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Guide to Maine Cruising - Quahog Bay

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Photo by Maine Island Trail Association

Quahog Bay

Cruisers making a beeline to Penobscot Bay and Mount Desert Island sometimes blow past Casco Bay, but that can be a mistake since there are pretty places punctuated by steady breezes, flat water, wildlife, and solitude, and they’re all worth a look. That includes Quahog Bay at the mellow, eastern end of Casco. Near the head of the bay is Snow Island, once the private retreat of Dodge Morgan, a man who gained fame in 1986 as the first American to sail solo nonstop around the world. There’s a pretty anchorage, one that will most likely offer up sightings of osprey and bald eagles. You can’t go ashore at Snow, but you can at nearby Little Snow, which is managed by the Maine Island Trail Association, a volunteer stewardship group that protects uninhabited islands. (Locals say join for the guidebook alone.) There are good marinas here, too, including Great Island Boat Yard in Harpswell. If your definition of a great cruise includes boat watching, you’ll find plenty of beautifully arcing sheerlines here, including classic Down East designs from Hinckley and Sabre. Many boaters will spend a night or two on the anchor in Quahog and then come into the dock to stretch their legs and let the dog off the leash for a while. They’ll then launch kayaks and poke around the shoal waters, sliding silently between dozens of small islands, enjoying the air that seems cleaner than anywhere else, and letting the pace of Maine sink in.

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