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CROW'S NEST COTTAGE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


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HOW DO WE GET TO ISLESBORO?

Islesboro is the largest island in Penobscot Bay, Maine. Its largest neighboring towns on the mainland are Rockland, Camden, and Belfast. The capital city of Augusta is to the west. Islesboro is reached by a State of Maine car ferry that leaves Lincolnville hourly between 7:30 AM and 4:30 PM in the summer months - - the ferry ride across to the island is 20 minutes. Lincolnville is 10 miles (or about 15 minutes) south of Belfast and 6 miles (or about 10 minutes) north of Camden. Camden, arguably Maine's finest harbor town, is minutes from Rockland, home of the Farnsworth Museum, a little known treasure showcasing the Wyeth family artists, among other New England and American greats. See more information about the ferry, below.Check out the State of Maine Ferries website for more information. Our street address is 1099 Meadow Pond Road, Islesboro, Maine, 04848.

DO I NEED A CAR ON THE ISLAND?

 

YES, you need a car..... The island is 14 miles long, so you need a car to get from the ferry to the cottage, to get to the beaches, to grocery shop, and simply to get around and enjoy all the many great places on the island.


WHAT'S THE RENTAL PERIOD ?

 

7 days, from Saturday 3:00 PM through the following Saturday 10:00 AM.


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HOW FAR ARE THE BEACHES?

There are dozens of secluded and incredible coves and beaches -- both sandy and rocky -- within a 5 to 15 minute drive from the cottage…... or pack a backpack and bike to them. The island is only 14 miles long and very narrow (if you look at a map) so everything is very close by. Bring picnic lunches and suppers and play Robinson Crusoe on your "private" island. You’ll want to drive -- or bike ride -- to the awesome beaches at Marshall Cove, Hutchins Island, Turtle Head, Pendleton Point, and elsewhere. We always carry water, sunscreen, snacks or whole picnics, chairs, books, towels, etc., so driving is a good idea.

RESERVATIONS and CANCELATIONS ?

 

When you are ready to reserve the cottage, we will put you in contact with our rental agent on the island, Mr. John Oldham. He will prepare a lease for your signature to confirm the reservation. 50% of the rental fees PLUS security deposit must accompany the signed lease as a reservation deposit. The balance is due within 30 days of the reservation date.

Cancellations must be received IN WRITING 45 days prior to the day of the rental. Your rental fees and security deposit will be promptly returned to you LESS $ 100 cancellation fee. For any other cancellation, only 1/2 of the amount paid will be returned unless we can rent the cottage. If the cottage gets rented, we will return the full amount paid less the $100 cancellation fee.

We encourage our guests to purchase travel/vacation insurance. If an emergency occurs prior to the vacation, our guests then have additional recourse for canceling their stay and potentially obtaining a refund from the insurance company.


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SLEEPING ACCOMODATIONS?

The cottage has 2 bedrooms: one large master bedroom with Queen bed (sleeps 2) and one tiny bedroom (see photo ALBUM) with Double/Full bed (sleeps 2). An extra child and friend can sleep on the Queen-sized (when you pull out), mattress-quality futons in the living room. The living room futons are high quality and comfortable. We ask that you bring your own bed linens (see the “TO BRING” list) and towels, unless you are flying to Maine from a distance and carrying linens is a hardship. Let us know in that case and we can help out.

WHAT DO YOU PROVIDE AT THE COTTAGE?

 

This is NOT a comprehensive list. ASK us if you have any questions. If you book with us, we will send you a list of what's there and what we recommend you bring.

Basic kitchen supplies (salt, pepper,spices, etc.), toaster, coffeemaker, microwave oven, cooking pots/pans/utensils, kitchen towels, large lobster boiler, Internet service, lots of old fashioned board games (including Scrabble, Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, and others),puzzles, assorted books, pillows and blankets (you bring the linens unless you let us know otherwise), gas grill (with gas), chaise lounges for deck, dining table/chairs for 6 on the deck, assorted incidentals (such as toilet paper and coffee filters!), some food staples to get you through a meal, a TV with VHS and DVD players and LOTS of VHS and DVD tapes(no TV service).


WHAT SHOULD WE BRING?

 

Bring bed linens and bath towels. We have lots of pillows and blankets but we ask that you supply your own bed linens and towels. However, let us know if this is a hardship, for example, if you are flying to the East coast, and we will provide them for you.

