Mystery Harbor June: Matinicus

It’s Matinicus!

Ten years ago my wife Margaret and I bought a 24’ cabin launch for family day cruises, island picnics and cruises Downeast. It’s a small boat, but has everything we need: bunks, stove, sink, icebox, head, chart table, GPS/radar and a reliable diesel. Friends of ours had a sister ship, and we decided to meet at Brooklin Boatyard in Brooklin, Maine, as a jump-off point for a cruise through the islands of Eggemoggin Reach.

We live in West Boothbay Harbor, a few days distant, so we needed to make the passage there to meet them. We picked a stretch of good weather and charted a course to Monhegan, Matinicus and Isle Au Haut as the highest visible landmarks along the way. We pulled into Matinicus as the sun set the first day and snagged one of the pay-as-you-go moorings for the night, buttoning up just as the mosquitoes descended. We didn’t go ashore, but upon waking talked to an early morning riser on the way to his lobster boat about the beaches on the island. We’d seen photos and there are some beautiful ones, but they would have to wait for another cruise. Isle Au Haut was just visible in the distance so we were off at dawn. Perhaps this summer will be the one to return to Matinicus and explore thoroughly.

Dave Tew

West Boothbay Harbor, Maine


Matinicus Harbor, looking at the gut

Matinicus Harbor is a great spot on a calm night – there are two rows of guest moorings that are rentals just outside the gut. We’ve spent many nights there – it’s our fallback harbor if Criehaven is full. We have had many wonderful times there – it’s a great island to walk with dogs, and the graveyard is interesting. Some fishermen coming in for the night gave us an enormous bag of rock crab claws a couple of years back and wouldn’t take payment. There are dances on the pier on the north side of the harbor with live music some nights during the summer. Years ago, an enterprising young man was going from boat to boat selling “homemade ice” in plastic bags – “Solid cubes, no air!” We’ve been sailing the coast of Maine for over 30 years, and Matinicus is practically in our backyard. It’s at the southern edge of Penobscot Bay in an archipelago of rocky islands.

Jane Davin

Cushing, Maine