Cruising the Maine Coast
The Pleasures of Cruising Maine
The intriguing coast of Maine has long been a mecca for cruisers. It may be just two-hundred-fifty miles from one end to the other as the seagull flies, but this corrugated coastline actually offers more than 3,500 miles of nooks and crannies to explore along its length. Amid its thousands of islands and hundreds of secluded coves, wildlife abounds. You'll see ospreys, seals, dolphins, and perhaps even puffins.
Johanson Boatworks is perfectly located in Rockland, Maine at the heart of Penobscot Bay, considered by most to be the Maine coast's best cruising grounds. Forty miles long and 15 miles wide, the bay is extremely diverse, encompassing rugged granite cliffs, protected anchorages, tourist towns, fishing communities, wealthy summer colonies, and myriad unspoiled islands where wild berries ripen in the sun.
A typical summer pattern includes warm days (mid 80s) and cool nights (low 70s). The breeze is generally light in the morning, building to a southwesterly sea breeze of 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon, and settling down again at nightfall. Fog can occur in Maine anytime. Extremely hot and muggy air temperatures over the land can draw in fog from the ocean with the afternoon breeze. On other days, thick fog at daybreak will burn off by late morning. Occasionally, the fog can linger for more than 24 hours.
When cruising the coast of Maine, you must always keep the tides in mind, especially when anchoring or tying up at a dock. The difference between high and low can be as much as 12 feet. It's also important to remember that there is a slight current in the bay which can affect your course.
Supplies and Services
Fuel, water, food, and ice are readily available in most harbor towns. Populated harbors usually have rental moorings, and some may offer dock space. You will find a complete list in the Cruising Guide provided on your boat. When visiting outlying islands, you should be prepared to anchor and use your dinghy to go ashore to explore. The true beauty of Maine can be found in these uncrowded, timeless coves. Please remember that many islands are owned and managed by the Maine Island Trust Association and care must be taken to "leave only your footprints" to preserve their natural beauty.
Addicted to Maine
You could spend an entire lifetime exploring all that the Maines coast has to offer. On the islands, you'll find rocky shorelines, hiking trails, swimming holes in old granite quarries, popplestone beaches, and evergreen forests. The Maine coast's numerous creeks, eddies, and coves will entice the gunkholer in you to poke about and explore.
For shore-side entertainment, each harbor is unique. Craft and artisan shops abound, and dining options range from acclaimed restaurants with memorable menus to authentic lobster shacks on the water serving steamers and blueberry pie as well as succulent lobsters. The real treasure of cruising Maine, however, is getting to know her people - "the true Mainahs, ayuh" - and experiencing their sturdy character and genuine friendliness.