Eastern Harbor at South Addison

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Photo: Boats at The Lobster Trap, a local seafood wholesaler, by Kell Hinkle

Eastern Harbor at South Addison is a lovely protected anchorage lying just east of Cape Split and about 10 miles west of Jonesport, the closest large town. Eastern Harbor is a commercial fishing port dominated by a large fleet of lobster boats -- it's the best natural harbor east of Schoodic Point and west of Jonesport.

Approach & Cautions

Photo: Craig P. Snapp

The approach from the south is easy to make even in thick fog, as long as your radar and depth sounder are working properly. Eastern Harbor lies about 25 miles northeast of Mt Desert. Coming from the west, after rounding the iconic Petit Manan (‘tit Manan) lighthouse, one of the tallest on the Maine Coast at 123 feet, you’ll head across Pleasant Bay and find your way in toward Big and Little Nash Islands. Pick up the red and white Morse (A) whistle buoy just west of Big Nash. Then proceed on a northeast course staying just east of Pot Rock and the Ladle. The harbor lies between Cape Split and Moose Neck, and the narrow entrance is clearly marked by a green can (#1) and a red nun (#2) off Eastern Pitch and Marsh Island, respectively. Two more channel markers (Can #5 and Nun #4) will lead you to the protected anchorage.

Sqare white lighthouse tower on a rocky knoll overlooking the ocean.

Click the chart to open Navionics.

Not to be used for Navigation.

Docking, Anchorages, or Moorings

Low water depths range from 7 to 19 feet shoaling quickly as you move through the anchorage/mooring field. It is possible to anchor here, but you may also be able to pick up a guest mooring by contacting the current harbormaster (2022), Dean Cyron, via the Town Office (207-482-4678). You can also try calling on Ch 9 or 16 as you make your approach. If there is no answer, drop your hook and dinghy ashore to ask for guidance. Oscar Look Jr and Oscar Look Sr ruled the roost here for many years but sadly “crossed the bar.” However, simply mentioning their names may give you some instant credibility.

Getting Ashore

Photo: Eastern Harbor sunset by Tom O'Donnell, Flickr

You can land your dinghy at the town dock and leave it without worries.

  • Amenities: There are no amenities here. You might be able to beg for some fuel or water if you’re desperate. Otherwise, Jonesport is your best bet. Ditto for dining out.
  • Provisioning: The local store in So Addison village has limited goods. Otherwise, borrow a vehicle and drive north to Route 1 or east to Jonesport for more in-depth shopping.
  • Hikes: Walking is the best way to get around — there’s plenty to see! Ingersoll Point Trail and Adler Woods are both mentioned online. Ask advice from any resident you meet.

Dinghies tied to dock at sunset.

Additional Information

Folks in town are friendly, and if you need anything (lobsters or other seafood delicacies), they will likely be more than willing to help. The last time I was in here, I scored some lovely mahogany quahogs — so fresh we ate them on the half shell. There is a small grocery store a short walk from the dock, but otherwise, you’ll need a vehicle to reach more extensive shopping. Hiking around town is a pleasure and, no doubt, you’ll strike up some interesting conversations along the way. Mention Nash Island, the lighthouse built in 1874, and the Friends of Nash Island and “Jenny,” Jenny Cirone (lifetime sheepherder and lobster woman extraordinaire) who grew up on Nash when her father was the lightkeeper out there, and you’ll make friends for life.

A great piece published on the MCHT (Maine Coast Heritage Trust) website tells Jenny’s story. She raised her own sheep, renowned for their exceptional “fog bathed” fleece, on Nash and the two neighboring islands, Big Nash and the Ladle. She died at the age of 91 in 2004, but her legend and her treasured memory live on. She left the islands to a friend who later sold a portion of Little Nash and the Ladle to the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, who will safeguard their preservation and Jenny’s legacy for perpetuity.

Downeast Coastal Conservancy: DCC manages three preserves within the Eastern Harbor area: Tibbett’s Island, Ingersoll Point, and Sheep Island. All are within walking distance and are described in this Trail Map Guide.

Oscar Lowell Look, Jr. is remembered for his big heart and generous spirit. You can find a book of poetry he wrote published posthumously by his daughter, Erin, called A Way Down East, flashes from Maine’s north coast. In it you’ll find a vivid memory of Oscar intercepting my parents at sea on their anniversary and tossing two extremely fresh bugs from his boat SOUTHWIND to theirs, SNOWBIRD.

Other Nearby Anchorages: Flint Island, Trafton Island, and the Mud Hole are close by. You can also anchor in the cove behind Moose Neck.


What CCA Members are saying:

We’ve always enjoyed stopping here mainly because we’ve had friends we wanted to visit who live in So Addison. It’s a quiet (except for the 4 am lobster fleet departure) and peaceful spot to spend a night or two. Real unadulterated Maine

Nat Warren-White

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