Moose Cove Oceanfront Cottage
Helpful Hints and Practical Information
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For a residential rental Maine requires that the cottage be your primary residence, with
very limited exceptions involving work-related residency or moving
to Maine in search of a permanent home. (The cottage has not been available to the
public as a vacation rental since June 2005.)
If you are a new resident of Maine be sure to visit the state's website on
Moving to Maine
for information on voting, drivers licenses and car registration,
taxes and registration of
Since Trescott is an
Unorganized Territory with no local government, most official local government functions are in
Lubec. The Washington County government facilities are in Machias.
There is no mailbox because of a history of vandalism destroying mailboxes
along the road. If you decide to put up your own mailbox you should take security
into account. You can open a PO box at the post office in Lubec or Cutler.
“PROPERTY TAX REBATE”:
You may be entitled to a partial subsidy for rent under the state's
“Circuit Breaker” program under which the
state makes selective direct payments to tenants based on income.
- AREA LITERATURE:
A white looseleaf binder in the cottage contains brochures, maps, a
tide table, restaurant menus and information on the local area.
- MOOSE COVE JOURNAL: One of our first vacationers
started a notebook to record their practical suggestions,
experiences and impressions of Moose Cove and the local area to
share with those who come after them. We would love to have you
contribute to the journal. You can include anything that you want to
– from practical recommendations for places to visit or avoid,
to how early you saw the sun rise and how many seals you saw at low
tide basking on the rocks. The Journal is in a large looseleaf binder.
- BOOKS AND MAPS: Books on the pantry shelves are
available for your reading enjoyment (but please don't take them
home). Some are classics, there are many Reader's Digest Condensed
Books, and some paperbacks came from book recycling centers, so it
is pot luck. (There are also public libraries in the villages of
Lubec and Cutler.)
References: In the book collection at the cottage you will find
Bird Finding in New England, by Richard Walton, which opens with
a description of Campobello Island, South Lubec Beach, and Quoddy Head.
We also have the Reader's Digest Wildflowers reference, the
Peterson-McKenny Wildflowers Field Guide for North Eastern/North
Central North America, and the Peterson Birds of Eastern and
Central North America.
A nautical chart showing the shoreline and islands near Moose Cove
hangs on the wall in the Living Room. A large aerial photo of the
cove taken several decades ago hangs in the master bedroom (and
clearly shows the outline of a moose head at the base of the cove).
Several large puzzles are usually left near the TV.
- NO SMOKING:
smoke please only smoke outside. Please dispose of the butts safely and not
in the toilet. Thank you!
UTILITIES AND APPLIANCES:
- TRASH: Put all trash in closed plastic trash bags
and place the bags in the barrel outside the side door. Wrap any
lobster shells in paper so that their sharp edges will not tear the
plastic trash bags and cause leaks. Keep the barrel lid on the trash
barrel and heavy rocks on the lid to keep out animals.
If you are a residential tenant you will have to arrange for trash pick up
or take it to the Marion Transfer Station yourself.
Please do not
leave recyclables in the cottage; either throw them away or take them
to the recycling center in Lubec (the hours of operation change
frequently and they don't accept items for which there is no re-sale
- WATER: The water is from a private well, high
quality and filtered through a salt-based water softener, mostly
to eliminate rust formation. (Heart patients with limits on sodium
take note.) There is normally no need to bring in bottled water or
a purifier. The water in the stream is also very good, but has the
expected bacteria for an open stream through the
- SHOWER: The water temperature at the furnace is
set high to allow for long showers. Aim the shower head back
towards the tile wall, turn the temperature setting knob to point
straight down, and push the lever to the left for flow. Adjust the
knob for temperature from there (don't turn fully counterclockwise
to maximum hot).
There are suction cups to attach the edges of the shower curtain to
help keep the outside floor dry.
There is a mat for the shower floor for your safety (but don't
cover the floor drain!). To help keep the shower floor tiles clean,
please hang the mat on the towel bar over the marble bench seat
when you are finished.
The exhaust fan for the bathroom is operated by the right switch
outside the bathroom door.
Please spray the shower after each use to make it easier to keep
the tiles clean. There is a spray bottle of Clean Shower under the
sink. It only takes a second each time.
- STOVE: There is an oven, smooth cooktop, and
built–in microwave. You can use the fan and light built
into the microwave over the cook top.
Please run the self cleaning oven whenever you spill food in it. The
cleaning is automatic but must be started manually to
ensure that the oven is kept clean.
If you are not familiar with the care of smooth glass-top stoves,
please read on.