Bring your favorite "can't-live-without" foods in case they are not available at the island markets (we do a shop in Camden or Belfast before we arrive on island); your favorite wines, beer and spirits (although the 2 island markets are very well-stocked...); bikes and bike helmets; kayaks, paddles, and life jackets; fishing gear (SALT WATER!!); favorite games to supplement ours (see above); beach towels, beach pails; walking shoes, water-beach shoes (or sandals to walk in water); sunhats, sunscreen; beach reading; laundry detergent.

We will send you a "care package" before you leave home with detailed lists reminding you about what we have at the cottage and suggestions for what to bring!


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DOES THE COTTAGE HAVE INTERNET?

Yes. We have installed a DSL line for your convenience (but feel free to sit on a bench outside the library to pick up their wireless and catch up with email - - it’s a lovely place).

DOES THE COTTAGE HAVE TELEPHONE SERVICE?

 

We have a land line for your safety and convenience. Depending on your carrier, cell phone service may be spotty on the island and at the cottage . Best reception for my Verizon cell phone is sitting on the front steps or on the deck facing south…..


WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH THE FERRY? THE ART OF THE ISLESBORO FERRY

The ferry experience is quite amazing and a bit of an art….The ferry between Lincolnville Beach and Islesboro is a State of Maine public ferry with regular and frequent 20 minute passages back and forth during the day. See the ferry schedule on line at http://www.state.me.us/mdot/opt/ferry/islesboro.php.

The RULE OF THUMB: get to the ferry in Lincolnville AT LEAST 1 HOUR OR EVEN 90 MINUTES prior to departure so bring a book, newspaper, or beach shoes. On the Lincolnville side, there are nice beaches at the ferry terminal for the whole gang to hang out, as well as a few fun shops on the main road, and a seafood restaurant 100’ from the car line serving a range of good "beach" food, from hotdogs to lobster rolls. There are also very clean and nice public toilets in the ticket house. So the wait goes quickly.......

At the Islesboro end, as you leave the island, same story..... if you are in no rush, then get there when you get there ----if you miss the ferry, just wait 1 hour for the next one.....If you need to meet a schedule, get to the ferry line AT LEAST ONE HOUR prior to scheduled departure..... OR, make a reservation (see below). On the island side, there too you'll find grassy picnic areas, a bit of shore to wade in, very nice public toilets and an assortment of free paperback books in the ticket office, and a "food shack" with good hotdogs, lobster rolls, cheeseburgers, a veggie option, drinks, water bottles, etc.

The trick is to RELAX.... this is an island and time (and the ferry line) move at their own pace.

The last ferry from Lincolnville is at 5:00 PM. If you miss it, you get to spend the night on the mainland!

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HOW MUCH DOES THE FERRY COST?

 

See the State of Maine ferry website for comprehensive rate information.

Car & Driver: $ 27.50

Adult Passengers: $ 10.00 each

Kids 5 - 11: $ 4.75 each

Kids under 5: FREE


CAN WE RESERVE A PLACE ON THE FERRY?

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Yes, sometimes, it just makes sense, especially if you have a catch a plane in Portland or Boston or need to meet a schedule and don't have the time or patience to wait in line. Every ferry run only has 4 reserved spots, thus, you are reserving for a particular day and TIME SLOT (for example, for Saturday July 2, the 3:00 PM ferry). A reservation for your vehicle costs $12.00 (extra from the ferry ticket). You can reserve a spot up to 30 days in advance of the day you want to travel on, or up to 2 hours prior to the trip. For reservations from the Lincolnville side, call (207) 789-5611 and have your credit card ready. For reservations from Islesboro side, call (207) 734-6935. Remember, you can always wait in line!


GROCERY SHOPPING ON THE ISLAND ?

 

The island has 2 small grocery shops.

ON SUNDAYS: the Island Market is CLOSED and Durkee's Market is open for 1/2 the day.

