The 2021 North American Rally
Hermit Island, Maine * August 14-21

attendees confirmed thus far
declaration of seaworthiness
updated: 4 October 2020 at 1141 hrs


Notice of Rally


From: Tom Graefe []
Sent: Saturday, October 3, 2020 10:05 AM
Subject: NA Rally--Hermit Island 2021



NA Cruise Rally—Hermit Island 2021 (August 14-August 21) --Update #1


Hello all,

Following on the heels of this difficult spring and summer, we all wonder what the sailing season will hold for 2021.  At the very least we can plan for getting together and hope for the best!


This is the initial call for participants for the 2021 Cruise Rally at Hermit Island.  This will be the sixth time we have held a rally at Hermit Island (starting in 2005) so most of the reservation and planning process will be familiar to those who have attended before.  A brief review of the locale is included, followed by instructions for registering. 


If you are interested read on. 


If you are not planning on attending and do NOT want to receive future emails about the 2021 Rally, please reply and let me know that.


Hermit Island Overview

Hermit Island Campground at Small Point is a large privately run campground on the very tip of Cape Small.  Hermit Island is about 25 minutes south of Bath and Bath is approximately 35 miles east of Portland.  Cape Small marks the eastern boundary of Casco Bay.  Casco Bay is beautiful, full of interesting islands, and perfect for Wayfarer cruising.  There are rally write-ups and photos from past years available on the CWA site for those not familiar with the setting and available cruises. Future emails will be provide more information as well.




Maine Sailing

This is cold water, coastal sailing with 10 foot tides and exposure to the Atlantic Ocean.   All boats and crew need to be prepared with proper options for rigging and anchoring, as well as suitable clothing.  More details will be included in future updates.


There are a variety of options for day cruises out of Hermit Island, including familiar destinations:

  • Cundy’s harbor—sail to great seafood restaurant on the New Meadow River or via Ridley Cove
  • Elm Island landing mid-Casco Bay (south of Yarmouth Island)
  • The Basin—lunch spot with famous/infamous drain out tide 😊.
  • Sail around Seguin Island


Docking & Mooring

As noted in past rally announcements, Hermit Island has limited space compared to the other two regular venues (Wellesley Island and Killbear).


The main option for dockage is at the public first-come first serve Yardarm dock co-located with the put-in ramp, both adjacent to the block of sites we plan to reserve. 


Unlike in the past there is virtually no space at the marina (only one slot available).  So whereas in the past we have had several boats at the marina, in 2021 that is not an option and experience from prior rallies suggest this will constrain the number of boats for this rally to about 15, pending review of those who are prepared to moor their Wayfarer. 


There are two available HI moorings and in the past some Wayfarers have set their own mooring, and this has been a help with the limitations.   


In your reply to this email please indicate if you are able and willing to set your own mooring.


Advice on setting your own mooring will be included in a future email.


Finally, a number of regular attendees of the Hermit Island Rally have opted to add a motor to their Wayfarer to ease the travel in and out of the Branch within Cape Small Harbor.


Campsite Reservations

Hermit Island supports our group by allowing us to send in one letter with a list of requested sites.  Hermit Island then bills all the parties listed in that request individually.  You can reserve independently if you so choose, but please let me know your intention to do so.  Rates for 2020 were apx. $49/night for choice sites.


I will compile the list and send it to Hermit Island at the beginning of December.  I would like to complete the initial reservation list by November 1.


As in the past, for 2021 we have been allowed to request sites grouped together along the Branch, including East Tack Way site numbers 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 and Branch Site numbers 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14.  We also have had some folks on Harbor Grove 2.


If you have not been to Hermit Island their website now has pictures of the sites online


What I'll need from you:

  1. Reservation dates if different from Saturday August 14-Friday August 20
  2. The name/number of your first and second choices of campsites.  
  3. Number of people and type of equipment (tent, etc.)
  4. Full name and billing address.  (Please also send names of attendees in your party)

If you are participating, but do not require a campsite reservation please let me know your dates of attendance, number of people and boat name/number.

Once the draft registration list is complete, I’ll send it out for your final review before I send it to Hermit Island.


COVID 19 and refunds

Hermit Island’s policy for 2020 was to provide full refunds for all reservations cancelled by Hermit Island due to Maine State restrictions.  The manager told me that would be the policy going forward if such constraints came into play next season.  I do not know if this refund policy included ongoing cross-border restrictions in 2020 I.e., where HI is open according to Maine rules, but folks cannot enter the USA.  Standard cancellation policy for Jan/Feb week-long reservations is a fee of $125, the deposit amount.


Staying at a B&B?

Hermit Island has strict rules about campground access and an around the clock gate person, as well as car limits on campsites.  I think Uncle Al is the expert on this, so if you are considering staying outside the campground I suggest consulting him.  In the past it has not been a problem for our group.



