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Searsport and Warren Island

Posted by on October 23, 2012

On Saturday the 13th we spent a chilly day at the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, Maine. The small town of Searsport has been home to over 500 sea captains, at one time reportedly being the port of over 10% of the U.S. sea captains, and in the 19th century supplied the most U.S. deep water captains of any town of her size. The museum does a great job at remembering this past, displaying a full room of photos of every historic captain and telling some their amazing stories. The museum houses a large assortment of marine art including paintings of the various Searsport ships in foreign ports. In addition to the art and photos on display you can view their extensive photographic collection online. The museum also includes a large amount of goods that were brought back from Asia when the captains traveled there on their trade routes, something that had to be a curiosity in the 1800’s.

The museum has large exhibits on fishing in Maine, and I got a chance to handle some of the tools that the lobstermen use on a daily basis. (I even had to take a turn at the wheel of their lobster boat exhibit.) It was interesting to learn how fishing in Maine has changed over the years and how lobster are caught today. The museum was very interesting and engaging, and we enjoyed our day there very much.

When we arrived at the Searsport dinghy dock we noticed that the locals pulled their dinghies out of the water and onto the floating docks, something we hadn’t seen other places. We thought it strange, but decided ‘When in Rome’ and pulled our dinghy out of the water. When we returned after our day at the museum, we were glad that we had – it was so shallow under the floats that our dinghy would have been resting on the rocky bottom when the tide was low. The next day we did laundry in town and grabbed some groceries at the local market before we left.

Sunday afternoon we made the short trip to Warren Island State Park off of Isleboro Island. Warren Island is referred to as a “mariner’s park” since there are no bridges and the only way to the campsites is by boat. We picked up one of the Park’s moorings and headed ashore to check out the island. Unfortunately, the Park had pulled the floating dock and we had to scale the wooden dock support. This wasn’t too hard at high tide, but as the tide went out we had to climb the “ladder” much farther to return to the dinghy.

The Park is very nice and had walking trails that we explored. I can imagine how much fun it would be to escape to one of the campsites on the island during the Maine summer. After exploring the Park we crossed over to the Isleboro ferry terminal and checked out the Grindle Point Lighthouse. We ended up spending two nights at Warren Island while we waited for the weather to improve and we left on Tuesday the 16th headed for the island of Vinalhaven.

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