|Minimum Stay||7 nights|
New home built in Japanese style on secluded and dramatic 5 acre, wooded, oceanfront property. The rear of the property is on Long Pond (see photo) a pristine 1.5 mile long freshwater lake, excellent for swimming and canoeing. A 15 minute walk takes you to the entrance of Acadia National Park and it's well maintained system of both shoreline and forest hiking trails.
The house is fully equipped with new, excellent quality, kitchen appliances--a cook's dream! And central heating. Come to Sheep Thief Gulch and truly get away from all but you what you really want.
Because of risks associated with the rugged ocean coast-line, this property is not suitable for children under 12.
Sheep Thief Gulch: Our house at Sheep Thief Gulch is a 5 mile drive from the town and mailboat landing on Isle Au Haut. You can hear the stars twinkle out here. Our property faces the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Long Pond on the other. Swimmers have their choice between 60 degree sea water (brrr) or the fresh water pond with far more tolerable conditions. The owners do both, but the ocean with wetsuits.
There are 2 houses on the property built in Japanese style; the 'girl's house', a separate 'guest' house with two bedrooms and a bath and the larger 'aquarium' with the master bedroom, a study, a mud room and a 40' x 20' great room with kitchen, dining and lounging area with floor to ceiling glass on both sides offering spectacular views of the sea, birdlife, changing weather and night sky.
Walkers and hikers enjoy coastal and forest trails in Acadia National Park. The Ranger Station has trail maps. The house comes with three mountain bikes and others are available for rent from the mailboat company.
Island Life: Sheep Thief Gulch is very private and secluded, separated from the road by a dense forest, but Long Pond (a 5 minute walk on a path through the woods) is a magnet in fair weather, where, in the afternoon there's a bunch of kids and some adults swimming and sun bathing on the beach or on the sun warmed asphalt road. Other opportunities to socialize include church on Sunday, the very well provisioned Isle Au Haut Store, the excellent library in the town hall with wifi service, the cyber/cafe Black Dinah Chocolatiers, The town sponsors other social events at the town hall including a talent show most years in August. ALL ARE WELCOME. There is one FINE 'not to be missed' dining out option at the Keeper's House on Isle Au Haut, however Inn guests have priority, so reservations are iffy. Fresh caught lobsters, arguably the best anywhere, are available from local fishermen requiring usually a day notice. Other fresh and frozen fish can be gotten at the Island Store or by order from a Stonington fresh fish market. They send it out on the mailboat.
Activities: All in all, Sheep Thief Gulch is a fine place to slow down, catch up on your reading, painting, photography or correspondence, summon the muse, pamper yourself with good food and drink, get in better shape (waking, running, canoeing, biking or swimming), break the connection with the internet, though wifi service is on for the addicted. By the way, there is also a land-line. To top it all off, you will meet some exceptional people there, both year round and summer residents, which I think is one of the main reasons people keep coming back.
Our houses at Sheep Thief Gulch were designed by award winning architect Evans Woollen and custom built in 2007 by Ellard Taylor, an Isle Au Haut builder.
Grady Watts purchased this house in 2007
After years of renting on IAH, we committed to building our own place when we bought our oceanfront property in 2005. Two years later, we moved in. We finally got our vegetable garden going in 2011 and it's going strong. We usually plant in early May, risking a late frost, but ensuring that we will have tomatoes and other VEG in August. There are always herbs (chives, garlic chives, sage, parsley, cilantro, rosemary, chervil, basil), and salad greens in July for our renters.
The ocean view is breathtaking! A large colony of sea gulls gathers on a nearby granite point and a variety of water fowl (loons, eiders, guillemots, northern gannets, great blue herons, bald eagles, ospreys, crows and ravens) feed close to shore. The house is equipped with a spototing scope. On the land side of the house, a variety of song birds are attracted to the birdfeeder, including the occasional raptor.
FIshing for brook trout, either wading along the lakeshore or from our canoe, is often productive. The best time is early morning before the swimmers gather at the beech.
This house is simply lovely. Presumably, you are considering a vacation on Isle au Haut because you appreciate the restorative power of smelling the salt air, listening to the waves on the rocks, and watching light shimmer on the water. This house is so wonderfully designed that, though it is modern and offers every comfort you might want, it does not interfere with your senses. If you go, do yourself a favor and rise early enough to see the first light and sunrise.
The kitchen is great! Order fish from the store--we had tuna steaks, haddock, lobsters purchased from the fisherman, and crab meat from a great market in Stonington, and every dinner was fun to cook and almost obscenely delicious. I do believe we each would have gained weight, had it not been for the hiking, canoeing and biking.
Word to the wise: if you bring a bike, don't allow hubris to let you leave your helmet at home. There is loose gravel and some challenging asphalt; the up-hills aren't for the terribly out of shape and the down-hills aren't for sissies.
Great hikes are Thunder Gulch and Black Dinah. We walked to Duck Harbor campground from the edge of the park, and it was nice to walk on the road. The campground area is stunning.
All of the Island residents we met were warm and friendly.
If you are feeling the weight of the world, consider a week here. The combination of silent starry nights, striking sunrises, and the freshest of air, could, I believe, unwind a corkscrew.
I will start this review with my first contact with Grady & Gerry. After my first phone call I felt as though I had just hung up with an old friend. Their genuine concern for our family vacation was comforting.
Now onto our arrival. As we planned our vacation we had a certain expectation, to say our expectations were exceeded is a huge understatment. The property is beautiful and the house is stunning. For such a secluded private island house, it has all the modern amenities and a kitchen that is PERFECT!
