A National Treasure – Acadia National Park

Ahoy from Rockland, Maine! Welcome back virtual crew members and fellow adventurers!

Jordan’s Pond with Bubble Mountains in the background

Summary of the Week

The crew left Yarmouth in the fog and crossed the Gulf of Maine to Mistake Island on Monday where they anchored in the fog. They weighed anchor Tuesday, and made way to Mount Desert Island where they stayed at Northeast Harbor Marina and explored Acadia National Park. Friday, the crew headed to Kent Cove where they anchored for the night. Then ended the week at the Journey’s End Marina in Rockland.

Click on the Still Waters II Travel Map to see detailed Voyage Logs.

The voyage of discovery did answer the following questions this week:

  1. What is the heaviest boney fish in the world?
  2. Why does this fish bask?
  3. Who named Mount Desert Island?
  4. Where is the first place to view a sunrise in the US between March and October?
  5. Who is Cadillac Mountain named after?
  6. What is the oldest National Park east of the Mississippi River?
  7. What did John D. Rockefeller, JR donate to the Park?
  8. Who is considered the ‘Father of the Park?’

At the Box Office

This week’s video shows Still Waters II take in the sights of the Park Loop Road. Enjoy!

To see past videos, click on the link to the Still Waters II Vimeo site.  The library contains videos of Still Waters II cruising America’s Great Loop.

Sunday, August 18

The skipper has mapped out two different courses to cross the Gulf of Maine and return to the U.S.A. One course takes four small jumps of 40 miles each to reach Mount Desert Island. While the second course takes a long day of 90 miles to go straight across to the shortest distance to Maine, and then a shorter 40 mile day to arrive at the Northeast Harbor Marina on Mount Desert Island.

The weather forecast will be the driving factor behind the decision. The weather for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday looks favorable. However, the Thursday weather is questionable, so the crew will decide tomorrow morning which way to go.

Monday, August 19

Well look out the window and what do you see? Absolutely nothing but fog. A check of the weather still shows Thursday to be a bad day to travel with winds 20-25 mph, and that would not be much fun to hang on the hook either, so the crew opted for the two day route.

If you cannot see, at least it was calm

The weather was cooperative until about noon, halfway across the Gulf of Maine. Then the skipper noticed a wind shift out of the south with increased intensity at 15-20 mph. The resulting 3 foot waves crashing on the beam of the boat made it impossible to maintain course, so the skipper altered course about 30 degrees to 340 on the compass. Maybe the crew will head to Grand Manan Island after all.

This bird followed the crew across the Gulf of Maine
The bird would fly circles around the boat
Then he would land beside the boat
Once the boat passed, he would go airborne again and fly more circles

After 2 hours, the wind fell back down to around 10 mph. As the waves grew smaller, the skipper was able to slowly adjust course until he was finally pointed back towards Mistake Island. The crew continued on and arrived at Mistake Island around 1830, still enveloped by the fog.

At Mistake Island

They found three sailboats already anchored in the cove, but their was plenty of room for Still Waters II to drop the anchor and call it a day.

Tuesday, August 20

Well look out the window and what do you see? Blue skies, sunrise, and that rugged rocky coast of Maine. That was a welcome sight. And that sailboat the crew anchored by last night, looks a whole lot better in the light.

A few pics of the Mistake Island anchorage

The crew weighed anchor and followed that blue sailboat out of the cove.

Once back out in open waters, the skipper set a course for Green Island. The Puffins use the Island to raise their young, but they have completed that for the season and headed back out into the Atlantic Ocean where they will bob around in the water till next spring.

Green Island Lighthouse

Just before arrival at Green Island, the skipper noticed a strange fin in the water. At first he thought it was a large dead fish just drifting on the surface. When the crew went by the fish, they could tell it was still alive. They turned around to see if they could get a picture.

Turns out that the big fish was a sunfish. The basking behavior the crew witnessed, where the sunfish lays on its side near the surface, is thought to warm the fish back up after deep diving for food.

A few sunfish fun facts:

  1. heaviest known bony fish in the world
  2. will weigh 545-2,205 lbs as an adult
  3. looks like a fish head and tail with no body
  4. female can produce 300 million eggs at a time
  5. new sunfish are only 0.1 inch at birth and only a fraction of a gram
  6. they grow to 60 million times their birth size at adulthood

The rugged rocky coastline of Maine

The lobster fisherman were out in force today. They were busy pulling up their traps and harvesting their lobster catch.

About 1400, the lobster boats started showing up on the commercial dock at Northeast Harbor. They pulled up to the dock, used an overheard crane to unload the containers full of lobster, then got new containers from the pier. The lobsters were loaded directly into a truck ready for market.

Wednesday, August 21

The crew booked the Oli’s Trolley Tour so they could explore Acadia National Park. The trolley ride was 2.5 hours along the Park Loop Road, with stops at Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan’s Pond.

