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BLUE HILL BAY, WEST SIDE
Mackerel Cove is a good anchorage on the north side of Swan Island, at the eastern entrance of Casco Passage. There are islets and numerous ledges in the cove, but the entrance from northward is easy of access in the daytime. There is a narrow channel into Mackerel Cove from York Narrows which follows closely the shore of Swan Island, passing southward of Orono and Round Islands. On account of numerous unmarked dangers, it should not be used by vessels except with local knowledge.
Atlantic is a post village on the south side of Mackerel Cove. The wharf is said to have a depth of 5 feet (1.5 m.) and there are dangers in the approach. A church spire is prominent from eastward.
The Triangles is a bare ledge from which a reef covered at half tide extends 14 mile northward. A red buoy marks the eastern side of a rock bare at low water, lying 400 yards southeastward of Crow Island (has two trees). A black buoy marks a rock with 6 feet (1.8 m.) on it, lying 300 yards northwestward of North Point of Swan Island.
Enter Mackerel Cove between the black buoy and the red buoy and steer about 181° true (S. by W. 34 W. mag.) so as to pass westward of a black buoy which marks a 11-foot (3.4 m.) spot. Anchorage can be selected between the red buoy and inner black buoy in 4 to 5 fathoms (7.3 to 9.1 m.), taking care to give the eastern shore a berth of 300 yards; there is also a good berth about midway between the inner black buoy and the bare ledge, lying 1/4 mile northwestward of the wharf, in 4 fathoms (7.3 m.). A rock with 4 feet (1.2 m.) over it lies 1/4 mile northwestward of the bare ledge.
Casco Passage and York Narrows.—Northward of Swan Island, between it and Black Island, there is a narrow passage which separates into two branches in its western part. The eastern end and northern branch is known as Casco Passage, the southern branch as York Narrows. They form a part of the different inland passages from Mount Desert to Whitehead (see tabulated courses on pages 40 to 54). Casco Passage and York Narrows are well marked by buoys, and at the eastern entrance, on the north end of Orono Island, there is a large black tripod. The islands are generally low and wooded, and have no prominent marks.
Casco Passage is the straighter and better channel, and has a depth of 18 feet (5.5 m.) and a width of 150 yards; there are rocks with little depth on each side. Vessels of 16-foot (4.9 m.) draft have been taken through. Directions for the passage are given on pages 42 and 52. The current through Casco Passage and York Narrows sets eastward on the flood and westward on the ebb. The velocity is influenced greatly by strong winds. There is a rock, bare at low water, 125 yards off the south side of Black Island.
York Narrows has a width of but little over 100 yards, and has dangerous ledges on both sides. It is not recommended for vessels of a greater draft than 9 feet (2.7 m.) at low water, except with local knowledge. The following directions will lead through the Narrows:
Pass about 50 yards northwestward of the black buoy northward of Orono Island tripod, and steer 222° true (SW. by W. 14 W. mag.) for the western edge of the trees on Buckle Island, with the eastern
edge of the trees on Black Island astern. On this course pass 15 to 25 yards southeastward of two red buoys and about 50 yards northward of a black buoy. Then steer 243° true (W. 34 S. mag.) with the northern end of the trees on Orono Island astern, pass about 25 yards southward of a black can buoy and give the edge of the bare ledge on the north side of Buckle Island a berth of 150 yards.
Passage north of Pond Island.—This passage is used by vessels entering Blue Hill Bay from westward and sometimes by vessels following the inside passage eastward or westward. It has a least depth of about 19 feet (5.8 m.) in the buoyed channel, but there are dangers close to the sailing lines. The buoys are colored for vessels bound westward, that is, red buoys will be found on starboard hand. Directions are given on page 116.
Pond Island is wooded on its eastern side. The western side is bare and is marked by a house and barn. Lamp Islet is a grassy islet 14 mile northward of Pond Island.
Channel Rock is about 5 feet (1.5 m.) above high water. A submerged ledge extends 38 mile east-southeastward of it.
Green Island is grassy and marked by Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse (white tower connected with dwelling). The shoal of which it is a part is bare at low water from the island to the shore 118 miles northward and for a distance of 14 mile southward of the island. It is marked by a black buoy off the south end. Sand Islet, 14 mile northeastward of the lighthouse, is nearly covered at high water.
Flye Island Ledge, having rocks with depths of 7 to 13 feet (2.1 to 4.0 m.), not closely examined, extends to a point 1 mile southsouthwestward of Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse.
Herrick Bay is a shallow and unimportant bight on the western side of Blue Hill Bay northwestward of Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse. It is dry at low water for a distance of nearly 1 mile from its head. There is good anchorage in the approach to the bay 14 to 34 mile from the western shore northward of Naskeag Point, in 4 to 7 fathoms (7.3 to 12.8 m.). The range of the western ends of Flye and Long Islands leads westward of Flye Island Ledge.
