world. Even the sailboats were of a different time. Wooden schooners, gaff rigged boats, and many other traditional boats. These people were those of true sailors, all sails out and gliding slowly through the water under the light winds. It might take them the entire day to get across the harbor, but they were enjoying the lazy August day on the water. After all of our motorsailing and trying to reach upwind destinations by the day’s end, I couldn’t help but look at them with a certain envy.
We entered Somes Sound, the only natural fjord within the contiguous United States. We traveled the entire length of it, and arrived at Somes Harbor in Somesville at the northern end of the fjord. Again, it was like a different world, so protected from any wind, as well as a much warmer temperature.
Upon our entrance to Somes Harbor, we noticed a boat whose name we had heard over the daily SSB radio net that we have been listening to since we started cruising. The Magellen Net consists of European and American cruisers with long range cruising plans. Once our anchor was in place and we’d had some time to tidy the boat, the other family dinghied over to introduce themselves. They had been in Somes Harbor for 5 days and provided us with all the information we needed for getting around Mount Desert Island. The dinghy dock location, that the local library was having a book sale, where to catch the bus, where to get groceries, where to buy a park pass, and where to hike or rent bikes. We were thrilled to have had such a wonderful welcoming!
The next day, after school was complete, we dinghied ashore for a bus ride to Bar Harbor and some grocery shopping. The Island Explorer buses are extremely convenient and free. There are 7 bus routes that cover the island. In addition to their regular stops, they will drop you off or pick you up anywhere along the route. They also have bike racks on the front for the cyclists who need a ride. While we were in the quaint town of Bar Harbor, we also explored the bustling waterfront.
When we returned to the boat, we laid out our plans for our stay in Somes Harbor. The following day, we did school, boat work, and some paddleboarding. After a spending a whole day on the boat, the kids got the next day off from school for some hiking in Acadia National Park.