The local folk attested to it and now we have witnessed what a delight cruising Maine’s coast in September can be. The winds and waves have clearly picked-up offshore this week with gusty fronts working their way up toward Nova Scotia. But behind the myriad islands, in the coves dotting the coast and up the tidal rivers it has been truly delightful. We experience the same scenery, but without searching to find room to anchor. It would seem that recreational boating is finished here after the Labor Day weekend. It just isn’t done…it seems we “didn’t get the memo”! As long as we have food & drink in the ship’s stores…and there’s the rub.
Grocery stores, as most of you know them, simply don’t exist in the fishing villages that dot Maine’s coast and islands. Of course they exist, but are always located out near the highway (10 minutes by pick-up truck ). On the other hand, raw lobsters can be had (literally) anywhere and homemade blueberry pies baked that morning. But if you need some butter (to melt), corn on the cob, red potatoes, and cold beer to make a proper dinner of ’em, they’re not to be had…unless you’ve a friend with a pickup truck! To be fair, the big cities of Bar Harbor, Belfast, and Rockland have small markets within walking distance of their docks….but even in these cities the supermarket is ‘out near the highway’. It’s a story of economics and local markets everywhere, not just the towns and villages of Downeast Maine. So to expand our diet beyond a lobsta’ and blueberry pie regimine, Colleen insists that we periodically plan a ‘major provisioning’ to acquire vegatables, dairy, and the like….even non-blueberry fruit (to prevent scurvy, I presume). So we have had to add “grocery store” as a criteria for picking our anchorages enroute back home to North Carolina. I suspect it was ever thus. Note: Before setting-off, adequate stores of rum were seen to by the Captain for an extended voyage.
All of which ties in to today’s mini-adventure. We’ve found a beautiful and totally secure anchorage for Mosey On in a cove quite aptly named The Basin a short way up the New Meadows River. It’s reported to be a rough day offshore…so we’ll sit here and enjoy our surroundings. But for a treat, we left Mosey On at anchor, and hopped in the dinghy for a quick ride across the river to the village of Cundy’s Harbor and their highly reputed lunch counter cum hardware store. Lobster rolls and pie a la mode were on my mind! We couldn’t identify this gastronomic oasis from the water, so we pulled alongside a lobster boat refueling at the local gas dock. “Can you point us toward Holbrook’s?…We hear it’s good food?” we asked. “ayeah…(Maine for ‘yes’)…but it closed Tuesday.” “Was there anywhere else to eat?” we presssed. “Ayeah…pizza or hotdogs at the gas dock…” For the “full Maine experience” we split the last available piece of pizza and a hotdog off that roller machine…
Maine is as beautiful as ever this September!….and the tourists are gone, and Holbrooks of Cundy’s Harbor has closed for the season. That pretty much sums it up!
Moseyin’ On…in search of provisions