During the day we rode our bikes around the island, hiked it's many trails and swam in the beautiful fresh water pond that is a 5 minute walk from the house. At the end of the day we arrive back and sit on the back deck in awe of the view in front of us.
We made sure we thought of everything as far food before we went, but as always things are forgotten.......no worries, there is a great little general store that has just about anything you'll need.
Our stay was a week long this time, but we are already planning a two week stay next time. I highly recommend this property, I could go on for pages about how wonderful it is.
This was our second stay at Gerry and Gray's home on Isle au Haut. We first stayed there for one week in 2012. As you can see from our first review, we were enamored--so much so that we decided to book two weeks for our second stay. While we had utterly relaxed during our first stay, we suspected that a longer stay would be qualitatively different, and it was. What you'll find when you arrive is that your pace changes. Whatever your preoccupations the week before you arrive, you'll invariably find that they've become remote within hours after you've settled in--the setting of Gerry and Grady's home takes over. It's impossible not to relax once you're there.
What was our routine? Some of us woke early to take an early-morning swim in Long Pond, a five-minute walk from the house. Others stayed close by to sit on the deck, to watch the light change from one moment to the next on the water. Others took hikes to promontories where the surf pounded below against the granite shoreline. (Take the "Thunder Gulch" trail, just south of the house. Another favorite was the "Seal Trap" trail on the other side of the island.) Yet others gathered wild blueberries and raspberries for breakfast and after-dinner crostatas. And then? Leisurely days of hiking, reading, relaxing, and cooking in the well-appointed cook's kitchen that is also enhanced by ocean views, and a garden that offers up fresh herbs.
These are the pleasures of Grady and Gerry's place. Equally pleasurable are the people of the island and the things to do. Yoga at the community center. Searching among the shelves of the library on a rainy (or sunny) day. Stocking up at the store, through which everything and everyone on the island passes. (You'll hear the latest about people you don't even know.) Buying lobster at the gift shop--yes, the gift shop--where you'll be asked if you want hard shell lobsters or "shedders," and where you'll find a world map that invites you to color in an "x" for your home town. A lobster roll and/or a homemade ice cream sandwich from the "Lobster Lady." We loved every moment of living, for a brief time, in such a close-knit community, where everyone appreciates how precious this island is, and we cannot wait until we return—which will be as soon as possible, and for as long as possible.
We have stayed in the summer and winter months. Every comfort of home, and extremely well equipped kitchen, plus tasteful furnishing and view of the ocean from all the bedrooms and the spacious kitchen/dining/living area. Canoe available for use on the pond (not in winter), close to all the great hikes. Wonderful hosts with attentive caretaker.
We chose Gerardine and Grady's place at Sheep Thief Gulch based on the photographs and description they'd posted. We were immediately drawn to the ocean view on the east side of the house, seen through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that run most of its length, and the beautiful kitchen. We loved our days on IaH: we spent hours on the house’s seaside deck, enjoying the coastal breeze, noting the busy comings and goings of songbirds, and watching the subtle changes of light on the water and clouds unfold over the course of the day and into the evening. If you hope to slow down and re-center yourself during your vacation, this is the place for you. Time feels qualitatively different on the island—two days into our stay we were reckoning it by the comings and goings of the tide. Other amenities rounded out the pleasures of staying in this very special place. The house is a five-minute walk from crystal-clear Long Pond, which offers freshwater swimming out to a small float, or wading from a beach. The house is close to the many trails that will lead you into the National Park—they'll take you through the serenity of mossy forests, to the shore, and back again. Couple these atmospherics with an unbelievably well-equipped and thoughtfully laid out cook's kitchen (6-burner Wolf stove and any appliance, pot, or utensil you might desire; Aerolatte frother for your morning latte, anyone?), and you have everything you need to tend to yourself, body and soul. A couple of us in our group, serious cooks (and the rest, serious eaters) spent goodly amounts of time cooking in the open kitchen, chatting with our friends while looking out at the ocean. (The on-site veggie garden yielded up fresh herbs and fresh lettuces, and we loved composting the remains of our delicious meals.) Be sure to make time to get into town to get to know some of the people. You'll have a window on a community where everyone trusts and depends on each other—including summer residents and renters—much more than you depend on your neighbors back home. If you leave the place on Sheep Thief Gulch without feeling entirely composed and relaxed, you are unquestionably beyond all hope.
Isle Au Haut is a 6 mile, 45 minute ferry ride from Stonington, itself on Deer Island which is linked by a bridge to the mainland. It is on the eastern most extreme of Penobscot Bay, a kind of alphabet soup of spruce covered islands and lobster bouys. While there are cars on Isle Au Haut, the daily ferry is for passengers, pets and freight only.
More than half of Isle Au Haut is owned by the National Park Service and is a part of Acadia National Park. It contains an intricate system of well maintained hiking trails threading through the woodland and along the coast. In general, the level of difficulty is moderate, though Duck Harbor Mountain trail involves some scrambling up rocky slopes, but nothing most reasonably fit folks of all ages can't manage.
The world's best lobster can be acquired directly from local fisherman with a days notice. The house comes equipped with an outdoor propane lobster cooker and huge pot.
|Rate Period||Nightly||Weekend Night||Weekly||Monthly||Event|
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay
|Refundable damage deposit||$250|
|PIckup Truck Rental||$250 + Tax|
|Property Damage Protection||$99|
Our pick-up is rentable for $250/wk plus gas. Users must be licensed and insured drivers. No teen drivers please and no driving lessons. Truck is for 'on-road' use only and is not to be used on Acadia Nat'l Park roads. There are no car repair facilities on IaH so please use the truck with care. Please refill gas before departure.