Durkee's Market is 3 minutes from the cottage and has a big selection of "basics," including wine, beer, liquor, a meat and deli counter, produce, DVDs, and newspapers. They also serve lunch and make delicious cheeseburgers and fries. The Island Market, about 10 minutes from the cottage and across from the Post Office, has a range of gourmet foods, home-made goodies (terrific carrot cake and other baked goods), ready-to-go pizza, meat and fish counter, newspapers, DVDs, and more. The folks at both markets are very nice, only the products are, of course, a bit more expensive than on the mainland (on the other hand, you're on vacation....so treat yourself to homemade gourmet lasagna, quiche, fruit pies, and that terrific carrot cake from the Island Market!). We sometimes do a shop in Camden before we arrive on island for some favorite things we can’t live without but other than for super specialty items, you'll find almost everything you need on the island. There are a couple of lobster fishermen on the Main Road from which you can buy lobsters - - you'll know them from the many lobster pots outside their homes.


DINING ON THE ISLAND ?

 

There are very few choices on the island itself. If we don’t feel like cooking or grilling on the deck, our personal preference is to do homemade "take-out" from the ISLAND MARKET. We also lean towards steaming lobsters at home (can't beat the atmosphere and the price...) and there’s a large lobster pot in one of the cabinets. Sometimes on a perfect, late afternoon, we’ll drive down to the southern end of the island to the public beach at Pendleton Point and grill something delicious on their little grills. DURKEE'S STORE serves lunch (excellent cheeseburgers), as does the DARK HARBOUR SHOP (also an ice cream parlor with terrific shakes and sundaes!!). The SNACK SHACK at the Ferry -- Islesboro side-- offers tasty food throughout the day and through supper including excellent fried clams. Lots of people go there for supper, eating on the grass near the water's edge. Even John Travolta loves the ferry snack shack!

And in 2013, the RABBIT CORNER CAFE opened in the new Islesboro Community Center. The Cafe is open Monday - Friday 7:00 AM - 4:30 PM & Sunday 11:00 AM -3:00 PM (CLOSED Saturday). BUT CHECK THEIR HOURS!


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DINING OFF THE ISLAND?

Since the last ferry of the day leaves Lincolnville at 5:00 PM, eating supper off island is a challenge. We had a great time one summer taking the Quicksilver boat taxi across to the mainland for supper one night at the Whale's Tooth Pub & Restaurant in Lincolnville. Another restaurant right there in Lincolnville is the equally popular Chez Michel. You can call the Quicksilver taxi for a custom trip, or, find out when they do their scheduled evening runs. The night we went over to the mainland, we drove down to the ferry dock, parked, and caught the 6:00 PM taxi run, ate at the Whale's Tooth, and caught the 9:00 PM run back. Since it was one of their scheduled evenings, we paid a not unreasonable amount for a water taxi (like $ 25 each round trip?) and had a great night.

LAUNDRY?

 

We have a washer and drier for your use. There's usually plenty of detergent at the cottage. If not, you can buy some at the local stores. There is no laundrymat on the island (although there are plenty on the mainland in Belfast and Camden). But vacations mean keeping life simple and not doing a lot of wash!


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WHAT DO WE DO ON THE ISLAND ?

Awesome beach combing, walking, hiking, bike riding, swimming (real cold water!!...), kayaking, tennis (at the public courts), sailing (at Big Tree Beach), digging for clams and gathering mussels, golfing (at the 9 hole Tarrantine Golf Club -- 207-734-2248), looking at historic architecture, photography, bird watching, reading books you’ve been meaning to read all year, relaxing on our 400 square foot deck, and not doing anything at all. There's a fun public children's playground on the island (next to the public tennis courts) about 5 minutes from the cottage, a great little public library with programs, and a variety of evening lectures and programs. There’s a new Community Center with lots of activities and a Café. At the cottage we’ve left maps showing you some of our favorite beaches and walks. Also read our Guest Book to find inspiration from what our other guests did (or didn’t to…).

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CAN WE SWIM IN THE MEADOW POND?

It's not a swimming pond. The Meadow Pond, across the road from the cottage, is a 10 acre, fresh water wildlife refuge for deer, birds, turtles, beaver, frogs, and, in some years, bald eagle. It’s not a swimming pond. There’s a public access to the pond on the Meadow Pond Road just several hundred feet south of the cottage where it's possible to fish.

WHAT’S THE STORY WITH TICKS?

