Mystery Harbor May: Is it Northeast Harbor?

It is . . . and you’re the winner!

Is that Northeast Harbor, on Mt. Desert Island, in Maine? My wife Julie and I have often sailed Preamble, our Island Packet 37, down that way and spent many nights on harbor floats over the past 20-odd years. It is a very welcoming harbor for boaters. Great showers and an easy walk into town.

Bob White

Rockport, Maine

It’s his “one particular harbor”

What a great shot of Northeast Harbor. The crowded dinghy dock and the curve of the ramp were the giveaways as to the location. I’ve visited there every summer for 35 years. In the early days, Mike Johnson was the harbormaster. He was the best harbormaster I’ve ever seen. His wife, Jean, ran the moorings in a wooden skiff that Mike built. You called in with your call sign. You passed the spring line first when docking. He is now captain of Sunbeam V, the Maine Seacoast Mission’s boat. This is my “one particular harbor.”

Stephen Lee

Marblehead, Mass.

Been there many times

This view is looking east from the edge of the parking lot. Been there many times, racing IODs, cruising aboard my Baltic 48, and loading the mail boat to Little Cranberry Island.

Chip Johns

Mattapoisett, Mass.

Thanks for the memories

Always a port-of-call for over 50 years. The Pine Tree Market is a treasure. It’s a safe harbor with fuel, good showers in the Yachtsmen’s Building, and always good restaurants. Years ago the public phone on the dock was a magnet, too. Thanks for the memories.

Bob Smith

Rockport, Mass.

Great onshore amenities

This is one of our favorite harbors to pull into, tie up and walk into town for a gelato at McGrath’s Variety Store. We also love provisioning at Pine Tree Market.

Gretchen Sullivan

Southwest Harbor, Maine

Great hiking and so much more

Sure looks like Northeast Harbor. Wonderful spot. It’s where we have touched in on the way back from Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. We usually get in at night, when it’s wise to watch for lobster traps. It’s wonderful in September after the crowds have left. Plenty of moorings. A special treat is taking the park shuttle up to the Jordan Pond House, hiking the Jordan Cliffs Trail and then walking the Penobscot Mountain Trail back to the Thuya Gardens, then by the Asticou Inn and Harbor Brook Trail back to your boat. And did I mention the showers and laundry? That’s a big one for the crew.

Jack Maull

Exeter, N.H.

An iconic harbor

This is Northeast Harbor. It’s one of the most iconic harbors in Maine. My first trip there was in 1984. None of the fancy boats or docks that you see there now. It was a fisherman’s harbor then, and a mooring could be had for $5. My hope is to be able to get back there this summer. So much uncertainty to be dealt with first.

Russ Roth

Portsmouth, N.H. & Rockland, Maine


It’s Northeast Harbor, Maine. Been there 100 times. The fog is the giveaway.

Roger Gould

Gloucester, Mass.

An impromptu concert

We love Northeast Harbor and almost never pass it by. The harbormaster’s facilities are first-class. There are cruisers from all over to talk to. The fog reminds me of a 4th of July evening when our crew and those of nearby boats, who could not see each other in the dungeon, exchanged patriotic songs at full volume. The boat with the most operatic voices turned out in the morning to be a ketch from Minneapolis.

James Hamilton

Georgetown, Maine

The full monty

This month’s mystery harbor is Northeast Harbor on the southern shore of Mount Desert Island, Maine. The picture is taken from the paved path that leads to the new Yachtsmen’s Building. You can get your laundry done there while chatting with kindred boating spirits, or treat yourself to a well-deserved hot shower after returning from a long cruise Downeast.

The harbor is delightfully situated within walking distance of the quaint village where you can provision at the Pine Tree Market, treat yourself to a meal at several eateries, go gift shopping, check out the Great Harbor Maritime Museum, or catch the free Island Explorer shuttle to lovely destinations and hiking trails throughout the island. The lovely Thuya and Asticou Gardens are a short dinghy ride away.

A wide variety of boats are at home here including huge deluxe yachts, hard-working lobster boats, and classic sailboats. Visitors can catch the Sea Princess nature tour from here or charter a boat from Morris Yachts. It is also home to the Sunbeam V, the floating ship that brings medical and spiritual care to the offshore islands. Sailors of all stripes use the harbor as a jumping -off point to numerous delightful destinations on Maine’s coast.

Barkley and Ellen Van Vranken

Winterport, Maine