Cruising Stories

Cruise Itinerary from Maine to Florida

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July 2014
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By
Wendy
Levenshon

Ira says that boating is a metaphor for life. One moment the seas are calm with fair winds and blue skies and the next, wind gusts to 30 knots with 12- foot seas. We experience it all for the love of the sea. Five years ago, Ira and I were married barefoot on the bow of our 58-foot Satori at Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo, Fla. The time came and we upgraded our 58-foot Satori to our new 74-foot Satori and began enjoying the summer months cruising to Maine from our homeport in Miami. As the season is short in Maine, we travel north quickly and take our time returning home to Florida.Provisioning begins in late May insuring that we have everything on board for our ex- tended cruise including meals, walkie-talkies and spare tires for our bikes before we depart in June. Given a weather window, we depart from Miami to Coinjock, N.C., spending two nights on board Satori. Coinjock Marina is a welcoming place smack in the middle of the boondocks, where we feast on their great prime rib and fried chicken. We stock Satori with 2,100 gallons of fuel, and we're off at first light the next day through Norfolk, Va. to overnight in Greenport, N.Y. on the Long Island Sound.Mitchell Park Marina in Greenport is a great base for experiencing over 30 wineries. Corey Creek Vineyard has Moonlight Monday with oysters and barbeque, while Sparkling Pointe has live music and tapas and Jamestown has wood fired pizzas and oysters every Sunday. Greenport is also a wonderful place to spend the 4th of July! We enjoy all the celebrations and fireworks that spread over all the adjoining towns night sky from our aft deck. Our three daughters, son in law and two grandchildren will spend long weekends with us on board Satori. The world famous Claudio's Restaurant is adjacent to the marina and we spend many nights on our deck listening to their live music while watching the party scene.Then we're off to New England through the Cape Cod Canal to Portland, Maine which is a foodie's delight. Duckfat Restaurant has a creative menu that any cardiologist would run from. They prepare a poutine with duck fat French fried potatoes. We never miss the Portland's Farmers Market and on a calm day, we dinghy on the Casco Bay to charming Dia-ond Island for a relaxing lunch on the lawn at the Diamond's Edge. We dock for a week or two at the Maine Yachting Center, just a few minutes from town.Our next stop varies. At Boothbay, Maine we dock at the friendly Carousel Marina and walk over to the lobster pounds where we enjoy watching the lobster boats unloading our lunch and dinner. At Rockland, we dock at Trident Marina and dine at the famous farm to table Primo's for dinner. We enjoy the emerging art scene, too. In Camden, we dock at Wayfarer Marine and enjoy the countless restaurants in this quaint little town.Looking back, our first voyage from Camden to Northeast Harbor plunged us into fog that was quite challenging. I stood a careful watch on the bow announcing every lobster pot and sound through my headset while Ira insured that every other boat knew where we were as we headed with the rhythmic foghorn soundings and radioed point to point. After hours the sun finally peaked through just in time to see hundreds of colorful lobster pots blocking the entrance to Northeast Harbor.At Northeast Harbor Town Dock, we are greeted by John, the Harbormaster, who sports a quintessential Maine smile. A short walk from the docks is the charm- ing little town with a few boutiques, hardware store, galleries and housewares. We eat our weight in fresh lobsters each season either boating, biking or driving to our favorite lobster pounds: Abel's, Beal's, Thurston's and Trenton Bridge, just to name a few. A short drive takes us to the Burning Tree Restaurant and Town Hill Bistro for a change of menu to gourmet delights. The Ilseford Dock Restaurant is a local gem on Little Cranberry Island, a short dinghy ride away.We look forward to our daily hikes up the hills and mountain trails of Acadia National Park. Our favorite is the hike from the base to the peak of any one of the four trails on the face of Cadillac Mountain the highest point on the Eastern seaboard. Achieving each summit makes us feel decades younger gazing down at the most majestic views of the many sounds and tiny surrounding islands. From the peak of Cadillac Mountain, we see the Town of Bar Harbor, one of our favorite destinations.Towards the end of our stay in Northeast Harbor, one of our friends invites an extended guest list to a boat house on Great Cranberry for a real down- eastern Lobster Bake with dozens of freshly caught lobsters steamed in sea- weed with all the pot luck fixings that everyone brings. Now it is late August and time to journey back down.

