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UNITED STATES COAST PILOT
ATLANTIC COAST-SECTION A ST. CROIX RIVER TO CAPE COD
The information contained in this volume relates to the coast and inland waters from St. Croix River, forming the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, to Race Point, Cape Cod, including Cape Cod Bay. It embraces all of the coast of Maine and New Hampshire and part of the coast of Massachusetts.
Character of the bottom. The entire area within the limits of this volume is a region of ledges and bowlders. The ledges rise abruptly from deep water and the bowlders ordinarily lie singly or in clusters on an otherwise flat bottom, so that the navigator can not depend on the lead to avoid them. As a measure of safety, vessels should avoid broken ground where abrupt changes in depth are indicated by the chart to depths less than 10 or 12 fathoms (18.3 to 21.9 m.); and in places dangers have been found where least depths of as much as 20 fathoms (37 m.) were the only indications found by the lead line survey. It is always safest, therefore, to select a sailing line from the chart which leads in the deepest water and well clear of broken ground. There is little natural change in the shore or shoals, except in places in Cape Cod Bay, where the shores are generally sandy and sand shoals extend off from them in places. Bowlders also occur in places, however, in Cape Cod Bay.
Wire-drag surveys.-In all areas mentioned above as rocky or regions of bowlders the ordinary survey with the lead line can not be relied upon to locate all dangers. In such areas a wire-drag survey, in which a horizontal wire is suspended at a known depth below the surface and dragged across the area, is the only means of locating all dangers.
At the end of 1926 the areas examined by means of a wire drag were as follows:
Friar Roads to Shackford Head, Head Harbor Passage to sea, Western Passage and area to Navy Island, and all of Passamaquoddy Bay.
I'he sea approaches from West Quoddy Head to the entrance of Head Harbor Passage.
Winter Harbor and the main part of Frenchman Bay from just southward of Egg Rock Lighthouse to the entrance of the tributaries at the head.
Parts of Blue Hill Bay and Jericho Bays. The main channels through Eggemoggin Reach, Deer Island Thorofare, and Merchant Row.
An irregular area southward of Great Wass and Head Harbor Islands.
Penobscot Bay from southward of Matinicus Island to the entrance of Penobscot River, including the main channels through Fox Island Thorofare.
Muscle Ridge and Twobush Channels and the channel westward from them to Mosquito and Metinic Islands.
Portland Harbor and approaches from Fort Gorges out to the general 18-fathom (33 m.) curve, the eastern limit being 3 miles : eastward of Halfway Rock. : The main channel of Portsmouth Harbor and the broken ground off the entrance.. .k section along the coast extending from about 5 miles south of Isles of Shoals to Cape Elizabeth and a short distance eastward of Isles of Shoals and Boon Island Ledge.
The broken ground along the coast from Cape Ann to the entrance of the Cape Cod Canal, out to a distance varying from 412 to 7 miles from the shore.
The above limits are general, and are given more in detail under the description of the tributaries.
The coast from West Quoddy Head to Penobscot Bay is generally rocky and indented by numerous large bays and many excellent harbors. Numerous islands lie along the shore, among which are passages that are much used by vessels, usually of less than 12 feet (3.7 m.) draft, as they afford anchorage in a head wind, or in thick weather. The many bowlders, rocks, and ledges which lie along and off this coast require the closest attention of the navigator, as in many cases they rise abruptly from deep water and the lead does not generally give indication of their proximity until too late to avoid them. The navigator should also remember that the average rise of spring tide at Rockland is 11 feet (3.4 m.), at Millbridge 13 feet (4 m.). and at Eastport 21 feet (6.4 m.), and that a vessel may sometimes pass over places at high water on which she would bring up at low water.
Between Penobscot Bay and Cape Elizabeth the coast is rocky and very much broken by numerous bays and rivers, many of which are excellent harbors. In Muscongus and Casco Bays good channels lead between the islands, affording inside passages that are much used by the smaller class of vessels passing along the coast. Great caution is necessary when standing along this stretch of the coast in thick weather, on account of the numerous dangers which in some cases lie nearly 10 miles offshore.
Between Cape Elizabeth and Portsmouth there are fewer harbors and marked indentations. The shore is more thickly settled than farther eastward, several of the beaches being popular summer resorts. The outlying dangers are well marked and fewer in number.
Southward of Portsmouth the coast is low and generally a sandy beach, with a few outcropping ledges and outlying dangers, but the northern shore of Cape Ann is high and rocky.
Between Cape Ann and Plymouth entrance the coast is rocky, generally bold, with numerous islands, dry rocks, bowlders, and
sunken ledges lying near the shore, with deep channels between. The shores of Cape Cod Bay are generally sandy, with extensive sand shoals extending out well from the shore in many places. Bowlders also occur in places in Cape Cod Bay.
