MOUNT DESERT ISLAND CURRENTS
July 1 - September 30, 2008
Monday, September 29, 2008
Kyle threatened all weekend, but a late turn to the northeast put it far enough offshore so that we saw almost no wind and less rain than originally expected! Fortunately, our first hurricane watch in 17 years turned out to be a dry run in preparation for the relatively common "nor'easters" we experience almost every winter!
Things should return to normal this week. Many cruise ships are scheduled to visit Bar Harbor
and more leaves seemed to change almost overnight making a drive around the island even more beautiful than usual.
Saturday, September 27, 2008 4:00 p.m.
Hurricane Watch in effect Sunday and Sunday night!
Another unusual weather event in a year of unusual weather - it now appears that Tropical Storm Kyle will become a Category I hurricane overnight and that it will
track very close to us, making landfall Sunday evening somewhere along the downeast coast between MDI and the
Canadian border. Winds of 55 to 65 knots, first from the northeast and then from the northwest, are expected Sunday night. Marine interests in all harbors around the
island, especially Bar Harbor and Southwest Harbor, have been making preparations. Ramps have been removed from
most floating docks and many boats have been hauled out. You can get more detail from our Weather page or
by going to the National Hurricane Center website. Hurricanes making landfall in Maine are rare,
but they do happen once in awhile, so plan accordingly.
Friday, September 26, 2008
After a long stretch of beautiful early fall days, it looks like we are in for a
stormy wet weekend with both a tropical depression and Tropical Storm Kyle tracking together up
the east coast into the Gulf of Maine. That's too bad, especially for the Fall Festival scheduled tomorrow
at Beech Hill Farm. We really don't need any more rain, but predictions are for another 4 - 6 inches here along
the coast. Things should clear out again by Monday - just in time for everyone to go back to work or school!
Maybe you can get a chance to take in the MDI Artists Open Studio Days Saturday and Sunday - that will be indoors!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Today is the first full day of fall, and it sure feels like it with beautiful, clear skies and temperatures this
morning getting down very close to our first frost! A few leaves are starting to change color here and there as well.
Forecasters say that this should be a great foliage year after our relatively rainy summer, but the peak is still a couple of weeks away.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Exceptionally high and low tides on the full moon yesterday and today caused considerable damage to the floating dock system at
Harbor Place in Bar Harbor. These are the docks where many of the excursion boats are regularly berthed, and they
are also where cruise ship tenders land. Unfortunately the damage appears to be such that major repairs likely will be required
before the docks are useable once again. Meanwhile, tour boats and cruise ship tenders have to crowd
together at the Harborside Hotel marina farther up West Street!
Friday, September 19, 2008 - 7:30 a.m.
Don't forget that the "Queen Elizabeth 2" is in Bar Harbor this morning and will be here all day, so get over when you have a chance and check it out!
11:30 a.m. - And here is the grand old lady today: Even her tenders look classy!
This will be a busy weekend coming up under bright, sunny skies. The Bar
Harbor Half-Marathon is tomorrow and there is an art show both Saturday and Sunday on the Bar Harbor
Village Green. Also, this is the perfect time of year to enjoy Acadia's beautiful carriage roads, either
on a bike or just walking. Take a look at our Happenings page for more details.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Maine Maritime Academy's famous schooner "Bowdoin" was in Bar Harbor briefly Monday to take delegates attending the 32nd annual Conference of New England Governors and Atlantic Canada Premiers on a breezy midafternoon sail around Frenchman Bay.
The "Bowdoin" was built in 1921 for Arctic exploration by Admiral Donald MacMillan who followed by only a few years the successful discovery of a northwest passage through the Arctic to the Pacific Ocean and Admiral Peary's expedition to the North Pole. She is 88 feet long and heavily constructed to withstand the rigors of sailing in the ice choked and stormy Arctic Sea. She went there 24 times with MacMillan and in recent years has gone above the Arctic Circle several more times with students aboard.