It is so much easier than regular stoves, but requires
care to avoid damage. We would like to keep the range in new
condition. See the instructions in the drawer. In particular, do
not scrape pans across the top or use it as a counter top. There is
a special polish kept on the kitchen counter that helps keep the
surface clean simply by wiping the flat surface with it. Always be
sure that the surface is clean before you turn the heat on. The
food does not burn off the surface. If the microwave controls
behave strangely, try re-initializing it by removing and replacing
the plug in the wall outlet.
Turn the dial to Normal and push the door closed to start. Steam
will vent in the front during the drying cycle. If the door is then
partially opened the dishwasher will not use its electric heater to
Please do not pour grease, other chemicals or food down the sink drain
as it will ruin the septic system. (There is no garbage disposal in the
- CLOTHES WASHER & DRIER: Because the water
passes through a water softener only use about 1/3 the amount of
detergent ordinarily recommended or you will have suds left on your
clothes. If you do use too much detergent, just run your clothes
through the rinse cycle again.
Please do not flush any foreign objects down the toilet -- no cigarette
butts, no condoms, no paper other than the toilet paper, etc. It
will ruin the septic system and its pump used to pump waste water up the
hill to the leach field. If problems arise, check the pump circuit
breaker at the electrical panel.
- HEAT: The oil-fired heating system is controlled
by the thermostat on the hall wall. (The thermostat out by the
furnace controls the zone in that area only.) Please turn the
temperature down to 55 deg when you leave.
- SMOKE DETECTORS: There are four AC-powered smoke
detectors with battery backup: in the bedrooms and hall, and over
the furnace. Please test them with the buttons to be sure the
batteries are working.
There is no telephone line to the cottage.
- CELL PHONE: Cell phones work only marginally in
the Lubec area and often do not work at all near the Moose Cove
cottage. (Satellite phones are not subject to the local cell phone
problems.) The strongest signal at Moose Cove is the Canadian NB
Tel signal from Grand Manan Island, which is the large island you
can see to the south-east about 10 miles out. If atmospheric
conditions are good, such as on a clear night, you may pick up this
signal if your phone is suitably set to roam. In an emergency, try
this first. Test by dialing the standard 611 cell phone customer
service number; if the announcement says Alliant you have the
A much weaker US signal can sometimes be used at the top of the
hill at the west end of the dirt road, or out at Rt. 191. (We
removed the Yagi antenna on the roof after the US Cellular signal
suddenly ceased working. The coax cable for the antenna coiled on
the top shelf of the pantry will therefore not help you.)
One of the best locations for local reliable cell phone use is at
the fire department parking lot at the top of the hill in the
village of Lubec, but there are many other places where it may
work, depending on atmospheric conditions. A practical approach
from Moose Cove is to try various locations on Rt. 191 on the way
into Lubec, particularly approaching the tops of the hills.
Reception is worse headed in the opposite direction on 191 towards
In Lubec,Canadian signals from NB Tel are also usually the
strongest and are often locked onto by cell phones. If you find
later that you have been billed for an international call made when
you were in the Lubec area, call your cell phone company for a
credit. This happens frequently for cell phone customers in the
Lubec area; don't be bashful about insisting on a credit if the
operator is not aware of the problem. (U.S. Cellular, the primary
local carrier, is however changing its refund policy because of the
large losses they have incurred -- they must pay the international
rates to Canada.) Cell phone calls made while on Campobello
Isl. or elsewhere in Canada, however, are international
- INTERNET: There is no broadband internet access
at the cottage, and since there is no telephone a modem cannot be
used unless with a satellite phone (or cell phone with a strong
signal if you can get it to work at all).
Satellite internet can be obtained but requires a 1 year committment.
Public access to computers on the internet is available in the Lubec
and Cutler libraries.
The Lubec library (open Mon.–Wed.,Fri.&Sat. AM) has
several PC's and now has a high-speed T1 connection through the
state library system. WiFi is available for labtops and works
outside the building when the library is closed if you have a strong
enough signal (easily obtained with an external antenna.) There is
also an external cable connection in the library's front function
room that can be used for a laptop or notebook computer. To use this
you have to register your PC with the library, which requires knowing
your ethernet card internal serial number (mac address, which you can
obtain with the shell command ipconfig /all. Once the data is
entered into the library database, ordinarily you have to set the IP
addresses manually the first time you connect; from then on you can
connect with DHCP/automatic IP).
