Devil & Bold Islands

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Photo: Aerial by Doug Bruce and Frank Simon (pilot)

Near the eastern end of Merchant's Row and adjacent to the Deer Island Thorofare, this is an easily accessed and convenient stopping point. It is also a lovely, quiet, and calm anchorage with wonderful views to the east, including the mountains of Mount Desert Island, often with windjammers reaching by. It is an excellent spot for exploring by dinghy/kayak, swimming, and lazing.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Nearby anchorage, courtesy of BoatUS

This anchorage can only be entered from the east, so if you are coming from the west down the Deer Island Thorofare, you will need to round the northeast side of Bold Island (observing the two can buoys). If coming from the southwest through Merchants Row, be aware of the reefs and rocks at the east end of Devil Island. Once past these two islands, the entrance from the east is straightforward, and there are no obstacles not noted on the chart.

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

While there are moorings in this anchorage, they are strictly private. Anchor anywhere there is sufficient swinging room within the marked 18- to 20-foot depth contour. While protection is better the farther you go into the anchorage, do not go past the 11-foot sounding as the bottom shoals rapidly to less than a foot. Holding is good in heavy mud. The anchorage is open to the east — so, unprotected on the rare occasions that it blows from that direction in the summer. The afternoon southwesterly can accelerate between Devil and Hell’s Half Acre but typically dies down in the late afternoon and never kicks up much wave action.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Three kayaks on beach at Hell's Half Acre by Peter Gage

Dinghy or kayak to state-owned Hell’s Half Acre and stroll around the island – it is only about a quarter-mile walk (and involves some scrambling at a few points), but the views are magnificent. While you are at it, go for a swim off one of the sand beaches on the island. At low tide, many sand beaches are exposed on the ledges at the east end of Devil, which are fun to explore and swim off.

There are Maine Island Trail Association campsites on Hell’s Half Acre and another on the unnamed rock off the east end of Devil.

It is only 2.5 miles to Stonington (you’ll see its loom at night), so if you have a fast tender and feel confident about your anchor and dinghy’s range, a visit for dinner or shopping is possible.


What CCA Members are saying:

Only twelve miles from my mooring on MDI, this is one of my "go-to" anchorages for a relaxing afternoon and quiet evening in beautiful scenery – particularly off-season.

Sandy Andrews

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