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Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Little Cranberry Island

One of the perks of our jobs here at Mount Desert Narrows is complimentary tickets to several activities offered by tour companies here on the island. We had tickets to join a cruise to Little Cranberry Island and Somes Sound on the Sea Princess out of Northeast Harbor. So we picked a day, and invited our friends Sherry and David of In The Direction of Our Dreams to join us, and happily we received an email accepting our offer :-). By the way, she has an excellent blog about this trip here, so head over there to read a detailed history and even pictures of us for a change :-).

I chose the 10:00AM morning cruise that was narrated by a park ranger, thinking the ride would be more interesting with a ranger narrating. It was ok. Our ranger, Becky, was ok, but wasn't really able to answer too many questions outside of her scripted narrative.

Our boat, the Sea Princess. I would say there were about 20 passengers on our tour.

Pulling away from the dock in Northeast Harbor. I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures of some of the beautiful yachts docked here, it's apparent that many wealthy people make this town their summer base :-).

As we got under way, Ranger Becky handed out a navigation chart and a wildlife identity chart.

Heading out into the open sea! Well, not too far ;-)

We went past Bear Island, and saw beautiful Bear Island lighthouse. Ranger Becky showed us pictures of the island back when the lighthouse was built in 1828 and there were no trees around the lighthouse to be found. A history can be read here.

A view of the mountains named "The Bubbles" to the right. I love the lobster pots everywhere, there's so many you feel as if you could hop-scotch across the water on them :-)

We had an up-close view of this beautiful lobster boat and fishermen checking their pots. It seemed as if everytime they pulled up a pot, the boat swung around so I couldn't get a shot of it!

I call this my "moody Maine" picture. I didn't catch what she called this, but they used to light a fire in it as an old-fashioned lighthouse.It looks very ancient.

One lone seal popped it's head out of the water to check us out.

After motoring past some beautiful homes along the shoreline, we came to the harbor of Islesford.

The Islesford Historical Building, part of Acadia National Park, sits next to the original Blue Duck General Store. 

The Blue Duck Ships' Store was a ship's chandlery, built about 1850 by Edwin Hadlock. The chandlery operated until about 1875, when it became a store, the Isleford Market, then apartments after 1912. Sometime later, George Hadlock, Edwin's son, sold the building to William Otis Sawtelle, a physics professor at Haverford College who spent his summers on the island. Sawtelle was a founder of the Islesford Historical Society, and after 1919 he maintained the store as the headquarters for the society and as a museum. Sawtelle named the store the "Blue Duck Ships' Store." In 1927 a new facility was built to be a museum. The Islesford Historical Museum took over the Blue Duck collection, which included ship's manifests, historical artifacts and genealogical information. Such collections and purpose-built museums were unusual at the time, and the Islesford Historical Museum represents one of the first of its kind. (Krog, Bronwyn (February 14, 1978). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory - Nomination FOrm: Islesford Historical Museum and Blue Duck Ships Store". National Park Service. )

The dock housed a photogenic restaurant, and several artist shops.

There was also a ranger inside the museum, who gave us a short synopsis of the history of the museum. Sadly, we found that although the museum had been built to be fire-proof, for the protection of the artifacts and documents stored here, a bad storm last winter had blown in some windows, and resulted in massive amounts of water damage. The artifacts and documents were removed to the main park headquarters in Acadia for restoration efforts. A photographic display was put up in the museum for visitor's to look at instead.

This reminded me a lot of the "dory rescue squad' back on Eastern Long Island. Our two areas have much history in common.

One artifact on display is "Squirt", Islesford's only fire pump for over 100 years.

Heading back to the Sea Princess, I passed these cute dinghies tied up together and couldn't resist a picture.

Heading back to Northeast harbor, we made a side trip into Somes Sound for a view of Eagle Cliffs. I never tire of seeing the almost perfect blocks of granite piled on top of each other, and how the tree line goes right to the water. I've heard that so many times from visitors here, that they didn't know how close to the shore the trees grow. It's not like the beach areas south of here, its the rocky wild coast of Maine!

So we had a very nice morning with Sherry and David, and enjoyed our cruise on the water. The only drawback to this trip is this small amount of time you have on Little Cranberry Island. For a more extensive trip, it would be better to take one of the mail boats over, and then you would have plenty of time to explore the museums, visit the town itself, and maybe even have lunch at that pretty little restaurant!

We had planned to enjoy lunch of soup and popovers at Jordan House with Sherry and David afterwards, but unfortunately it is peak season here, and the park is swamped with visitors. They were able to find parking for their little car Ruby, but we couldn't find anything for our big monster truck :-(. So they enjoyed lunch without us (although were kind enough to post a picture of the two empty seats we should have been in!), and we'll get there for lunch after Labor Day ;-)!!


  1. Looks like you guys had a nice little cruise, even if it was a short visit to the island! From Sherry's post, it looks like you missed a nice lunch! We're glad to have our car along, so we don't have to drive the big truck!!

  2. This is a great summary of our day and your pictures are much better than mine. Thanks for the shout outs to my post. I'm anxious to hear how the island changes after Labor Day. We went to JPH again today for a bowl of the world's best lobstah stew and had a THE pefect table on the lawn. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did. TWICE now! We only have two more days....sob...sob

  3. You guys in Maine have been making me hungry for Lobster all summer :)

  4. Glad you got to get together with Sherry and David for the tour. We considered staying longer and including August the next time we return, but apparently the crowds just get worse. We love Acadia when we were out on the hiking trails or biking the carriage roads. Otherwise, it was just too crowded:o((

  5. Your picture of the dinghies all tied together should be framed and hung...in a beach house somewhere :)

  6. That's a great trip! We'll see you sometime this coming up week. I'm so looking forward to seeing Maine.