July: Isle au Haut

 

Lobstermen tend to their catches here

I knew this one at first glance. Pictured is the town dock on Isle au Haut. My wife Marty and I have taken advantage of the rental moorings in this picture. On one of our first trips we were fortunate to bump into Linda Greenlaw on the dock. We just happened to have her latest book with us, and she very graciously agreed to sign it for us.

This is the center of activity on Isle au Haut. Lobstermen tend to their catches here. The mail boat comes in here carrying all sorts of things. We’ve seen sofas, refrigerators and washing machines, just to name a few. It’s also a great place to go for a walk. We always end up at the market for ice cream. We love this spot and visit every summer.

Russ Roth
Portsmouth, N.H. & Rockland, Maine

Kimball Island is across the ’fare

The Mystery Harbor is the harbor at Isle au Haut. The picture is from Isle au Haut looking across Isle au Haut Thoroughfare at Kimball Island. The harbor is part of the Thoroughfare, and a great place to spend a night or two.

Andy Marvin
Boothbay Harbor, Maine

Watch for the rock in the anchorage

This sure looks a lot like the Thoroughfare at Isle au Haut. This is a beautiful spot, though tough to find a mooring (labeled with the ubiquitous soda bottle and the word RENTAL). Those who do will have access to beautiful scenery (we saw a golden eagle here two years ago), and an outstanding gift shop ashore, which also sells lobsters. The island store has quite a collection of food, and ice. There’s a nice walk to the community church where we’ve seen deer on several occasions. Be careful headed north from the harbor as it is very shallow; even the mail boat kisses the bottom at low tide. Watch for the rock inside the anchorage.

David and Anne Taft
Harpswell, Maine

Local trail marked by tin can lids

We spend a couple of nights a year here in the Thoroughfare and easily recognized the open field that sits above the “rental moorings.” There’s a lovely home to the right of the field on Kimball Island that isn’t in the picture. The local store is a great place for provisions and local fishermen bring in what they’ve caught fresh there – we’ve had some awesome halibut on the grill, fresh from the ocean. There are great hiking trails. One, which is locally marked with tin can lids, leaves from the area of the church/Department of Public Works and is a nice alternative to walking the road to the park. One afternoon when we picked up a mooring, the New York Yacht Club was “in town” – they were all arriving and heading to the northern end of the Thoroughfare where there’s a nice big basin that would accommodate their fleet. All of a sudden, there was a HUGE motor yacht coming up the Thoroughfare, heading north, and we were stupefied watching it. It was half-tide and falling, and the dredged portion of the channel at the north end of the harbor surely wasn’t wide or deep enough for this boat. As the yacht approached the channel, all of a sudden both engines were thrown into reverse – at the last minute they decided not to use the channel. That same afternoon, some enterprising young men loaded up a skiff and headed off to sell lobsters to the yachts. They returned in short order with an empty skiff and full pockets. Our one sad note about Isle au Haut is that Black Dinah is no longer open. It was a wonderfully guilty pleasure stopping in after a hike for award winning chocolates!

Jane Davin
Boxford, Mass.

Beautiful church is there

We visited Isle au Haut a couple of summers ago on my cousin’s schooner, the Mary Day. Up from the wharf and off to the right about 1/4 mile was the woman selling chocolates, and to the left, up a long flight of steps up the hill, was one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen. I hope that it’s all still there. Can’t wait to get back there again someday.

Joe King
Glen Flora, Texas

A favorite spot for 50 years

The Mystery Harbor in the July issue of Points East is looking across the Isle au Haute Thoroughfare toward Kimball Island. I first saw this view while hiking the island over Thanksgiving weekend in 1968 amid a northeast gale. For the past 50 years I’ve regularly visited friends on the island, coming either by mail boat (which lands on the open face of the dock in the foreground) or in a succession of various small boats including a dinghy, which we built in 1978 and is still in the scrum on that dock. It’s a wonderful protected harbor with a few rental moorings for visiting boaters. It’s been a favorite stop throughout these past 50 years.

Jay Peters
Belfast, Maine

Unique mowing pattern there?

It’s the harbor at Isle au Haut. I can tell by the space between the moored lobster boats occupied by the rock. Also, the way the fields are mowed on Kimball Island are significant.

Mark Donahue
Yarmouth, Maine

We’re at the Mystery Harbor!

So I grabbed the latest Points East this morning at J.O. Brown’s on North Haven. Then slid across East Penobscot Bay to Isle au Haut Thoroughfare for the night in our J/30 Claudia II. Got things squared away after snagging one of the two rental moorings and then glanced at Points East. We’re at the Mystery Harbor! Attached is a picture of Claudia II [across harbor, gray stern] at rest. Oh, and we also saw David Buckman aboard his Leight out there as they sailed into Vinalhaven’s Seal Bay. Small world! Keep up the fun boat writing.

Tom Hildreth
Kingfield, Maine

 

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