The Itinerary South

  • LEG 1: Northeast Harbor Marina - NE Harbor, Maine
  • LEG 2: Carousel Marina Boothbay - Harbor, Maine
  • LEG 3: Maine Yachting Center - Portland, Maine
  • LEG 4: Provincetown Marina - Provincetown, Mass.
  • LEG 5: Newport Yachting Center - Newport, R.I.
  • LEG 6: Dodson Boatyard - Stonington, Conn.
  • LEG 7: Mitchell Park Marina - Greenport, N.Y.
  • LEG 8: Danfords Hotel & Marina - Port Jefferson, N.Y
  • LEG 9: Liberty Landing Marina - Jersey City, N.J.
  • LEG 10: Golden Nugget Marina - Alantic City, N.J.
  • LEG 11: South Jersey Marina - Cape May, N.J.
  • LEG 12: Schaefer's Canal House - Chesapeake City, MD
  • LEG 13: South Annapolis Yacht Centre - Annapolis, Md.
  • LEG 14: Solomons Yachting Center - Solomons, Md.
  • LEG 15: Tidewater Yacht Marina - Portsmouth, Va.
  • LEG 16: Coinjock Marina - Coinjock, N.C.
  • LEG 17: Beaufort Docks - Beaufort, N.C.
  • LEG 18: Southport Marina - Southport, N.C.
  • LEG 19: Charleston City Marina - Charleston, S.C.
  • LEG 20: Harbour Town Yacht Basin - Hilton Head, S.C.
  • LEG 21: Golden Isles Marina - St. Simons Island, Ga.
  • LEG 22: Beach Marine - Jacksonville Beach, Fla.
  • LEG 23: Old Port Cove Marina - North Palm Beach, Fla.
  • LEG 24: Home - Miami, FLA.
Related Articles
Camden, Maine
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True boaters say the real Maine coast doesn’t start until you reach Penobscot Bay. This is “Down East” from Kennebunkport and Portland. The dramatic stretch of coastline from Camden to Mount Desert Island sparkles with granite shores, dotted with archipelagos of pine-tree covered islands and mountains cascading into the sea. This region offers some of the best cruising ground in the world.

Camden is a magical little seaside town in the heart of Maine’s mid-coast. It’s historic but hip. “Where the Mountains Meet the Sea” is their moniker, as Camden Hills and 780-foot Mount Battie stretch down toward the bustling waterfront where this 1769 New England village sits, creating a postcard scene.

Camden is super foot-traffic friendly, starting at Harbor Park and the beautiful brick Public Library that graces the top of the bay by the Town Docks. Enjoy a picnic on the sprawling park lawn; there’s often a craft festival or free concert at the outdoor amphitheater. From the waterfront, stroll the quaint sidewalks leading to cafés, boutiques, craft stores and art galleries, pubs, and surprisingly trendy restaurants.

You can hike, bike or drive the toll road up Mount Battie in Camden Hill State Park, which encompasses 5,500 acres and 30 miles of trails. Your reward is spectacular panoramic views of the harbor and Penobscot Bay below.

Eaton Point, at the eastern entrance to the harbor, is home to a new Lyman-Morse yacht facility. Camden remains a working harbor with lobster fishermen, boat builders, ferries and tall-masted schooners taking folks out for scenic sails.

Camden hosts festivals throughout the summer season of jazz, film and its trademark Windjammers. In winter, the U.S. National Tobogganing Champion-ships are held at Camden’s namesake Snow Bowl – our country’s only ski area with views of the Atlantic.

Camden is an ideal boater’s gateway with all the services and shops you need in walking distance from the waterfront. Excursions from this protected harbor are countless and legendary. A quick cruise brings you to quiet Lasell Island for a sunset anchorage. Farther on you reach Maine’s Maritime Academy home in beautiful Castine, and the rustic islands of North Haven, Vinalhaven and Deer Isle. Ultimately you can cruise north and east through beautiful Merchants Row, or the more protected Eggemoggin Reach, to Mount Desert Island, home to famed Acadia National Park, Northeast, Southwest and Bar Harbors.

WHERE TO DOCK

Camden Public Landing
Town Docks
207-691-4314

Contact the harbormaster for overnight slips, limited but in town, and moorings throughout the harbor.

Lyman-Morse at
Wayfarer Marine
207-236-7108

Across the harbor on Camden’s east shores, this revamped marina is a half-mile walk to town, with new docks and a marina facility, home of Lyman-Morse Boatyard and 30 slips plus moorings.

WHERE TO DINE

40 Paper
207-230-0111

Relish artful cuisine locally sourced from farmers, fishermen and “foragers.” In an historic wool mill in downtown Camden, it’s comfy but chic. Savor octopus, lamb, mussels, salmon and more with fresh produce and creative sides. Save room for dessert made from scratch.

Peter Otts on the Water
207-236-4032

Get your chowder and Maine lobster fix from Chef Peter. This classic setting overlooking the harbor is a Camden staple you “ott” not miss. Open for lunch or dinner.

Franny’s Bistro
207-230-8199

With a neighborhood feel, Franny’s serves up lobster fritters, crab cakes, shrimp dumplings and land-lubber faves, too. A fun menu in a cozy setting.

Bagel Café
207-236–2661

For fresh-brewed morning coffee and daily “boiled then baked” bagels or breakfast sammies served all day.