The Cutler library (open Mon.–Thu.), in the town office on
Rt. 191 at the Harbor, is smaller with only one PC, but has a
broadband cable connection. If you ask permission you may be able
to use the ethernet connection for a laptop or notebook computer
plugged into the router. Bring an ethernet cable with the standard
oversized telephone-type connector and configure your portable PC
for DHCP/automatic IP. (Most people are very nice, but an elderly
woman associated with the library but who hates computers has been
known to occasionally come in and become incoherently and
hysterically abusive – if this happens to you it is not your
- TV/VCR: There is a TV hooked up to a DVD player,
but live broadcasts cannot be received at Moose Cove! There is a video rental store 10 minutes away at the corner
of 191 and 189 near Lyon's grocery store. A smaller selection is
available at McFadden's Variety Store, also on Rt. 189 towards the
village of Lubec.
- WEATHER RADIO: The small weather radio on the
kitchen counter is tuned by the knob in the back. Look for the
local station with recorded broadcasts covering coastal Washington
County. (There may only be one station available at
- TIDE CLOCK: The tide clock over the big windows
has a blue third hand that indicates the progression of the tide.
- CIRCUIT BREAKERS: The circuit breaker panel is
in the back of the cottage in the "basement" area, just inside the
- PEST REPELLERS: Electronic pest repellers
discourage insects and small animals from the woods. The smaller
units plugged into several outlets are mainly for insects. Large
units are in the "basement" area and the attic (on an extension
cord to the outlet below the circuit breaker panel). The higher
settings are ultrasonic, but if you are sensitive to the sounds you
can adjust or unplug them, but please leave them on when you leave.
There are mousetraps in the "basement" area, usually near the
furnace, so keep children away.
- FAN: A white standup fan and a desk fan usually
kept in the "basement" area can be positioned anywhere you think
you need it. The kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans can also be
used to circulate air.
- DRIVEWAY: The gravel road, extending about a
mile through the woods to the cottage, is in good condition, but
drive carefully, especially watching for eroded sections and tips
of tree branches extending from the sides. If you should see a
large rock protruding in the middle of the road, caused by gradual
erosion (they have all been removed at this writing), drive the
wheels on one side of your car over it to avoid scraping the bottom
of your car.
You can close and latch the gate to discourage sight-seers who may
You can park at the bottom of the hill next to the deck, next to the side
door, or behind the cottage at the top of the hill.
- OUTSIDE LIGHTING: The lights in the front over the
deck are operated by two switches just inside the sliding glass door.
The lights over the side door are activated by a motion detector adjusted
to operate after dusk. It is also controlled by the left switch (under
a guard) just inside the door, which should normally be left on. To
force the light on turn the switch off/on twice within 2 seconds. Repeat
to set back to automatic. If left on, it will automatically switch back
The lights on the roof in the back aimed over the driveway are also
activated by a motion detector, but are otherwise controlled manually
only at the circuit breaker panel.
- LOCK THE DOORS: Always lock the doors and windows
when you are away. The sliding doors lock from the inside only,
and also have a plastic strip that sits in the bottom track to
prevent the door from being forced open.
The side door deadbolt lock operates on both sides with the key.
For your safety, leave the key in the lock on the inside when you
are in the cottage.
- DECK/LAWN FURNITURE: The deck/lawn furniture is
kept in the "basement" storage area at the end of the cottage near
the second set of sliding glass doors past the deck. When a storm
is likely please bring the chairs in so that they will not break
the glass doors and windows if the winds are too gusty. There are
4 yellow lawn chairs, a yellow lounge and a brown lounge. There is
also is a cedar picnic table which stays on the deck, and a wooden
Adirondack chair usually left out at the top of the bluff by the
ocean; it need be brought in only in the event of a big
- GRILL: There is an electric grill for cookouts,
which does not use charcoal. Please keep it clean and
covered when not in use. There is a fire extinguisher in the
kitchen you should keep handy.
- OUTSIDE WATER:
There is an outside faucet and hose on the left side of the cottage as
you face the ocean. You may use this for anything that is best
- PATHS: The path down to the water is to the right
of the cottage facing the ocean. It runs at an angle to the
hillside, next to a large tree whose exposed roots form "steps" on
the steepest part. Be careful with your footing on the path and on
the rocks on the beach.
Behind the cottage and to the right (facing the ocean) there
is a path down into the woods to the stream. Upstream towards
the road there is a small waterfall. Downstream towards the
ocean you can cross over and go up the hillside to a higher bluff
overlooking the ocean.