Tom Graefe



Fun at the Hermit Island Rally 2008
(3 Oct 2020)  In 2021 we hope to return to the marvelous mid-coast region of Maine (red star below)

The location, Hermit Island Campground at Point Small, is a large privately run campground on the very tip of 
Cape SmallHermit Island is about 25 minutes south of Bath and Bath is approximately 35 miles east of Portland. 

For anyone who has not previously sailed this rugged coast, this will be a totally new and exhilarating encounter.  We will enjoy the thrill of open sea sailing, the scenic grandeur of
Maine's bold granite coast, and the opportunity to see what it's like sailing an area with large tides and occasional strong currents.  The rally dates are Saturday, August 14th through Saturday, August 21st
For those who have not been at Hermit Island before, there are pictures and reflections from all our previous stays on Hermit Island - 2002, 2008, 2011, 2014, 2018 - at:

About the region. Hermit Island sits at the head of a 10-mile long peninsula (Cape Small) that juts far out into the cold, clear blue waters of the Gulf of Maine.  Though these waters are frigid, they abound with a multitude of sea creatures--sea birds, water fowl, seals, osprey, eagles and occasional families of dolphins or porpoises.  

 marks the eastern boundary of Casco Bay, which is beautiful, full of interesting islands, and perfect for Wayfarer cruising. Upon rounding Small Point eastward, one encounters what is referred to as the mid-coast region.  This is where two of Maine's largest rivers, the Kennebec and Sheepscot, meet the ocean.  It is a prime location for lobstering and fishing.  
The rally cruising will include island visits and beach landings, as well as other sailing activities.
The Bath area is steeped in history with many interesting sites worth seeing. There is no dearth of available rainy day activities.  One notable attraction is the world renowned Maine Maritime Museum in Bath.  In the 18th and early 19th century, this was the center of a booming ship building industry. Many large wooden ships, including some of the famous clippers and Grand Banks schooners, were being built along the banks of the Kennebec.  Today the Bath Ironworks produces many of the U. S. Navy ships.
About Hermit Island Campground.  This campground is unique and especially attractive in many ways. There is no other oceanside campground in this part of Maine that is so well suited for a Wayfarer rally.  Being situated right on Small Point, the campground's many ocean overlooks offer particularly splendid vistas of Maine's magnificent bold coast. There are 275 campsites. Much of the campground is wooded, with the majority of campsites located in a wooded setting.  There are a limited number of sites situated on rocky bluffs with an ocean view and others that are close to the beaches on sandy meadows of thick, coarse high grass.  These are priced at a premium rate and are generally more exposed to the elements. 
There is an outstanding small boat harbor which includes a paved launch ramp, large dinghy float, and several moorings. Space at the float and moorings is free on a first-come basis. Near the southern harbor entrance is a marina where slips can be rented.  The dinghy float and moorings should be able to accommodate many, but possibly not all, of the Wayfarers.  The other option is to anchor out.  (The tidal range is on the order of 8 to 10 feet.) Other Hermit Island amenities include a sizable camp store, restaurant, and rainy day recreational building.  For more complete details see 
About Reservations at Hermit Island for 2018. We have submitted a group registration for all those participants that responded to email on the 2018 Hermit Island Rally over the last two months.  Those reservations were for sites on East Tack Way, Branch, and Harbor Grove.

Hermit Island will bill directly the individuals listed. They will send one bill after they complete the reservations. The bill will show a due date for the $125.00 deposit, and a due date for the remaining balance after deposit. You may send full payment at once, or send a deposit followed by the balance but they do not generally send another bill after they receive a deposit unless we are asked. So you may send full payment or break it down into two separate payments. After the site is paid in full we will send out a confirmation.

Any subsequent changes and adjustments will be handled on a direct basis (the organizers don't need to get involved in schedule changes). Note that these winter reservations for 7 days for Prime sites are special—so changes have their own rules.  Click here for more detailed change/cancellation policy.


Photos of many of the requested campsites can be viewed here.


Late registrants should let the organizer know of their interest, but will need to make their own site reservations using the standard Hermit Island process as described on their website


The Main Campground Rules:  One car per site, no pets.  If more than one car is needed, there is off-site parking at the trailer park campground just outside the drive off the main highway leading to Hermit Island.  Cost is $5/day.  Consult the website for more information on campground policies.

Marina:  For those who requested a marina slip, that was included in the group request.  


Next steps: 

For reservations, keep your eye out for billing from Hermit Island


For rally planning there will be additional emails and updates to this page regarding:

  •  Boat and skipper requirements for the rally
  • Information on sailing in the area, charts etc.
  • Information on putting out your own mooring
  • Social Planning

link to updates will be placed here
registrations received so far