Anchor in a Maine Cove
There was a time not so long ago when cruising in Maine meant pulling into a picture-perfect cove like Pulpit Harbor on North Haven, dropping anchor, and settling back for the evening with at most a half-dozen other yachts. Pull into Pulpit Harbor these days, though, and you'll discover that the prime anchoring areas are covered in white buoys marking the location of private moorings. Some less-than-scrupulous boaters will pick up one of these moorings and hang off it for the night, hoping that the owner won't pull in at a late hour and demand his spot. Besides the obvious inconvenience this presents, it also requires a yachtsman to place his trust in a mooring about which he has no knowledge. (One Down East editor, speaking on condition of anonymity, admits to once tying off to a Penobscot Bay mooring, only to discover that it had only the weight of some old chain keeping it in place. Luckily, the lee shore was a ways off!)
Do yourself a favor this year and rediscover the age-old tradition of anchoring. Even crowded anchorages like Pulpit Harbor and Camden have spots designated as anchoring-only, and the satisfaction of knowing that you've staked your own claim on the ocean floor should help you sleep better. Better yet, venture to a cove you've never been to, someplace where you're likely to be all alone as you swing on your hook. You may just discover what attracted you to cruising in the first place.