Acadia National Park Week: Sailing Out of Northeast Harbor
If you truly want to feel like a local on Mount Desert Island, take a day sail on a Friendship Sloop from Northeast or Southwest Harbor. Sail Acadia offers the opportunity to take a 3-hour guided sail on three Friendship Sloops, vessels that were used during the late 1800s to fish for lobsters along the Frenchman Bay shoreline. We sailed on the Helen Brooks, a replica designed with sailing in mind. Under the skilled guidance of Ryan at the wheel and his sidekick Savannah, we motored past the estates lining the Northeast Harbor shores and a seal that popped his head out of the water. Near the lighthouse perched atop Bear Island, Jeff and I helped hoist the sails. Winds were strong. In fact, there was a small craft advisory in effect, so Ryan had already reefed the mainsail and we chose to use only the staysail instead of the stronger jib. Soon we were gliding at a good 5-knot clip past Great Cranberry Island and the many lobstermen picking up their traps.