 

As everyone in the Northeast now knows, Lyme-disease bearing ticks are everywhere and abundant. Ticks are everywhere there are mice and deer and there’s a lot of deer on Islesboro. Protecting yourself from getting ticks by wearing socks and long pants on hikes is a good thing. Doing daily tick checks has become a way of life after a walk in the woods or through brush or tall grass - - in Islesboro or anywhere in the Northeast. Even cold Vermont, where we live, now has plenty of ticks and warmer winters are not killing them off. Tick checks are now a habit when we are on the island. Lying on the deck is better than lying in the grass. After hiking at Turtle Head and walking through the tall grasses, do a thorough evening tick check on each other and the kids. And jump in the tub!


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ARE THERE FUN THINGS TO DO OFF-ISLAND?

Just a few ideas:

The Farnsworth Museum/Wyeth Center and the Island Institute in Rockland – two of our favorite places: http://www.farnsworthmuseum.org/

Walking around Camden village, browsing its bookshops, sampling the restaurants and various shops, walking around the wonderful harbor and looking at the amazing sailing ships: http://www.camdenmaineexperience.com/

If you’ve always wanted to sail on a sailing schooner, there are numerous day trip options out of the Camden/Rockport area: http://www.camdenmainevacation.com/camden-daytrips-sail.php

There are several dozen antique shops in the Lincolnville - Camden – Rockland area.

Camden State Park has trails and a super view from the top of the mountain.


HOW ABOUT BIKES AND KAYAKS?

 

We do not supply bikes or kayaks at our cottage. They are available for rent, but NOT on the Island… you have to rent them on the mainland. 


The following rental places are relatively close to where you catch the ferry (in Lincolnville) to Islesboro. Please note that we have no personal experience with any of these companies - - we just did some internet research to get you started. And there are other companies out there. 

KAYAK RENTALS AND KAYAK TOURS

Breakwater Kayak 
8 Mill Street Rockland, ME 04841
Breakwater Kayak specializes in tours focused on natural history. Offers professionally guided trips in Penobscot and Muscongus bays. Trips available for all ages and skill levels. Leads two-hour tours of Rockland Harbor, four-hour trips to Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, and full-day trips to Owls Head State Park and Lighthouse. 
Phone: Toll free: 1-877-559-8800 Local: (207) 596-6895 

Camden Kayak 
20 Conway Rd, Camden, ME 04843 
Camden Kayak specializes in custom guided trips in Penobscot Bay and its islands. 
Phone: (207) 236-7709 E-mail: info@camdenkayak.com 

Duck Trap Sea Kayak 
RR 3, Box 3315, Lincolnville 04849 
Offers kayak rental and sale as well as guided two- and four-hour trips in the Lincolnville Beach area. Trip leaders (who are registered Maine Guides) also offer family trips on a nearby lake. Tours are suitable for beginner paddlers. 
Phone: (207) 236-8608 

Maine Sport Outfitters 
These folks have a new Camden waterfront location and offer 2 and 4 hour kayaking tours of Camden Harbor as well as multi-day programs and private kayaking instructions. Maine Sport also rents kayaks as long as you can demonstrate that you have paddling experience. RT 1, 
Rockport Store/Rentals: Toll free: 888-236-8797 207-236-7120 

Mount Pleasant Canoe & Kayak 
P.O. Box 86, West Rockport 04865 
Offers half-day, full-day, and multi-day kayaking trips, leaving from Spruce Head, Maine. Most tours include stops at coastal islands. Sunset trips, multi-day trips and customized tours are also available. 
Phone: (207) 785-4309 E-mail: dpeckham@midcoast.com

Riverdance Outfitters 
Belmont Inn, Belmont Avenue, Camden 04843 
Features kayaking, canoeing and hiking trips to the rivers, lakes, and mountains of the midcoast. Half-day trips offered for kayaking or canoeing. Tours depart from the Belmont Inn in Camden. 
Phone: (207) 763-3139 

BIKE RENTALS

Bike Rentals in this area (kayaks rental places above may also rent bikes) - - there are NO bike rentals on-island. 

Again, please note that we have no personal experience with any of these companies - - we just did some internet research to get you started. And there are other companies out there. 

* Belfast Bicycles, Belfast 
(207) 338-0008 

* Maine Sport Outfitters, Rockport 
(207) 236-7120 

* Ragged Mountain Sports, Camden
(207) 236-6664 

* Side Country Sports, Rockland 
(207) 701-5100