Part 3: Rolling green hills give way to larger ones in the distance.
By Capt. Ken Kreisler — May 2003
When we arrived back at Nirvana, our lunch of homemade fettucini and blueberry crumble dessert was waiting for us. We spent the afternoon exploring the bay's upper reaches with Fossi in the tender, dined on osso buco, and once the kids were tucked in, spent the rest of the evening with sommelier Keiser as he led us through tastings of a 1997 Chateau Lagrange St. Julien Bordeaux (a Gran Cru Classe wine), a 1999 Shafer Napa Chardonnay, and a 1997 Margaux Chateau Arsac Bordeaux, among others. In the morning we weighed anchor for the hour trip to Pemaquid.
From my vantage point on Nirvana's bow, I watched a smart-looking Downeaster cruiser, her brilliant white hull contrasted against a varnished cabin top, head out of Pemaquid Harbor to sea after Keiser had grabbed some good real estate for anchoring. The boat had followed a silver sunlit path to the open ocean, and as she reached the gentle swells just past a pair of rocky islets, I noted how well her bow welcomed the sparkling water.
The landscape surrounding Pemaquid Point, a state historic site and one of the oldest settlements in New England, is breathtaking: Rolling green hills give way to larger ones in the distance, and again, there are deep forests further up the waterway. But it was the small field of lobster buoys lying just off our starboard bow that had my attention.
Two boys clad in yellow slickers approached the buoys in an outboard skiff, one sitting in the bow while the other stood, manning the tiller. The helmsman deftly spun the boat to port as his partner picked up a buoy and tied off the line. "Hey," I called out. "Hiyadoin," the tiller man answered back. The resemblance between the two was unmistakable, and although the boy in the bow was younger, I could see they were brothers. "Checking your lines?" I asked. "Yeah. Me and him do it," he answered. "Are they your lines or your dad's?" I asked. "Ours," the older brother answered and waved. Just then the lobster boat Sheila Ivy approached the skiff. "My dad," the younger boy said as the boat drifted nearby. The boys rebaited their traps and then followed their dad's boat in.
Pemaquid is a beautiful place ashore. We visited Fort William Henry (c. 1689) and the archaeological dig going on around it as well as the Samoset Memorial--it was Chief Samoset who greeted the Pilgrims at Plymouth. We also went to the famed Pemaquid Lighthouse (c. 1827); one of the most photographed of all Maine's lighthouses, it's also often featured in calendars. And we walked the Pemaquid Trail alongside Pemaquid Beach. By dinghy we explored the pristine upper reaches of the Johns River, going two to three miles up as far as the eastern and northern branches, before returning to Nirvana for lunch. We would weigh anchor soon after for Boothbay.
Keiser brought Nirvana alongside the face dock at Brown's Wharf Marina in Boothbay about an hour before sunset. The deep blue of the western sky was painted with long brushstrokes of orange and yellow as the clouds glowed from beneath while the last of Boothbay's lobster fleet motored in for the night.
After a dip in Nirvana's hot tub, we dined on dazzling Asian-inspired dishes, with our chef, Keiser, and the crew all garbed in Asian costumes. It was our last night aboard, and we smiled and laughed for many hours with our new friends and traveling companions. In the morning we would have our breakfast and say our goodbyes, as Nirvana was due back in Newport, Rhode Island, for another charter.
Soon it would be September. The days would grow shorter, the air a little cooler. My trip along this small piece of Maine coastline aboard Nirvana had been a perfect one with glorious weather, good friends, great times, and outstanding food. As we waited in Boothbay for our car to pick us up and drive us to Portland for the flight home, I drifted over to the end of the dock and looked out to sea and caught a last glimpse of Nirvana's silhouette as she headed south. I thought maybe I would wait just a little while longer before putting my watch back on and checking my appointment calendar.
Nirvana is available for charter in New England, the Bahamas and Caribbean, and Mediterranean. Call for individual pricing.
Northrop & Johnson Phone: (800) 868-5913. www.northropandjohnson.com.
This article originally appeared in the April 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.