There are no trails maintained in the woods, but you can follow the
dirt road in either direction. The road and all the property at
Moose Cove is privately owned, but normally no one minds if you
walk through if you don't cause damage or disturb other people. If
you encounter another cottage don't go up to it without
justification. (There are a few, with one very large home on the
shore west of the "T" in the road.) Eastern Head, well beyond the
end of the road, is owned by the state of Maine. Around the other
side to the east is Sandy Cove with an unusual sandy beach, but it
is difficult to reach from Moose Cove. There is a path to it from
Rt. 191 near a trailer home.
- SHORE: Many of the large rocks out by the water
are smooth and sculptured, making them comfortable to sit on.
Take the path down the hill and look for suitable routes to
step up to the rocks.
At low tide it is possible to climb all the way out to Little Moose
Island off the end of Eastern Head, but it is very slippery and hard
If you have a kayak or canoe light enough to carry down the path
to the shore you can launch it directly in front of the cottage.
This is most practical when the tide is high enough to cover
the seaweed-covered rocks off the fine gravel beach to the left
or the rocky inlet to the right of where the path goes down.
(See the section below on safety.)
- LIGHTHOUSES: At night you will normally see the
distant flashing lights of two lighthouses in the ocean: the
southern tip of Grand Manan Island is almost directly in front of
the cottage, and Machias Seal Island is to the right.
- MOOSE: Yes there are moose in the woods at Moose
Cove, and elsewhere in the area as well, but few visitors have
seen them. They won't bother you if you leave them alone. If you
are in your car, do not honk at them, and be careful on the road
people have been killed driving into a moose.
Please, no hunting on the grounds or on the beach. If you walk
anywhere in the woods during any hunting season be sure to wear
bright-colored clothing, preferably including orange. For hunting season
schedules or if you are otherwise interested in hunting check the
hunting and trapping website and the Lubec town office.
You are unlikely to catch fish casting from the rocks. If you fish
elsewhere, check the Maine state
fishing regulations and licenses website. Fresh water fishing
licenses can be obtained from the Lubec town office.
Moose Cove is generally safe, but use common sense. It is a
remote area with no one around to help if you get into trouble. There
are no life guards!
- In winter weather, be careful of “black ice” on the
roads, which can appear to be dry when they are not.
- The path down to the water is negotiable by people with normal
strength and health, but is steep. Watch carefully for the best
footing on the rocks and the large tree roots forming "steps".
- Down on the beach and the rocks by the water watch carefully for
the best paths across and over the rocks to avoid unnecessary
climbing and potential falls.
- The greenish seaweed-covered rocks covered by water at high tide
are very slippery and should be avoided.
- The water in Moose Cove and throughout the area is very cold, and
some areas can have very strong currents from the tides. Swimming
at Moose Cove is not recommended because of the cold water
temperature and the slippery uneven rocks under
- Be very careful climbing and walking on the rocks, especially near
the edge by the water. The depth of the water is about 30 feet
just off the rocks, except near the gravel beach (according to the
nautical charts). The tides go up and down vertically about 12
feet, so there can be a long drop down the rocks into very deep,
very cold water.
- There is erosion under all of the dirt bluffs, so do not stand too
close to the edge. This includes the lower part of the path down
to the beach.
- The ocean at Moose Cove is normally very calm, but in a storm,
waves crash onto the rocks. In this situation do not go out on the
rocks at all; rogue waves can come in much stronger and higher than
expected, forcefully sweeping anything in their path down the rocks
or into the sea.
- If you go out in a canoe or kayak anticipate the tides as well as
potential stormy weather causing waves. When the tide is out it
can be very difficult to get back up to the shore over the exposed
slippery rocks. There is a tide table and tide clock in the
cottage; there are roughly six hours between high and low
- If you go out in a canoe or kayak, remember that the water is very
cold, use a life jacket (PFD: "personal flotation device",
according to the Coast Guard), and watch out for fog. A heavy,
disorienting fog can come in very rapidly under certain weather
conditions. Be sure to bring a compass and preferably GPS with
you. (If you don't have a PFD or GPS you can pick one up at
L.L. Bean in Freeport, which has nice selections of both, on your
way through southern Maine to Moose Cove.)
- If you go out in a canoe or kayak, and watch out for fog. A heavy,
disorienting fog can come in very rapidly under certain weather
conditions. Be sure to bring a compass and preferably GPS with
- It is easy to become disoriented or lost in the woods. There are
no trails and everything can look the same after a while, sending
you in circles or meandering in the wrong general direction. Don't
venture into the woods late in the day when you might not have time
to recover before dark. Be sure to bring a compass and
preferably GPS with you if you walk into the woods.
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last updated 8/12/07