"Bowdoin" was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Monday, September 15, 2008
P & O Line's "Aurora" in Bar Harbor Saturday
Most of the cruise ships visiting Bar Harbor come back several times during the season as they repeat five to seven day New England trips from New York or Boston. A few, however, make only one visit per year, and that visit is usually part of a much longer voyage that often originates in a foreign port. Such is the case with P & O Line's "Aurora" which was in Bar Harbor Saturday. She is on a 23 day roundtrip cruise from Southampton, England to various ports on the east coast of the U.S. and Canada. From here she departed to Saint John, New Brunswick; Halifax; Quebec City; and St. John's, Newfoundland before heading back across the Atlantic.
Another very famous once-a-year visitor, the classic "Queen Elizabeth 2", will be here this coming Friday. You might want to make a special effort to see her then, because it will be her last visit ever to Bar Harbor, as she has been sold and will be converted to a floating hotel in Dubai this November!
Today and tomorrow you could spot some well known political figures around Bar Harbor and other parts of the island.
Governor Baldacci is hosting a conference here of New England governors and Atlantic Canada premiers to discuss
many issues of mutual interest including energy and trade.
Friday, September 12, 2008
The sunlight definitely streams through the forest at a much lower angle today than it did back on June 21. Just another sign that fall is approaching. Birds, insects and other wild creatures all know this perhaps better than we do, and they are busily making preparations for the colder weather to come.
Except for busy cruise ship days, there are noticeably fewer visitors on the island right now. Many
boats are gone from their moorings, some summer homes are now empty, and activity on village streets has slowed
down significantly. However, things should pick up once again toward the end of the month as a new surge of tourists
arrive to enjoy our beautiful fall foliage. Meanwhile, we have time to catch our collective breath and to savor this
very special time of the year.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
A sunny late summer afternoon in Bar Harbor's Agamont Park.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Wow! Did it ever rain hard overnight! Tropical Storm Hanna zipped past just offshore and dumped anywhere from 5 to 6 inches of rain on Mount Desert Island in less than 12 hours. There was some local flooding, mostly of roadways, but the good part is that there was very little wind. Now Hanna is spinning off over Nova Scotia, and the sun should return here later today. Get the complete forecast on our Weather page. You also can see how the weather looks by going to our Webcam page and viewing the two live webcams listed there.
Next week will be our first full work week after Labor Day, so things during the week will be fairly quiet
except for some busy cruise ship days starting Thursday! It's too early for leaf peepers, but they should start arriving pretty soon.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Tenders from "Caribbean Princess and "Norwegian Dawn" crowd Harbor Place while passengers wait for a bus tour.
Yesterday was exceptionally crazy in Bar Harbor with three (count 'em - three) cruise ships in port for the day! The "Caribbean Princess" was back with about 3,100 passengers and 1,000 crew; the "Norwegian Dawn" was in for her first visit this year with over 2,200 passengers and 1,200 crew; and the smaller "American Star" was still here from yesterday across the end of the town pier with about 100 passengers and 25 crew! This made for very congested streets with a large number of buses providing tours of the island! So it begins - the SERIOUS cruise ship season is here!
It's not often that we have to think about hurricanes (nor'easters: yes; hurricanes: no), but one may visit us this weekend, albeit in the form of a
tropical storm. Her track is still a little uncertain, but Hanna seems to be heading for the Gulf of Maine on
Saturday night and Sunday with 45 knot winds and lots of rain. We haven't had much rain recently, so that part will be
welcome as long as we don't get too much. Regardless of what happens, Hanna should be long gone by Monday and we'll be back to sunny September!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
An unusual late summer sunset last week.
