Bar Harbor Maine

Blogger holding the sun this afternoon on the sandbar that gave Bar Harbor, Maine its name. At low tide the bar links the mainland town with Bar Island. Bar Harbor, once synonymous with the elite wealth of of the gilded age is now more-or-less a tourist town for cruise ship passengers who disembark here for the day. It is also surrounded by Acadia National Park which is spectacular, but also spectacularly overcrowded with the above mentioned cruise ship tourists.

This is a panoramic shot of Otter Cove in Acadia National Park. It reminded me a lot of Northern California or even parts of Hawaii, only in the latter locales there would have been fewer humans. I was shocked to encounter so many people as Bar Harbor has a population of only 5,000. This Down East area of Maine is far off the beaten path, some 4 hours from Portland. Then I started thinking about how many people must disembark from each of the cruise ships moored in the little town's harbor, and that explained the people I was encountering at every turn. I did my best to crop any unwanted humans from these photos.

Above: The Crystal Symphony was moored overnight October 14-15, 2012 on its way from Montreal to New York City. This 781 foot luxury liner, registered in the Bahamas, carried a European crew of 575 and 922 paying guests.

Above: Far out in Frenchman Bay I could barely make out Egg Rock Lighthouse with my 300 mm lens. Built in 1875 Egg Rock Light is unique in that the stone tower is surrounded by the lighthouse keeper's quarters. It flashes red every five seconds and a fog horn sounds every 30 seconds.

Another large cruise liner also moored at Bar Harbor was the Italian liner AIDA Aura. Slightly smaller at 666 feet, the AIDA Aura still sported a crew of 426 with 1,687 passengers. She departed for Boston several hours after the aforementioned Crystal Symphony on the same route to an eventual terminus in New York City. While they were in port the two cruise liners essentially doubled the fall population of Bar Harbor.

Above: Looking across the temporarily dry sand bar from Bar Island to Bar Harbor and some of the massive estates that were built in the early 1900s.

Click on any image at Phillip's Natural World to enlarge

Above: Another view of Bar Harbor, from the top of 1,528 ft. (470 m) Cadillac Mountain on Desert Island in Acadia National Park. The little town is at the barely visible shore. It was wicked windy with gusts to 40 mph and alternately foggy, cloudy, so most of the photos from the top will need more editing to be presentable. I could barely stand upright in the wind as it whipped through the mountain passes and over the peak of Cadillac.

Lobster boats moored in Bar Harbor, Maine.

Above: People spell out their names with stones on the temporarily dry sandbar that connects Bar Harbor with Bar Island. Its kind of an odd tradition. I could find no mention of it on the internet but it was apparent in many places.

Above: Room with a view. The view from the hotel room in Bar Harbor.

Above: A panoramic view of Frenchman Bay to Bar Island, with Bar Harbor in the center and the sandbar across the harbor quite visible. I was trying to estimate how many vertical feet the tide must be to create such a dramatic tidal range. When I got to Bar Island I discovered this tidal table (below) which shows that the tidal range today is an incredible 13.1 vertical feet (4 meters). On tomorrow's new moon and the next full moon the tidal range will be an astounding 13.3 vertical feet (4.05 meters).

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