Read More
Jamestown, Rhode Island
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Located on Conanicut Island, Gould Island and Dutch Island, Jamestown welcomes boaters to Narragansett Bay.  Its southernmost point is on Gould Island and marked by Beavertail Lighthouse and State Park. The northernmost point is marked by Conanicut Island Lighthouse.  While Conanicut Island is the second largest island on Narragansett Bay, it is near the western mainland in Kingston, and Newport lies to the east on Aquidneck Island.  Hop on the Jamestown Newport Ferry to get the lay of the land and sea.

Jamestown was settled early in colonial history and was named for James, Duke of York, who became King James II in 1685.  By 1710, many of Jamestown’s current roads were already in place and a lot of its early architecture is well preserved. Soak up some local history at the Jamestown Fire Memorial Museum, Beavertail Lighthouse Museum and Park, Jamestown Windmill, Watson Farm, Conanicut Island Sanctuary, Fort Wetherill State Park, and the Jamestown Settlement museum.

The main town, shops and restaurants are located on the eastern shore of Conanicut Island.  But even from the western side, Dutch Harbor and other attractions are easily accessed with a one-mile walk.

WHERE TO DOCK

Conanicut Marina
401-423-5820

This full-service marina has a ships store/chandlery, gift shop, extensive dockage and a large mooring field.  It’s located in the heart of town overlooking Newport and the Pell Bridge, but bring your fishing poles for the kids.

Dutch Harbor Boat Yard
401-423-0630

Located on the west passage of Narragansett Bay, this small, local marina has good moorings, launch service and facilities.  At times, the harbor can be rolly from a SW wind up the West Passage.  The holding ground is excellent for anchoring, but the dinghy dock is by seasonal permit only.

Safe Harbor Jamestown Boatyard
401-423-0600

Jamestown Boatyard is renowned for excellent workmanship on all types of boats.  It also has a large mooring field and is in a beautiful location on the East Passage.

WHERE TO DINE

Slice of Heaven
401-423-9866

This family-owned café and bakery with an outdoor patio is an ideal spot for breakfast and lunch, especially if you’re looking for tasty gluten-free and vegetarian options.

J22 Tap & Table
401-423-3709

This lively, year-round restaurant specializes in classic American cuisine and local seafood dishes such as New England clam chowder, lobster tail and seared yellowfin tuna while accommodating meat eaters with wings, burgers and steak tacos.

Village Hearth Bakery & Café
401-423-9282

Take a seat inside this rustic eatery or outside on the patio to enjoy wood-fired bread, pizzas and pastries with a cool beer or wine.  To start your day with a smile, order a cup of the eco-friendly coffee.

Bay Voyage Restaurant
401-560-7979

Inside the Wyndham Bay Voyage Inn, this casual dining establishment presents a seasonal menu of American cuisine standards and seafood with fresh ingredients and a stellar view of Narragansett Bay.

Read More
Women Take to the Water In Boating Groups & Clubs
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It’s 5:30 p.m. on a Friday. Do you know where your wife, mother, daughter or sister is? She might be at the Chicago Yacht Club, launching off in a learn-to-sail lesson in the summer series that’s part of the Women on the Water Program.  Or, if she’s in the Florida Keys, you could find her relaxing ashore after a day casting about in a Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! tournament. Or maybe she’s cruising the Intracoastal Waterway in North Myrtle Beach on a pontoon boat with friends, all members of Freedom Boat Club’s Sisters group. 

Nationwide nowadays, many groups and clubs are oriented specifically toward female boaters. Some are exclusively for women, others are clubs within co-ed clubs, and still others are part of century-old all-inclusive organizations that now offer opportunities for the ladies.

“A boater is a boater; it’s anyone who loves being on the water. Still, for many years and often today, boating is viewed as a man’s sport. That’s changing as more opportunities become available for women to get out on the water,” says Mary Paige Abbott, the past Chief Commander of the U.S. Power Squadrons, rebranded as America’s Boating Club with 30,000 members — 30% of them women. The century-plus-old organization opened its membership to females in 1982.

Women making waves in boating isn’t new. New York-born Hélène de Pourtalès was the first female to win a medal sailing in the 1900 Olympics. Helen Lerner, who with her husband Michael and friend Ernest Hemingway founded the Bahamas Marlin & Tuna Club in 1936, recorded a women’s first record catch of a swordfish off Nova Scotia. In 1977, Betty Cook landed a first-place finish in the powerboat world championships held in Key West. These examples are extraordinary but only exceptions to the rule that boating is a male-dominated sport. 

Today, the tide is turning. Take sports fishing for example. About 36% of Americans who went fishing last year were women, an all-time participation high, according to the 2021 Special Report on Fishing by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing involvement in recreational angling and boating.

WHY WOMEN?