Ship and Barges Ledge, 5/8 mile south-southeastward of Ship Island, is 350 yards long and bare at half tide. It is marked by a tripod beacon on the south end, a spindle on the north end, and a black bell buoy 250 yards eastward.
West Barge is a flat grass-topped rock 600 yards westward of Ship Island. East Barge is a round grassy islet on the end of the shoal extending 200 yards southward from Ship Island.
Ship, Trumpet, Bar, and Tinker Islands are a chain 4 miles long in the middle of Blue Hill Bay. The islands are joined by shoals bare at low water, except for a channel between Trumpet and Bar Islands, which has a depth of 17 feet (5.2 m.), and is marked by a perpendicularly striped buoy. Ship and Bar Íslands are high and grassy, and Bar Island is marked by a house and barn. Trumpet Island is low and grassy. Tinker Island is partly wooded and has an old house at its southeast end.
Cow and Calf Ledge, extending 14 mile westward and northward from the north end of Tinker Island, has several rocks with little water, and one rock bare at half tide. It is marked by two red buoys.
Allen Cove, on the west side of Herriman Point, 31, miles northward of Blue Hill Bay Lighthouse, is rarely used as an anchorage.
The shores are foul. The anchorage is in the middle in 2 to 5 fathoms (3.7 to 9.1 m.), and is open northward.
Long Island is generally wooded, with many clear sections, and has some inhabitants. Seaville is a post office on the island.
South Blue Hill, a village on the western side of Blue Hill Bay just south of Sand Point, has a fish cannery.
Salt Pond, just south of the entrance to Blue Hill Harbor, has falls at the entrance, is crossed by a fixed bridge, and can not be entered.
Darling Island lies just eastward of the entrance to Blue Hill Bay. Darling Ledge, the top of which shows at low water, extends 14 mile southward of Darling Island. There is foul ground between the ledge and the shore. The ledge is marked, on its southeast side, by a red buoy.
Morgan Bay, lying northeastward of Long Island and on the west side of Newbury Neck, is about 3 miles long, but is little used. The entrance is obstructed by Jed Islands and the surrounding ledges, leaving a deep, narrow channel close to the western shore on either side of Conary Nub.
To enter, pass in mid-channel westward of Conary Nub on a 38° true (NE. by E. mag.) course, and keep the western shore aboard distant 200 yards until abreast Seal Ledge. Or pass 125 yards eastward of Conary Nub on a 2o true (N. by E. 34 E. mag.) course, and pass midway between Seal Ledge and the western shore. Good anchorage can be selected in the bay, in 2 to 6 fathoms (3.7 to 11.0 m.), for which the chart is the guide.
Conary Nub is a rock with a clump of scrub. Seal Ledge is awash at high water. Black Rock is on a shoal with 7 to 10 feet (2.1 to 3.0 m.) which extends 38 mile northeastward of Seal Ledge. Bird Rock, westward of Jed Islands, is about 3 feet (0.9 m.) high. South Ledge, 14 mile southwestward of Jed Islands, is covered at half flood. A rock with 4 feet (1.2 m.) over it lies 14 mile southwestward of South Ledge. Danger will be avoided by keeping westward of a line from Conary Nub to the southwest end of Newbury Neck.
BLUE HILL HARBOR
(chart 307) is in the north western part of Blue Hill Bay, northwestward of Long Island. It consists of a large bight, called the outer harbor, and a small arm extending north westward to the village of Blue Hill, called the inner harbor. Ledges extend 200 to 400 yards from the western shore of the outer harbor, and at a point 1 mile southward of the entrance of the inner harbor they extend 1/2 mile from shore. Anchorage, sheltered from northerly and westerly winds, will be found in the outer harbor in 4 to 8 fathoms (7.3 to 14.6 m.),
The channel in the inner harbor is narrow and crooked. The entrance has a depth of about 18 feet (5.5 m.), but it is so narrow that a stranger should not depend on carrying a greater depth than 8 feet (2.4 m.) at low water. There is secure anchorage for small vessels just inside the entrance, in 3 to 4 fathoms (5.5 to 7.3 m.). The steamer landing for Blue Hill is on the north side 5/8 mile above the entrance and has a depth of about 12 feet (3.7 m.) at its
end. Ice closes the harbor from December to April. There is steamer service with Bar Harbor and Rockland.
Many of the rocks show except at high water, and the principal dangers are buoyed. The Triangles are three rocks, bare at low water only. The entrance is 50 yards wide between Sculpin Ledge (bare at one-quarter ebb and marked by a red buoy) and a ledge southward of it which has 8 feet (2.4 m.) on its northern end and extends to the shore southwestward. Eastward of the entrance is a detached shoal 350 yards long, with 4 feet (1.2 m.) over it, the eastern end of which is marked by a black buoy. Vessels can enter on either side of the shoal.
