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post #1 of 10 Old 12-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

Is it possible to sail under the bridge crossing from Trenton to Mt Desert Is? I know it gets . . . shallow, on either side, but with a 10 foot tide and a 30" draft, I can do that. I can't seem to find the height of the bridge. That, alone, should tell me that I'll being an idiot. Safe passage is probably about 35' off the water. I'm thinking that this is about as intelligent a passage as circumnavigating Mackworth Island in Casco Bay. Anybody?
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

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Is it possible to sail under the bridge crossing from Trenton to Mt Desert Is? I know it gets . . . shallow, on either side, but with a 10 foot tide and a 30" draft, I can do that. I can't seem to find the height of the bridge. That, alone, should tell me that I'll being an idiot. Safe passage is probably about 35' off the water. I'm thinking that this is about as intelligent a passage as circumnavigating Mackworth Island in Casco Bay. Anybody?

Unless you have a skiff you're not getting under that bridge....

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post #3 of 10 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

I saw a sailing skiff once.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-26-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

That's what I figured. I couldn't find a good side shot ofthe bridge but what little I couls see had "folly" written all over it. Oh, well. I'll plan a different route. We're planning on launching from Rockland this year.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

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Is it possible to sail under the bridge crossing from Trenton to Mt Desert Is? I know it gets . . . shallow, on either side, but with a 10 foot tide and a 30" draft, I can do that. I can't seem to find the height of the bridge. That, alone, should tell me that I'll being an idiot. Safe passage is probably about 35' off the water. I'm thinking that this is about as intelligent a passage as circumnavigating Mackworth Island in Casco Bay. Anybody?
Great question, Don. Active Captain on my Bluechart says there is a 25' bridge clearance. But that's at high water,......

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Rockport, Maine.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

The charts for the area should list the bridge clearance

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post #7 of 10 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

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Great question, Don. Active Captain on my Bluechart says there is a 25' bridge clearance. But that's at high water,......
I've been under at high tide in a 17' Whaler on multiple occasions and if I had to shoot from the hip I'd say 22-25 is definitely in the ball park. IIRC the NOAA chart does show the clearance? It feels lower when you go under it..

Problem is that at low water you can have just 1' of water or bare mud on a drainer. We've had to wait on a drainer and usually drop hook in the little cove behind the island just to the East of the bridge....

Even if you lost 10' of tide for a 35' stick you won't have the draft to get through there. When you come out the other side, (East Side) there are a lot of erratic rocks in the mud that don't show up on the chart. IIRC one flat shows as just mud but it is pretty strewn with wheel-barrow sized rocks. My buddy Chris has some of them marked on his GPS.... When we come back through at a normal low we sometimes can't get through. We will wait but still need to tilt the motor and we're stirring mud....... I don't think that whaler draws much more than 9" - 10"...

We are usually trying to make a run from Contention Cove in Surry to Bar Harbor and back in one day, in a 17' foot Whaler. This is really our only route if we want to stay dry (ish) and not be on the boat all day..

If you have a tabernacle it can be done in a sail boat but without one you're going to need a pretty stubby stick..

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-26-2013 at 04:15 PM.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-26-2013
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

Stubby stick . . . stubby stick . . . OH! Mast! Thought the secret was out. I guess I'm at 25' + 2' each end (laid over pulpit/pushpit = 29' + about 4' waterline to tabernacle = 33' + 2' of obnoxious motor boat wake and I'm scraping girders. I could drop the mast back 30 degrees giving me 29'-1 3/8" (mid line). Mid tide I could do it but probably a lot of work and fighting with the Admiral, just for bragging rights.

Being a working stiff, I'm trying to plan out our vacations for next year. 1st will be BVI for a week. Then, weekends and long weekends with a break for a week in Penobscot Bay. Followed by more weekends and a couple of scattered weekends, then snow.

OY!
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Re: Penobscot Bay - Let's get stupid

If you are doing Pen Bay stick to the outer islands.. Isle Au Haut, Swans, Frenchboro, Merchants Row, The Cranberries etc.. If you want to go to MDI stay in NE, SW, Seal etc. and catch the Island Explorer for where ever you need or want to go on MDI.. Bar Harbor is way over rated as a spot to visit by sailboat...
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