Now that Labor Day is past and vacations are over, the island is settling down somewhat. Most people are back to work
or to school. Even though we will have some more nice weather to look forward to over the next few weeks, we
are starting to think about the things that need to be done to prepare for colder days ahead. Those late summer
chores finally need attending to - firewood needs to be chopped and stacked, gardens need to be cleaned out, last
minute outside painting needs to be done! Still, this is a spectacular time of year, and there will be many more
opportunities ahead to enjoy our great outdoors!
Monday, September 1, 2008
Welcome to September and to Labor Day! While we worry about our friends along the Gulf coast in the path
of Hurricane Gustav, our weather continues to be beautiful!
Don't forget that island schools start tomorrow - so drive carefully!
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The annual Island Arts & Crafts Association summer show and sale will fill the Bar Harbor Village Green today.
There might be a few clouds and showers around, but you should try to get over there and check it out.
We have some great craftspeople on the island and you won't get another chance to see them together until just before Christmas!
Things in the weather department should improve dramatically by tomorrow and the rest of our Labor Day weekend is forecast to be
sunny and warm!
Friday, August 29, 2008
A new kid on the block!
"Caribbean Princess" lies at anchor Thursday on her first visit to Bar Harbor.
"Caribbean Princess" made her maiden voyage to Bar Harbor yesterday with over 3100 passengers. Her visit marks the beginning of things to come, because most of the larger cruise ships scheduled to stop here this year will start arriving next week and continue through October!
In the foreground of this photo are some ripe rose hips on our beautiful beach roses (rosa rugosa). You may know that they make great jams or
jellies, can be combined with other fruits such as cranberries, and are a wonderful source of Vitamin C. Rose hips
are found at this time of year near many ocean beaches around the island just above the high tide line. If you don't already have one, recipes
are available from various sources online!
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Seal Cove Pond as summer is ending and fall approaches.
Cooler temperatures, a red leaf here and there, and marsh grasses turning golden brown all signal that we are
nearing the end of summer. But Labor Day definitely is not the end here on MDI - for most of us it is the beginning!
We are about to enter a spectacular time of year! Locals know that the six weeks from September 1 to October 15
are the best of all!
Monday, August 25, 2008
Late afternoon in late summer at Wonderland.
We are into the last week of August, and after a couple of brief showers this afternoon ahead of a weak cold
front, the next four or five days should be sunny! This also is the last week to enjoy the
Acadia Repertory Theatre in 2008. Check out our Happenings page for complete details.
It's hard to believe that Labor Day is only one week from today. Then everyone is back to work or school, but the "season"
is far from over, as our cruise ship visits will expand significantly during September and October.
Friday, August 22, 2008
You know that Maine lobsters normally are dark green, and you also may know that a blue one will be found on rare occasions - but have you ever seen or heard of a yellow lobster? Well, it does happen sometimes - one in 30 million according to scientists. This one was brought in at Southwest Harbor on Wednesday afternoon.
Although not on the island, The American Folk Festival is in Bangor this weekend.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Dare we say it? There's a definite taste of fall in the air this morning! However, you can't argue with a
beautiful clear sky, plenty of sunshine and low humidity! We deserve it after several weeks of humid, sometimes
Monday, August 18, 2008
It looks like a relatively quiet week coming up, considering we are in the middle of August. After
a couple of showers this evening with the passage of a cold front, we should have beautiful, sunny and slightly
cooler weather straight into next weekend, so try to get out and enjoy summer on MDI!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Moonrise over the Bar Harbor Inn on a warm summer evening.
Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful August day, and several sailboat racing fleets in Southwest and Northeast Harbors
were actually able to hold their regularly scheduled races for the first time this month! But we are back into the clouds and fog this morning -
probably just for today, however, as the weather pattern we have been stuck in for three weeks is finally breaking up!
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Sunset over Somes Sound
Things are finally looking up in the weather department. And, as usual, there is a lot going on around
the island. Today marks the 80th annuversary of the Abbe Museum. Tomorrow is the first day of the Bar Harbor Jazz
Festival. And the weekend offers plenty of opportunity to take in some great art and crafts shows.