Harbors and ports. The most important places, either commercially or as harbors of refuge are Calais; Eastport; Little River; Machias Bay; Narraguagas Bay; Winter Harbor; Bar Harbor; South West Harbor; Bass Harbor; Castine, Belfast, Camden, Rockport, and Rockland in Penobscot Bay; Bangor and Bucksport on Penobscot River; Tenants Harbor; Port Clyde; Boothbay; Bath and Augusta on Kennebec River; Portland, Portsmouth; Gloucester; Salem; Boston; Plymouth; and Provincetown. These and many other harbors are described under the different headings following:
Anchorages.-Between West Quoddy Head and Portland, anchorages are numerous, those most frequently used by coasting vessels being Little River, Starboard Cove, Englishman Bay, Narraguagus Bay, Winter Harbor, South West Harbor, Rockland Harbor, Port Clyde, Boothbay Harbor, and Portland Harbor. Southward of Portland the only anchorages available for large vessels are in the harbors of Portsmouth, Gloucester, Salem, Boston, Plymouth, and Provincetown. There are other harbors available for small vessels and motor boats, as mentioned under the description.
Prominent features. The coast between West Quoddy Head and Little River presents no special features; westward of Little River the shore is broken by bays and islands, and continues to be so to Whitehead. Grand Manan Island has nearly perpendicular, dark, rocky faces about 200 feet (61 m.) high on its western side. Pigeon Hill on the western side of Pigeon Hill Bay, near the head, is 307 feet (94 m.) high. Schoodic Mountain, near the south end of Schoodic Peninsula, the eastern point at entrance to Frenchman Bay, is 437 feet (133 m.) high. Cadillac Mountain, the highest on Mount Desert Island, is 1,532 feet (467 m.) high and the most prominent landmark on this part of the coast; there are other mountains nearly as high near it. Isle au Haut is 556 feet (169 m.) high near its northern end and is on the eastern side of the entrance to East Penobscot Bay. The Camden Hills (Mount Megunticook, 1,320 feet (402 m.) are on the western side of Penobscot Bay, above the town of Camden. Monhegan Island, lying 914 miles from the mainland, is 160 feet (49 m.) high and a mark for all vessels bound into Penobscot Bay from westward. Seguin Island lies about 214 miles from the mainland off the mouth of the Kennebec River; the island is about 145 feet (44 m.) high and a mark for vessels bound into the river or standing along the coast.
Cape Elizabeth, the southern point at the entrance to Portland Harbor, is about 90 feet (27.4 m.) high and marked by a lighthouse. Agamenticus Mountain is 673 feet (205 m.) high and the most prominent landmark between Portland and Cape Ann. It is about 412 miles inland and 9 miles northeastward of Portsmouth. The Isles of Shoals, lying about 51/2 miles from the coast and southeastward of Portsmouth Harbor entrance, can be seen a long distance, the large
hotels being conspicuous marks. Boon Island Lighthouse is about 9 miles northeastward of the Isles of Shoals and about 612 miles offshore. Cape Ann, at its northern end, is high, but its eastern end is comparatively low. The two light towers on Thatcher Island are the most conspicuous marks seen when approaching the cape.
The land southward of Cape Ann is comparatively low, well settled, and has numerous artificial marks. The prominent objects visible in approaching Cape Cod are described on page 297.
In the approaches to Boston, the high tower of the Boston Customhouse (see p. 251) is a predominating landmark.
System of buoyage.-In conformity with section 4678 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, the following order is observed in coloring and numbering buoys in United States waters, viz:
In approaching the channel, etc., from seaward, red buoys, with even numbers, will be found on the starboard side.
In approaching the channel, etc., from seaward, black buoys, with odd numbers, will be found on the port side.
Buoys painted with red and black horizontal stripes will be found on obstructions, with channel ways on either side of them, and may be left on either hand in passing in.
Buoys painted with white and black perpendicular stripes will be found in midchannel, and must be passed close-to to avoid danger.
All other distinguishing marks to buoys will be in addition to the foregoing and may be employed to mark particular spots.
Perches, with balls, cages, etc., will, when placed on buoys, be at turning points, the color and number indicating on what side they shall be passed.
Nun buoys, properly colored and numbered, are usually placed on the starboard side and can buoys on the port side of channels.
Day beacons (except such as are on the sides of channels, which will be colored like buoys) are constructed and distinguished with special reference to each locality, and particularly in regard to the background upon which they are projected.
Buoys maintained by the United States Army Engineers for dredging purposes are painted white with the top, for a distance of 2 feet, painted dark green.
Aids to navigation.—The lighthouses and other aids to navigation are the principal guides, and mark the approach and channels to the important ports. The buoyage accords with the system adopted in United States waters. The principal coast lights are described in the text of this volume. For a complete description of all lighted aids see the Light List, Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States, published by the Lighthouse Service, which can be obtained from the Division of Publications, Department of Commerce, Washington, D. C., or from agents in various ports for the sum of 50 cents.
Lights, buoys, and day marks are described briefly in Buoy List, Maine and New Hampshire, and Buoy List, Massachusetts, which can be obtained in the same manner at a price of 20 cents per copy.
A list of Canadian lights and fog signals of the Atlantic coast can be obtained from the Department of Marine, Ottawa, Canada.