SEAFARING DOWN THE COAST OF MAINE
When I was a young boy, I used to drive to Maine with my father to visit our grandfather, Dr. Alaric Haskell in Brunswick. Invariably, we’d go down to Bailey’s Island and eat lobsters at the small house grandpa owned on the rocks. They were definitely hard-shell lobsters and grandpa would crush the claws with a hammer. I yearned to someday have my own boat and come back to Baileys. I’d watched lobster boats ease through the passage in front of grandpa’s house.
This week I did! Together with Connie and Toby Vickery, we left the Gamage Shipyard at South Bristol, Maine at 0935 and on a smooth morning in Maine, we glided into the dock at Cook’s Lobster Restaurant between Orrs Island and Baileys at 11:55.
Connie and Toby treated me to a delicious lunch and I told them about the night a group of Bowdoin glee club singers had cruised on my father’s motor sailor from Mere Point to Cook’s Restaurant for dinner. We cruised back to Mere Point on a beautiful moonlight evening. The moon was so bright we maneuvered through the rocks, lobster pots, and reefs of Maine as Professor Tillotson led the mini-glee club in a medley of Bowdoin tunes. That was 60 years ago.
The Portland Ferry arrived at Cooks at the same time we did this morning. That boat comes from Portland every day; taking folks to Cooks for lunch. While their passengers are eating, the boat takes others on a short tour of the local area—including a visit to ‘Beautiful Haskell Island.’
After lunch, we headed out of Harpswell Sound. The southwest breeze had come up so we knew it would be rougher going back. We eased through the gut between Baileys Island and Turnip Isle—past the rocks where my grandfather had his house. I’d accomplished a lifetime goal.
The ride back to the Damariscotta River was rougher but my Eastern boat, with Captain Toby at the helm managed it beautifully while I took my afternoon nap below. We arrived back at Gamage Shipyard close to five PM.
This is the longest cruise I’ve ever taken on any of my boats in Maine. Connie and Toby planned this cruise carefully just as Captain Vickery learned at Annapolis when he captained destroyers. I knew I was in good hands and we’re already planning our 2017 cruise to Penobscot Bay or the Portland area.