Why not? That’s what led Betty Bauman to start Ladies, Let’s Go Fishing! in 1997. Since then, this organization of which Bauman is founder and chief executive officer, hosts weekend seminar series dubbed the No-Yelling School of Fishing, as well as tournaments throughout Florida and abroad. To date, Bauman has empowered more than 9,000 women to sportfish.  

“I attended ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades, the world’s largest sportfishing trade show) when I had a public relations agency. The American Sportfishing Association’s director asked in a speech why weren’t more women in fishing? After all, as he pointed out, the sport wasn’t reaching some 50% of the potential market. I thought to myself, women don’t want to feel uncomfortable or get yelled out. So, I came up with a way to teach women the basics. How to tie knots, how rods and reels work, and how to make value assessments when fishing, not just following what their husbands yell at them to do or going down in the galley to make sandwiches,” says Bauman.

Women learn differently from men, and that’s the benefit of learning boating skills with and from other women. Just ask Debbie Huntsman, the past president of the National Women’s Sailing Association (NWSA).

“My husband and I were taking a learn to sail class years ago. I saw another boat in the distance and asked the instructor, who was a man, what I needed to do to be sure we didn’t have a collision. He answered that it was just like going down the aisle at the supermarket with a shopping cart; you just know not to hit another cart. That didn’t do it for me,” Huntsman tells. 

The 1990-founded NWSA is a group of national and international women sailors. It supports its members via everything from a library of instructional videos taught by women, for women, to its annual conference, which features hands-on workshops and on-the-water coaching.

“I think women tend to be more meticulous in their learning. They want to know all the moving parts and why they move. They want to do it right and do it perfectly whether men are onboard or not. That’s what I see,” says Karen Berry, VP of operations at Freedom Boat Club (FBC) of the Grand Strand, in Myrtle Beach, SC.

FBC offers free boating training and safety education to all members, including those in the 2017-founded Freedom Boating Diva program, which Berry helped to launch. The group is now called the Freedom Boat Club Sisters group, and 40% of the clubs nationwide now have a Sister component. Members enjoy time on the water together, training activities, social events and boatloads of camaraderie.

CAMARADERIE & NETWORKING

More so than a one-and-done class, many women-centric boating groups and clubs feature ongoing and year-round events. A good example is Women on the Water, a club within a club run by the Chicago Yacht Club’s (CYC) Women’s Committee. The group’s Friday night learn-to-sail series in Sonar 23s only takes place during the summer. The rest of the year, the women (an eclectic group of boating-oriented 20-somethings to 70-plus-year-olds, singles and marrieds, professionals and retirees) meet monthly for educational programs, networking events and happy hours.

“We’ve done everything from a sunset powerboat tour to admire the architecture of the Chicago skyline to a cooking class taught by the club’s pastry chef. During the pandemic, we continued to meet virtually. We had the female president of the U.S. Naval War College speak. We met some of the crew of the Maiden Factor, which is sailing the world to promote women’s sailing, and we had one of our own speak — Maggie Shea, who raced in the 2020 Olympics. The fact that our events fill up and sell out almost immediately tells you there’s a need for this,” says Nancy Berberian, head of the CYC’s Women’s Committee.

Similarly, the nearly four-decade-old Women’s Sailing Association (WSA) at the Houston Yacht Club hosts a residential women’s sailing camp. The Windward Bound Camp, one of the first of its kind in the nation, organizes racing, educational and social events throughout the year.  

“Our sailing socials allow time on the water with other women in a non-competitive environment.  Yearly, we organize a ‘Sail to High.’ Yes, we wear lovely hats and gloves on the sailboat and dock at someone’s home for tea and trimmings,” says Jane Heron, WSA president.

More recently, Women on the Water of Long Island Sound (WOWLIS) was born, made up currently of more than 250 women from 14 yacht clubs in Connecticut and New York who love to sail, race, learn and socialize. 

“It started as a Supper Series, as a way to connect women across our venues,” says Cathleen Blood at WOWLIS. “Now, there is regularly held one-design racing on Ideal 18s, team and fleet racing events, chalk talks and clinics, summer regattas, frostbiting in the spring, and an annual winter meeting to plan for the year ahead. 

To participate in most of these events, you must be a member of one of the yacht clubs. In this way, it’s all about getting clubs to commit to training and get more women on the water. There’s a real advantage. Say there’s a race I want to sail. I’m never stuck for crew. I have a pool of over 200 women, whether I know them or not, I can ask. We’re all united by a shared love of sailing.”

A SAMPLING OF WAYS FOR WOMEN TO GET ON THE WATER

Chicago Yacht Club’s Women on the Water


Freedom Boat Club Sisters Program


Houston Yacht Club Women’s Sailing Association


Ladies Let's go Fishing


National Women’s Sailing Association


Women on the Water Long Island Sound

Read More

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