Winter Harbor Ferry

Waiting for the ferry – harbor view

A couple of weeks ago on one of my day’s off, the forecast was predicting record high temperatures and a heat index over 90 degrees. I decided the best place to be in that kind of heat was on the water! During my 3 seasons here in Acadia, I had never embarked on the Bar Harbor-Winter Harbor Ferry that crosses Frenchman’s Bay and takes travelers to Winter Harbor and the Schoodic Peninsula, where the mainland part of the park is located.

These hydrangeas blooming along the harbor were stunning!!

I decided to take the 11:00 am ferry over to Winter Harbor and return on the 2:30 pm ferry boat. This would allow me enough time to take a short hike on the Schoodic Peninsula and return home in time for an early dinner.

The colorful umbrellas at the Bar Harbor Inn’s outdoor restaurant
Along the coast by the Bar Harbor Inn

The ferry “Miss Lizzie” started boarding about 15 minutes ahead of departure time and it was full! I decided I wanted to have a strategic spot on the upper deck and made my way up the ladder as soon as I stepped onto the deck.

As we left the harbor, we immediately saw some porpoises swimming along in the wake of the boat. It was so much fun to watch them! They were too quick for a photo! Up ahead of us, the Margaret Todd schooner was sailing back into the harbor. My last season here in Acadia I took a ride on the Margaret Todd. It was well worth it – although the cruise I enjoyed was lacking enough wind and we only had the sails up for a short while. Looks like there was plenty of wind on this trip today!

The Margaret Todd – love the reflection of the sails in the water!

As we were skirting the Porcupine Islands, there was a flock of juvenile Common Eiders floating near the shoreline of the island. My original post listed these as American Coot. I was going by the white bill mostly and a Vermont friend who is a bird expert pointed out that he thought perhaps they were actually Common Eiders – in the juvenile stage. I am very inexperienced with bird identification and will most confidently go with his assessment! 🙂

A flock of juvenile Common Eider ducks swimming along one of the Porcupine Islands

Scenes in Frenchman’s Bay on the way to Winter Harbor:

How would like to have your own private island home!? Wow – just wow!

Once we docked at Winter Harbor, I hopped on the Island Explorer shuttle bus that would take me to the Visitor Center at the Schoodic Woods Campground. From there, I intended to take a short hike along the Lower Harbor Trail – making a 2.8-mile or so loop back to the starting point in time to take the shuttle back to the ferry. The trail took me through some nice, moss-covered, shady forest and along the coast of a protected harbor. A great choice for such a hot, humid day! 🙂

First part of the trail was shady and restful!
View along the Lower Harbor coast
I ate my lunch on the rocks along the water’s edge. I never saw another human being on the whole hike!

On the ride back to Bar Harbor on “Miss Lizzie” I got a few more shots of some of the sights along the way. It was a perfect day for a outing on the water!!

Now this island “home” is more in my price range! Maybe!
Cormorants and Gulls hanging out on a rock ledge
Dramatic coastline of one of the Porcupine Islands – I saw several bald eagles perched high in the coniferous trees along the way!

2 Comments on “Winter Harbor Ferry

  1. Nice pictorial “road trip” across the bay and through a shady forest. Lovely pics. I tried to enlarge the photo of your “Coots” and have to wonder if they are 1st year Common Eider Ducks without the dramatic plumage of breeding males. Take another look at an enlargement of your original image. Stewart

    Liked by 2 people

    • Stewart – I think you are right! I struggled with identifying these birds and never considered what a juvenile eider looked like! On land it would have been totally obvious – I am correcting my original post – thanks for your keen eye!

      Liked by 1 person

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