Monday, August 11, 2008
After a brief visit by sunshine yesterday, we are back into the mist and fog this morning. Once again, it looks like showers will be around for most of the week. This kind of cloudy, wet weather is unusual for us in August which is normally a dry, sunny and warm month! At least we are not seeing the extreme or destructive conditions that have been experienced in other parts of the country!
Acadia Repertory Theatre's fourth and last production of the season opens tomorrow evening - "Verdict" by
Dame Agatha Christie. It will run through August 31. Traditionally, murder mysteries have been among their most popular offerings, so make your
Saturday, August 9, 2008
In spite of high fuel prices, a few megayachts still cannot resist the lure of Mount Desert Island in the summer.
This one, the 150 ft. M/Y "Carpe Diem", was tied up at the Bar Harbor town pier yesterday during a light drizzle. And just think - you can charter her
in New England waters right now for the astonishingly reasonable price of $175,000 per week!
Friday, August 8, 2008
The weather still is not cooperating, but despite the clouds and showers
there always is a lot to do around MDI in August. This weekend will have more fairs, festivals, art shows and
theatre offerings in various island villages; plus two cruise ships will be
in Bar Harbor Friday and two more on Sunday. The shops should be very crowded just about everywhere as visitors look for indoor activities. Hopefully,
the sun will start a gradual return later in the weekend!
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
In case you haven't noticed, blueberries are ripe just about everywhere on the island at lower elevations, and they are beginning to ripen higher on the mountains. Now is the time to stock up on them (if you can stop eating long enough while you are picking)! And, yes, it is OK to pick blueberries in Acadia National Park. If you have access to a copy, this also is a perfect time to reread Robert McCloskey's classic children's book "Blueberries For Sal" about summer along the Maine coast.
We received a little shot of CC (Canadian Cool) overnight, but it likely won't last. Showers
are predicted for later today.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Rain, rain and more rain! Our wierd weather this year seems to just keep on coming. It's thick-a-fog this morning with more showers and thunderstorms in the forecast. There may be a little break tomorrow, but then it looks like more unsettled conditions for the rest of the week. And it's August - go figure!
Still, there is a lot going on this time of year, so don't despair. We just have
to be creative!
Friday, August 1, 2008
Welcome to August! The next two weeks should be our busiest time of the entire year, so be patient when trying to get around the island, but try to enjoy all of the activity! After August 15, things will begin to slow down a little as families return home in preparation for the start of many schools.
Unfortunately, the weather doesn't look too promising this weekend, but August usually produces reliably good summer conditions, so hang in there! Things should improve by Monday or Tuesday.
One popular indoor event you can enjoy through Sunday is the annual Directions Craft Show at the Mount Desert Island
High School gym. Also, Saturday and Sunday evening will feature the Acadia Chorale's Summer Concert at St. Saviour's Church.
Keep up with all the weekend events on our Happenings page.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
After reporting on the terrible fire in Northeast Harbor Tuesday morning, we'll try to turn our focus once again to some of the more pleasant aspects of life on Mount Desert Island.
Lobster fishing is nearing the peak of the season and our fisherman friends tell us that the catch is up while the price is going down accordingly. As locals know, this time of year most of the lobsters caught are "shedders" (lobsters that have recently molted into a new, larger shell that starts out soft, but gradually hardens in the salt water). Lobsters may shed their shells as many as 20 to 25 times before they reach minimum legal size of about 1 1/8 pounds.
Most lobster boats are going six days a week right now, and one of the nice things about living in an area of 10-12 foot tides is that hauling your boat out to do
maintenance below the waterline is easy and inexpensive. Just run the boat gently up onto a sandy or gravel shore at high tide and wait a few hours for the tide
to go out. You then have about six hours to work on the bottom before the boat is afloat again! This lobster boat in Bernard is taking Sunday afternoon off
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 11:00 a.m.
