Guide to Maine Cruising - Monhegan Bay

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Monhegan Bay

Monhegan Bay

Maine often appeals to cruisers who relish challenges, like moving confidently through a thick maze of lobster pots or navigating in waters where rocks lurk, with chart in hand and vigilance at the wheel. For boaters who think the best places are those that can be a bit harder to get to, there’s Monhegan Island. As a cruising destination, the skippers who visit regularly say it’s worth the trip. Set out on its own about 10 miles from the mainland, the small island is isolated and scenic, so much so that it’s been seducing artists for hundreds of years, including Edward Hopper, Jamie Wyeth, and Rockwell Kent. There are no marinas here (or paved roads or cars, for that matter). Instead, you hail the harbormaster and he’ll come out in a small boat and guide you to an empty mooring ball, provided there is one. (If moorings are full, circle for a while and take in the views before puttering over to nearby Manana Island, populated only by goats.) Once ashore, you’ll find a hotel overlooking the harbor, a few B&Bs, a small village and walking trails that range from easy to challenging. And if it’s August, there could be plenty of people, since mail boats make a daily delivery of tourists, with some nattering to their neighbors, others carrying easels and art supplies. If you’re not up for that scene, head back to the boat and prepare a happy-hour spread for the crew to enjoy while watching what is sure to be a five-star sunset. 

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