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Photoday! I nominate the Fox Island Thoroughfare,...


Alden Forum Moderator
Jun 22, 2004
Alden 38' Challenger yawl Rockport Harbor
to be designated an historic sailing preserve.

This natural winding waterway through the vast island center of Penobscot Bay on the coast of Maine, has historic sailing significance. A convenient waterway of sailing commerce and fishing for centuries, it’s still a working waterway today.

What’s needed is the preservation and promotion of the art and craft of sail that is on display in the Thoroughfare, for future generations to enjoy.

Who sails the Thoroughfare today? Sailors. Schooners, local boats - big and small, that are familiar with the waterway, sail it often. Many (like us), come here primarily to sail through the Thoroughfare. You’ll sometimes see the same boats pass in both directions, in the same afternoon.

Winds are flukey inside the Thoroughfare, funneling over tree tops. Traffic can be heavy (there’s regular ferry service), lobster boats may be pulling traps - there are rocks to avoid. And it’s narrow in spots.

Yes - it’s challenging and glorious. Sailing through this picture post card; a sail on the Fox Island Thoroughfare is never, ever, the same.

A favorite place to watch (and photograph), are the J.O.Brown moorings in the middle of North Haven village. Last weekend, after sailing through ourselves, we spent a few hours enjoying this sailing spectacle on the water.

Here’s are just a few photos:

Traffic was heavy in the afternoon. This Bristol 35.5 was on the East to West path. He had a reef, he's been here before.

Bristol 35.5 1 (1 of 1).jpg

Wind you can't always feel, grabs your mast top and with the leverage of a pry bar, your boat goes over. He's steady as the Bristol catches up to a motorboat.
Bristol 35.5 (1 of 1).jpg

These two boats were fun to watch. They've just sailed through a typical 'hole' in the wind and have seen the masts ahead bend to a big gust. They're ready. They've been here before.
East to west 1 (1 of 1).jpg

East to west 3 (1 of 1).jpg

Now they're feeling the power and keep a sharp watch ahead.
East to west 4 (1 of 1).jpg

It's probably an illusion, but it looks like the H 12 1/2 (called a Fox Eye around here), passes the bigger boat. Nah,...
East to west 5 (1 of 1).jpg

A Morris Daysailer does what it was designed to do, take a bunch of people out on the water for a memorable sail.
Morris DS (1 of 1).jpg

This North Haven dinghy was one of my favorites. A difficult slender dinghy with no ballasted keel, was roaring along under a big, nicely shaped sail. She's been here before.
Northhaven Dinghy (1 of 1).jpg

Things were much quieter on Sunday morning. This lone boat sailed out of Perry Creek on a light (and unusual) Northerly wind.
Sunday morning sailor (1 of 1).jpg

His slow speed was perfect for enjoying the morning on the water. I watched gulls coast overhead as he easily threaded a field of buoys that looked like candy Jimmies on blue ice cream. He could have powered through - like the power boat - but he's done this before.

I watched his sail disappear into the bay.

Westward 2 (1 of 1).jpg
Feb 11, 2017
Just have to avoid the monster power yachts that thunder through. Vinalhaven and North Haven can offer a cruising vacation all by themselves.
Feb 28, 2013
Pacific Seacraft 40 Belfast
Great photos of a great waterway Tom. We're taking the summer off. Instead of our usual summer sailing in Atlantic Canada, we're having work done on the boat while we take road trips. We've just returned from 2 1/2 weeks of driving through the mountain ranges of Wyoming.

Feb 11, 2017
C&C 27 MkII Ottawa
Here are some classics. The Optimist Dinghy was originally designed in the 40's and is still going strong today. Here are some boats heading out to the course last Sunday for the final day of the Fruit Bowl.

After racing the parents jumped in the boats for a couple of races. Here I am (blue shirt) in 4th place rounding the weather mark but managed a 3rd place finish. I don't feel so bad, first place was a past Olympic sailor and second was a nationally ranked sailor who also made a run for the Olympic team. Our kids were in the coach boats and were offering lots of good tips.
Sep 15, 2013
Catalina 270 270 Mystic Baltimore
Awesome pics. Shows there are so many beautiful places to sail.
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Jul 1, 2010
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
Tom, We're hauling our Seaward 25 up there for 2 weeks at the end of this week. We "have not" been there before....As I'm looking at all the beautiful boats in your pics, I'm seeing the lobster pots instead :yikes:

Great pics, BTW!
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Feb 11, 2017
former Tartan 30 41971 now in Rockland, ME
We were westbound when Barry gives me the wheel and says 'Take her through.' I'd been through in my own 30' sloop, but driving the Mary Day through is a bit different! First, no one cuts in front of you! No problems - but then Barry never strayed far from the wheel. Looking for a great vacation? Go for a week on the Mary Day! Take your foulies.
Oct 24, 2010
Hunter 30 Everett, WA
Salish Sea. For those who don't know: this is the name of the combined inland water in the Pacific Northwest that includes Puget Sound and Canadian waters. It's the largest protected waterway anywhere. On a clear day the visuals are outstanding, but grey drizzle discourages many. Here is a pick from last night in Otter Bay in BC.
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Feb 11, 2017
Took longer for us to get to the thorofare than it does for Tom, but a good west wind let us sail genoa-only from Rockland to Perry Creek. All these amazing destinations, short sails from each other!