To enter northward of it, pass 50 yards eastward and 100 yards northward of the black buoy and steer 279o true (NW. by W. 5% W. mag.) for Sculpin Ledge red buoy. Leave it about 20 yards on the starboard hand and steer 320° true (NNW. mag.). Select anchorage near mid-channel 200 to 500 yards above Sculpin Ledge, in 3 to 4 fathoms (5.5 to 7.3 m.), bottom soft in places. If going to the wharf, be guided by the chart and buoys.
To enter westward of the shoal, steer 323° true (N. by W. 5/8 W. mag.) with a rock awash at high water, lying in the entrance of the eastern cove on the north side of the inner harbor, in range with the arch in the culvert at the head of the cove. Keep the range until about 250 yards from Sculpin Ledge, and then keep a little eastward of it to allow room for making the turn westward. Pass about 20 yards southward of Sculpin Ledge red buoy, steer 320° true (NNW. mag.), and anchor as directed in the preceding paragraph.
UNION RIVER BAY
is a large bay extending about 512 miles in a northerly direction between Oak Point on the east and Newbury Neck on the west. It is free from dangers, except near its northern end. The head of the bay is separated into two arms, Union River, the eastern, leading to the city of Ellsworth, and Patten Bay, the western, leading to the town of Surry.
Patten Bay is a long, narrow arm making northwestward from Union River Bay. The town of Surry is at its head. The deepest draft entering is 10 feet (3.0 m.), but the depth in the channel up to the town is only 2 feet (0.6 m.) at low water. There is good anchorage at the entrance near mid-channel as far as 11,2 miles above the entrance in 4 to 5 fathoms (7.3 to 9.1 m.). A ledge, partly bare at half tide, extends 400 yards from the northern shore 34 mile westward of Weymouth Point, and is marked by a red buoy. Between the buoy and a point 1 mile above, the northern shore is fairly bold, while the opposite side should be given a berth of 300 yards. Ice closes the upper end of the bay during January, February, and March.
Union River.—This river empties into the head of Union River Bay from northward and forms the approach to the city of Ellsworth, 4 miles above the entrance. There are several rocks off the entrance and the most prominent are buoyed. It is about 1 mile wide at the entrance but contracts to 250 yards 1 mile above. Union River has been improved by dredging a channel through the flats at the
entrance, and for a distance of 1 mile below Ellsworth and had a depth of about 3 feet (0.9 m.) at low water to Ellsworth in 1926. It has considerable trade, mostly in sailing vessels, which always take a towboat. The river has many sawdust shoals. Freshets occasionally occur in the spring. Ice closes the river from December to April.
Whitmore Cove, on the eastern side of Union River at the entrance, is small and shoal. There is a sawmill and wharf on the cove. Pilots may be obtained here, or a towboat by telephone from Ellsworth.
Ellsworth is a city of 3,000 population on the railroad at the head of navigation on Union River. It has some trade, the deepest draft being 12 feet (3.7 m.). The wharves have depths of 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 m.) There is a small gas towboat here. Coal in limited quantities and other supplies are obtainable, and there is water on the wharves. The river water is fresh at low water. There is a marine railway capable of hauling out launches and small sailing yachts. Ellsworth'is on the main highway.
Directions, Union River.-Directions through Blue Hill Bay to the entrance of Union River are given on page 115. The channel in Union River is narrow and difficult, and strangers in vessels should not enter without a pilot. The dredged channel was marked by small private buoys and stakes in 1926. With the aid of the chart and the following directions, small craft should be able to go to Ellsworth, but should do so on a rising tide.
Pass between Lord Rock red buoy and Tupper Ledge black buoy and steer northeastward to the red buoy at the entrance of the dredged channel. The dredged channel across the flats at the entrance favors the eastern side. Stakes are sometimes used in marking this channel. From the red buoy at the entrance the course is 31° true (NE. 3. E. mag.) for 350 yards, then 9o true (NNE. 1/2 E. mag.) for 38 mile, keeping about 150 yards off the eastern shore, and then 341° true (N. mag.) for 5/8 mile to a position close westward of a spindle at the entrance to the narrow part of the river. From this point to the entrance of the dredged channel 1 mile below Ellsworth there are no marks, and a general mid-channel course is best, although in the bend just before reaching the dredged channel the best water slightly favors the east side. T'he dredged channel in the upper end does not follow a mid-channel course.
DIRECTIONS, BLUE HILL BAY
Blue Hill Bay is approached from eastward across Bass Harbor Bar, from southward between Black Island and Swan Island, and from westward through Jericho Bay, which is entered through Merchants Row, Deer Island Thorofare, or Eggemoggin Reach. The channels between Blue Hill and Jericho Bays are Casco Passage, York Narrows, and the passage northward of Pond Island. These approaches are more or less obstructed by islands and ledges, but are sufficiently marked to be safely navigated in clear weather. At high water small vessels can also enter the head of Blue Hill Bay from Frenchman Bay through Mount Desert Narrows (described on p. 98).