• Day18

    Into the US - Bar Harbor

    August 10, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Entering the US today. Got to breakfast early as we had an 830 slot to process US immigration. THe previous night had been traumatic as the paperwork delivered to the room said we needed to complete the old green I94W forms and alos have a printed copy of our ESTA. This is despite the SU governemnt website saying US law does not require a printed copy of the ESTA tp be carried or produced by travellers. Went to talk to front desk who said did we have screenshot. I said no and that thought woukd be hard to find on email ro website. She was vague as didnt seem to realise that ESTA lasted for two years and that I had used mine few times already to enter US without needing a copy. Went away to talk to someone and came back saying we had to find it or we may get fined and not be able to proceed on cruise. Worst case we would need to app;ly again for one. Didnt offer much help to let us use their PC etc, just suggested we use our phones in morning when they worked in port to look for info. USeless.

    Back in room decided should buy wifi pack to look for it now to screenshot. ESTA website was searchable without confirmation number so I foujd them all and screenshotted. Still had uneasy nights sleep wondering if this would suffice.

    We were called to the casino area to quu for immigration. Queue was longer than it seemed when we joined it. Took us about 45 moinutes to reach the front. Chap never asked about ESTA. I asked him about it and he just said these forms they did instead and need to make sure we give in the slip he leaft in our passports when we leave US. JUst like the old days! Such bad info from the cruise company, I will be feeding that back to them without doubt!

    We then had to get tender tciket as boat was moored offshore a little way and we needed to get smaller boat ashore. Had to wait another 20 minutes ro so for our turn and so eventually we got to shore about 1010, just after shceduled tour time of 10. Met our guide Will, a younger chap in his 20s this time.

    He drove us off through Br Harbor and towards the Acadia National Park. Was established by man called Drew from the area nd also John Rockefeller. Rockefeller still have many houses etc on the island. The park was one of first in US and was established by Rockefeller buying land ferom people and alos people giving it for free as they suppported the idea. The first area along the coast we visited was very busy. Had lots of pink grabite to scramble on which Ed loved. This is where pink granite in White House comes from. Further uop we stopped at Thunder Hole - when tide is right waves make a huge noise as air gets trapped against rocks here, not quite right for our visist, but nice spot with good walkway down to sea level (busy though), Sam saw people fro night 1 dinner who were on a bus tour and not liking it - hot and couldnt hear guide!

    We drove on and Will talked about teh cariageways Rockefeller had built acorss the park. We sqw a horse and carriage along one of them. Most are cycle ways now and used for that by visitors.

    Saw house owned by TV producer and one by Martha Stewart. Will talked about lobster fishing here, which seemd much more fats buck and cut throat than the more sustainable approach in the Canadian towns we visited. Other fish ahd been taken too much so lobsters was now controlled by the fisheris board and quotas for pots only became available when fishermen died or retired, thoygh Will hinted at some murky goings on. Got impression they would fish for more if they could get away with it. Females with eggs are thrown back, often makred on tail ss breeders so if they are caught when they dont have eggs they will still be out back. Large males are aslo returned as they are good breeders too. Each fisherman has their won coloured buoys (pronouned boo eee!) and matching pole on their boat so coastguard and other fisherman can tell if people are sticking to their own patch.

    We drove past the only fjord on the island. ISalnd was formed by volcanic activity and Mount Cadillac is plug of old volcano then all smoothed over by glaciers. Stooped for laucnh in Northeast BQuay. Much quiter on this side of the island and better for it. Had greatxrabster roll (half crab half lobster)from a small van parked on the quayside. Had look at the baoptda nd lobster pots then back on our way up Cadillac Mountain.

    Reminded us of Revelstoke as you drove all the way to the top. Gradient was shallow going up as was built as a brdleway orignally for horses to make it. Had been a mountain railway up at som point to a hotel at top, but hotels all mysteriously burned don and railway was removed to Mount Washington.

    We had perfect clear day for views and could se our ship docked below. Mountainw as rounded so no really steep edges and we scrambled around at the top for a bit. Got nagment from shop and Will bought us some picture playing cards. mountin was named after same guy that Cadillac cars named after.

    Will told u winters were cold, at least with some very cold snaps. He had snowplough on his truck and earned some money ploughing roads and driveways. He was curios character, telling us how we didnt truct doctors and so made his own medecines. And how his sister had had her son taken away when he was born in hsoiital for no reason.

    Back to Bar Harbor and saw some of the landmarks there (not a big pkace)mand we ere dropped back where we started. Will overrqn the time bit, whcih was nic and we enjoyed the scenery, though for kids was less interesting than the otehr two tours.

    We walked into bar harbor and giot a drink, then some souverbirs (a cuttlefish for tash!) and visisted a pharmacist - they dont appear to have paracetamol over here.

    Ice cream on way back to tender. Ed dint like his raspeberry lemonade or choclate so I ended up with a lot of ice cream!

    Back on the baot we chilled in room. Tash and I went to the Americas Test kitchen again and watched salmon prepared by over roating and pan steaming. Somehting to try at home. Then went for dinner in dining room, mainly to finish off the wine I had started the other day. Got usual spot for quiz and Nicole and To ny came without boys. We almost won, got 21 and tied with the team whoi had won every night. We lost the tiebreaker! Ed was annoyed as we had wavered on whether Australia had 5 or 6 states. We pust 5 but it eas 6. Wpould have won if we had gone with Ed's final answer.
    We exchanged email addresses with them as they may visit London next year so we offered to help with any planning. Show tonight was half magic half comedian. Botrhe good again. Magic was close up this time with projection onto bi scren so all could see. Comic more fo the same with some great observations on pre v post married life (driving directions) and eyesight, icnluding tv remotes with volume and channel looking the same (why do we subscribe to lots of channels that just show the same prgramme but louder!).

    Had to pack our big cases and leave them outside the room by midnight, keeping stuff we wanted to carry. Tash was slow paking but we got there in the end.

    Like night before boat was quite rocky at sea, even though was calm,, Think crusing on ioen seas in rougher weather would be unpelasant
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