To catch the Trolley, the crew took the free shuttle service that runs around the Island. The ride from Northeast Harbor to Bar Harbor was about 45 minutes. Then a 15 minute walk to the ticket office to get their boarding passes.

The Tour started with a trip up to the summit of Cadillac Mountain where the views of Frenchman Bay and the Porcupine Island’s were outstanding. The Bay gets its name from the Frenchman, Samuel de Champlain, who is credited as the first European to explore the area and claim the land as New France. His expedition landed on the Island September 5, 1604. He is also credited for the name of the Island based on a journal entry: the mountain summits are all bare and rocky……..I name it Isles des Monts Deserts. A few fun facts about Cadillac Mountain:

  1. elevation is 1,530 feet
  2. highest peak along north Atlantic seaboard
  3. first place to view sunrise in the US between October 7 and March 6
  4. named after French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, Sieur de Cadillac in 1918
  5. prior to 1918, it was called Green Mountain

The mountain’s namesake was quite the character. He was born in France on March 5, 1658 with the given name of Antoine Laumet. His family was from modest means, but his father did manage to study law and became a lawyer.

It is reported that Antoine Laumet departed for the New World at age 25, in 1683. However, no documentation has ever been found on how he crossed because his name never appears on any passenger list. He reappears in Quebec in 1687 where his new identity has been found on a marriage certificate as Antoine de la Mothe, ecuyer, sieur de Cadillac. This new name/title suggests noble origin. Ecuyer means squire, and was the title for the rank of the second son. He also created his own titles of nobility along with a new family Coat of Arms.

The King of France gave him some of the land on Mount Desert Island, hence the mountain carrying his name. He also went on to found the city of Detroit after his stay at Mount Desert Island. And that Coat of Arms he created, you have probably seen this ‘Family Crest’ as the symbol of the Cadillac Automobile. He was a questionable historic figure at best, with many a shady deal. But in the words of writer-historian, Annick Hivert-Carthew:

Enveloped in a cloak of assumed identity and past… Cadillac emerges victorious. He has accomplished what many of his distractions have not: a lasting masterpiece — the city of Detroit. He has achieved immortality.

From the heights of Cadillac Mountain, the tour descended along the coast of Frenchman Bay where the tour stopped at Thunder Hole. This is a rock formation where the waves come up and crash into the rock making a loud noise. The seas were calm and at high tide so the rock formation was barely above water level and the wave action was not making any sounds. That did not stop hundreds of people from working their way down to the rocks though.

The third leg of the journey was through the interior of the Island with views of forest and fresh water lakes. The stop on this leg was at Jordan’s Pond. The water quality is so good that you can see objects 45 feet below the surface of the water.

In the background of the pic above are the Bubble Mountains. In the pic below can you find Bubble Rock?

Thursday, August 22

The crew took the free shuttle bus to the Hull Visitor Center near the north end of the Park. From there, they launched a 12 mile bike ride on the Carriage Roads that run through the Park. The 51 miles of Carriage Roads were the concept of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. He started the project in 1913 and worked for another 27 years to build the roads and 17 bridges. He eventually donated the Carriage Road System and the land to the National Park System. Interesting though, George B. Dorr is known as the ‘Father of Acadia’ and founder of the first National Park east of the Mississippi River in 1916.

Friday, August 23

After spending three nights on Mount Desert Island, it was time for the crew to move on. They made a short run west and anchored in Kent Cove for the night. Good thing it was a short run because the skipper was tired of playing dodge-a-float with all the lobster trap floats in the water. Seems to be more floats in the water than back in 2017, the last time they were here.

Many boats on the move today. Looks like the snowbird migration south has started

Also passed several Lighthouses today

Saturday, August 24

The crew made a two hour run to Rockland after they weighed anchor. The marina carries the name Journeys End Marina. In 2017, this was where the crew ended their Maine journey, and turned around looking for warmer weather at the end of September. This year, the temperatures have already begun to drop and the locals are talking about the end of boating season.

That has been filtered by the skipper to mean that the crew needs to keep moving towards New York City and complete the Down East Loop.

Boat Name of the Week

Double Trouble

Doreen, friend and virtual crew member, had posted this pic on social media. The skipper thought it might be paying homage to Stevie Ray Vaughn and his band, Double Trouble. Doreen wrote back and explained it was named for the owners twin daughters.

Next Week –

The crew will spend a few more days cruising Maine, and then make way to Gloucester, MA where they will spend the Labor Day weekend.

Loop On – Where the road ends, the water begins. The water goes on forever, and the adventure never ends.

Eric the Red

5 Comments on “A National Treasure – Acadia National Park

  1. Bill snd i went to Acadia, ONCE. I walked around the showline while Bill waited in the truck. We spent almost half a day there we left! Sound familiar??


  2. The bike ride looks like it was a perfect way to see the beautiful areas you could not have seen on the tour! Our friends will enjoy having their vessel included in your blog as the boat name of the week!


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