Acadian Nature Cruise

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With water all around Bar Harbor and Mount Desert Island, it would be a shame not to actually get on it.  This we did with Acadian Nature Cruises, one of a number of tours that send boats out several times each day.  We took the 4:00 p.m. cruise, which is 1.5 hours rather than the two hour cruises at other times of the day.  First, of course, you get a view of Bar Harbor from… the harbor.  It’s not so exciting to see, but that’s what digital processing is for.  See?  Much more dramatic.


The cruise is on a double decker boat with bench seating.  The host stands at the top of the stairs and narrates almost constantly throughout the tour, starting with the history of the town and the influx of the wealthy.  A tour group occupied the majority of the boat, and we were fortunate to find a spot on the top right side, which was recommended by others on TripAdvisor.  This wasn’t critical, but did offer a better view of the “cottages” which dot the coastline which were on the right, oops, starboard side.  As a positive note, it gets cold on the water, and they do provide some loaner blankets. 


Those “cottages” were said to have, by definition, at least 35 rooms, but in any case, they’re large enough, with one staffed by 14 servants in its gloried past.  The names associated with the cottages include the Campbell’s soup heir,  Mrs. John Ascot (who married at age 18 and whose wealthy husband didn’t survive the honeymoon – on the Titanic, someone else who didn’t survive a Titanic journey, the Macy’s family, Bill Ruger of Ruger Firearms,JP Morgan’s descendants, and Nelson Rockefeller.  Rockefeller is credited with ceding much of his property and twisting the arms of his wealthy neighbors to likewise donate to form what is now Acadian National Park.

I forget which house belonged to whom, but one of the stories told was that one these had been used for the exterior shots of show, “Dark Shadows.”  The internet, the authority that it is, repeatedly points to Seaview Terrace/Carey Mansion in Newport, Rhode Island for that honor.  A boat ride shouldn’t require Mythbusters, but in any case, the houses appear very grand.






There were many more cottages, but a fire in 1947 destroyed most as well as virgin forests.  Elsewhere, if you have read my prior post, there’s fog about, making or breaking views and photos.



Below is Egg Rock Lighthouse, located on Egg Rock island at the entrance to Frenchman’s Bay.


Fifteen minutes later, this is Egg Rock Lighthouse:


No fog.  In any case, during that 15 minutes, we camped at a small rock island and snapped photos of seals.


Then it was off around the Porcupine Islands, seeing what there is to see.  Like this rock face:


Click on the photo above then look in the narrow gap.  Rock.  Face.  My opinion.  Here, let me help.


In any case, bald eagles are on the scheduled rounds.  A couple, at least, are trained.  See a boat approaching?  Head for it.


… and wait for someone to toss a fish to the side of the boat. 


Three solid meals in a day.  And, if eagle faces and rock faces aren’t enough, there’s dog faces.



And, if he doesn’t look like a happy dog, consider the unhappy faces of the lobsters.  It’s hard to see without clicking on the picture below, but many, many lobsters are harvested here.  Each buoy has a color code for its owner, and anyone messing with them risk expulsion from the island and having to eat shrimp.  Seriously, these lobsters have no choice but to wander from trap to trap.


All in all, it was an informational and enjoyable trip.

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