Making Tracks on Moosehead Lake
When we came upon the most interesting campsite, we realized that we needed a better approach plan. This site was tucked away in a protected cove with no beach access. But what it did offer was a rocky face that went deep into the water. Rocks like to eat fiberglass. Somehow, tying off to the rock face really didn't seem like proper seamanship, but the campsite was just too cool to pass up.
We did a little recon, then discussed a strategy to get in there free of scratches. We cautiously made a reverse approach and tied to the rock as neatly as if we were approaching a quiet dockside marina. After we were settled in, I went around and added twice as many dock lines and fenders than were really needed, using a technique perfected by Spiderman. I wasn't going to feed the rock any of our fiberglass.
Sailing the trimaran was so much fun that it was hard to contemplate non-sailing activities. Nevertheless, Mount Kineo, a scaled-down version of Yosemite's Half Dome, called out to us. The dock where we landed the tri was essentially the start of the hiking trail. It offered two ways to the top: One was steep and strenuous, and the other-well, we probably should've been tied into a climbing rope. This route was definitely not for the white-sneaker hiker.
At the top is a century-old fire tower, and when we saw it, we were certain that it promised majestic views. The tower wasn't rickety; it just looked as if it was a bit on the thin side. Its stairs did appear to be suspended in air. Even for the acrophilic, it was a "Don't look down" endeavor. At the top, elevation 1,800 feet, we still couldn't see the north or south ends of Moosehead. Our hike to the peak was definitely worth passing up a couple of speed reaches across the lake.
|With a 24-foot multihull equipped with folding amas finding
an open space in an RV camping space was a breeze.
The week suddenly came to an end, and we were going to have to give the boat back. A lake like Moosehead must be explored, yet sailing it to the top and back in a week's time would never have happened on board a turtle-hull.
With speed to burn, we actually did more sailing, often choosing to head in whatever direction was the fastest, for the fun of it, rather than trying to get from Point A to Point B. The Corsair's best feature may be its retractable rudder and daggerboard, which allowed us to camp at some very cool on-the-water sites.
Looking back, I regret that no keelboat sailors were around to envy us as we easily stepped off the stern right onto shore. And I can't overlook the benefit of its trailerability. Delivery duty on this tri means cruising along at highway speeds, and it made our heads spin with all the new possibilities of waters that we can explore in just a week's time.
The Corsair was so ideal for us that toward the end of our trip, our conversation kept turning to ways to rearrange our finances so that we could buy it rather than give it back. It's the perfect tool for the job. We sure do miss it.
Sailing Sources in the Maine Woods
|Beaver Cove Marina was a very sailor friendly place to visit.|
Sailor Bill Fletcher and his family run Beaver Cove Marina (www.beavercovemarina.com) just north of Greenville. This full-service marina also has a launch ramp and a secure place to park a car for the week, along with motel rooms and a cabin that can be rented out if you're not into the camping aspect of this type of sailing trip. Since he took on the manager's position, Bill's goal is to promote sailing on Moosehead Lake.
All the supplies you need or forgot to bring from home are at the Indian Hill Trading Post (www.indianhill.com), on Route 15 south of Greenville. Mosquito netting, mint chocolate-chip ice cream, duck boots-they've got it all! South of Greenville, to the west on Route 15, is the town's free launch ramp. It features a large setup area with two slip-free ramps and small docks. This is primarily a ramp for fishermen, but most of those we encountered, very curious about what we were doing with a sailboat, were eager to lend a hand. The 50-foot channel to the ramp is also shared with many seaplanes, which makes for an exciting right-of-way situation. I myself always make the effort to get out of the way of a spinning propeller!
Lifelong sailor Mike Lee has worked in the marine industry for 22 years.