Main Street Northeast Harbor will be significantly different as a result of this morning's tragic fire.
Fortunately there was no loss of life and apparently only one injury. However, The Colonel's Deli and the Wingspread
Gallery are gone. Firefighters are in the process of knocking down the Joy Building which is still burning inside.
The Kimball Shop Boutique appears to have partially burned, and other adjacent buildings (including the
rest of the Kimball Shop) may have received smoke and water damage.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008 - 7:30 a.m.
There is a serious fire this morning along Main Street in Northeast Harbor. It apparently
started about 2:45 a.m. at The Colonel's Deli and spread to several other buildings. Firefighters from all
over the island and the mainland are still on the scene trying to contain the blaze.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
It's the middle of summer, and our long days combined with warm weather help to keep Bar Harbor active until late in the evening. Eating ice cream and people watching are favorite activities. Most shops stay open until 10 or 11 p.m.
Don't forget the art show today on the Green in Southwest Harbor. And - Tuesday is the opening night for
Acadia Repertory Theatre's new offering "The Ice Fishing Play".
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Photo of the Gulf of Maine taken on July 16, 2008 by the GOMOOS satellite of the University of Maine.
Most of us occasionally enjoy seeing ourselves from a somewhat different point of view. Well, we thought you might like to see how MDI
and the Gulf of Maine looked from space just a few days ago when there was little cloud cover! Rather pretty, don't you think? Makes you want to take
special care of our beautiful Maine coast, doesn't it?
Another relatively quiet weekend is on tap, but it certainly wasn't quiet last night with about 4 hours of thunder and lightning during the "wee hours".
That has been unusual in recent years right here along the coast, since thunderstorms haven't been able to survive as they approach the cold ocean.
The clouds and showers should clear out by tomorrow, however, leaving us some
nice mid-summer days Saturday and Sunday.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Large Purple Fringed Orchis along a carriage road near Hadlock Pond yesterday.
Monday, July 21, 2008
There was lots of rain around our area last night, including a strong thunderstorm that passed directly
over the island
Don't forget the steel drum band "Flash in the Pans" tonight in Southwest Harbor. Weather should not be a problem,
because they will be under a large tent on the Pemetic School lawn. You and the kids will definitely enjoy it!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sightseeing and whale watch boats are tied up for the evening as the sun sets in Bar Harbor.
This weekend, things on the island shift back into high gear with the Quietside Festival in Southwest Harbor. There is a full schedule of activities on our Happenings page.
Earlier in the season there was some concern that high gas prices might reduce the number of visitors to MDI this summer,
but that does not seem to be the case. The island appears to be as busy as ever. There are, however, more folks here
from Canada, Europe and Asia than in the recent past - probably because of the weak U.S. dollar compared to most other currencies.
The U.S. dollar is just about at par with the Canadian dollar for the first time in many years, making visits to
this country a great value for our northern neighbors! There also have been more cruise ship visits and more bus tours so far this year, all
contributing to plenty of activity!
Monday, July 14, 2008
Relatively rare and endangered white pogonias hidden along a lake shore.
They are members of the orchid family.
There is plenty of heat and humidity around this morning along with a very cloudy sky! We have noticed that this summer the fronts passing by seem to be larger and stronger than usual with more wind ahead of them but little rain! Anyway, all of this is supposed to clear out overnight, leaving us with more sunny, dry weather for the remainder of the week.
A new play begins tomorrow at the Acadia Repertory Theatre - Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park". Also, coming up
this weekend is the Quietside Festival in Southwest Harbor. Keep up to date on our Happenings page.
And, if you are a local resident, you might want to check out our
MDI Blog where you can even offer your comments on some of the issues discussed there.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The old and the new frequently come together on the Bar Harbor waterfront.
Another beautiful summer weekend is ahead with perhaps a little less organized activity. This is a good chance to
head out on a trail or a carriage road and enjoy some of Acadia's beauty. Don't forget that the
Island Explorer is available to help you plan one-way hikes and to minimize the use of your car!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
All of the heat and humidity recently has caused clouds to bubble up around the island late in the afternoon, but they have not produced any storms. A front did move through and offshore last night, so the air may be a bit more comfortable for awhile.
Cruise ships just keep on coming, and they seem to be earlier in the season this year. Another big one - "Grandeur of the Seas" - will
be in port on Sunday. Also, the Bar Harbor Music Festival is in full swing with offerings every couple of days. Get complete details on
our Happenings page.
Monday, July 7, 2008   3:00 p.m.
Looks like the three H's are ahead for us this week - Hazy, Hot and Humid! It's a good time to kick back a little after such a busy July 4th weekend. Find some shade with a hammock and some lemonade (unless you are at work, of course - then you have to wait 'til this afternoon)!
If you are thinking about picking some mussels around the island - be careful. Red tide is spreading into our area. Currently, most of
the southern half of MDI is closed. Click the link on our weather page for specific details and
maps. Go to the Maine Red Tide Information graphic, then click on the specific closure notices to get a description and a map
of unsafe and safe areas.
Saturday, July 5, 2008   3:00 p.m.
Yesterday and today have been VERY busy all around the island, but especially in Bar Harbor. Beautiful sunny, warm weather
has done nothing to slow things down! Wall-to-wall festivities on the 4th have been followed by the famous cruise ship
"Queen Mary 2" visiting today. Adding to all of this has been the 15th annual Native American Festival today at
College of the Atlantic. Thousands of visitors and locals alike have turned out with great enthusiasm! Summer is
truly underway - now the question is: "when do we sleep?"
Friday, July 4, 2008
HAPPY 4TH OF JULY
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Island Explorer, our free shuttle bus service around Acadia National Park and Mount Desert Island, has
been operating for a little over a week now. It is a great way to get around the island, it helps eliminate traffic congestion
and air pollution (they are propane powered), and with gasoline now over $4 per gallon, it saves a lot of
money! Take advantage of it whenever the routes suit your plans - or perhaps you can make your plans to
suit their routes!
On Friday the 4th of July, however, the service will only operate a limited schedule due to crowds and street closures in Bar Harbor for the morning parade and the evening fireworks. Here are some tips to get around on that day with minimum difficulty. 1) The Island Explorer will not operate in the morning during the parade, so you will have to take your car. Do not drive down lower Main Street toward the ballfield, because the parade units will be forming up there. Instead, park on West Street, West Street Extension, or Emerson-Conners School and walk to the parade route. 2) In the evening before and after the fireworks, Island Explorer will operate ONLY its Campground (Route 3 to the airport) and Blackwoods (Blackwoods Campground) routes. If you live on those routes, take the bus. Otherwise you'll have to drive. Come early and park outside Route 3 at Emerson School or West Sreet Extension and walk into Agamont Park. Leaving town after the fireworks will be a slow process, so you will be able to walk to your car faster than you could drive in the congested traffic!
Despite the apparent hassle, the 4th of July in Bar Harbor is a "happening" that you will remember all year - so come on
in, be patient and have a good time! For full information on Island Explorer schedules, including the 4th check their
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Two much anticipated and very popular summer arts events begin their respective series tonight and tomorrow night.
Tonight the Acadia Repertory Theatre opens in Somesville with a presentation of "Collected Stories" by the award winning playwright Donald Margulies. It will run through July 15 every night except Mondays. Together, four plays will be offered until August 31. We will list them on our Happenings page as appropriate.
Tomorrow night the Bar Harbor Music Festival will begin its 42nd season and continues with a wide variety of popular and classical performances through Sunday, July 27. Again, we will list each performance with other necessary information on the Happenings page.
These are some of our most loved summer arts programs, so be sure to get out to see them as often as possible.
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