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Google tells us that visitors to the MainSail site are most interested in five subjects; so here are quick links to those topics....
..........Penobscot Bay schooners
The Incredible Art that Maine inspires...
The list of "Maine artists" is long and varied, from Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper and Georgia O'Keefe and the always-mentioned Wyeth clan — N.C., Andrew and Jamie. That list of creative notables is long, perhaps, because the area inspires with a near-mystical interplay of light, a dramatic tension created where sea engages shore, and an opportunity for the artist to find the inspiration solitude yields.
Naturally, large and small galleries dot the state's coastal towns. In Rockport you will find the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, which displays a unique array of works by artists actually living and creating in Maine today. Indeed, CMCA has been a focal point for Maine creativity since 1952.
One example of the works exhibited at CMCA is
Deborah Winship's "View from Isle au Haut," created in 2003. You can see a micro-version of it at the link farther down in the left column of this page.
We believe CMCA is worth a visit. They are conveniently located in Rockport, on Russell Avenue, at the head of the harbor.
Friendship, on the midcoast, lands the second highest tonnage of lobsters in Maine, and the workday here and elsewhere for lobstermen begins early.
Before 6 a.m., the fog of a summer morning reveals the hint of the perfect day that's to come. Lobster boats, the pick-up trucks of the sea, meander in opposite directions "hauling" — winching up pots, culling and keeping, bating and tossing pots them back into the cold water of Hatchet Cove.
Summer travel plan are positive, says Gallup...
61% of Americans say taking a vacation away from home this year is “very important” or “somewhat important,” according to a new (5-16-11) Gallup survey.
29% said they’d travel less this year.
No surprise, most anticipate spending more on transportation costs than they did last summer.
Vacations are most important among the sub-65 age group (18-29, 72%; 30-49, 64%; 50-64, 68%). Among those over 65, only 39% view vacations as very or somewhat important.
Read the complete Gallup report here.
Spring arrived late this year on the Maine coast...
As with winter this year in most parts of the country, it was longer and more brutal and with more snow than is normal. Bidding farewell to that frigid grip is a pleasure, and the scenes of Spring were all the more welcomed for it.
As Mainers know, summer doesn't arrive until the Fourth of July, regardless of what they tell people from away.
In the midcoast village of Friendship, increasingly warm days with abundant rain give Crystal Pond, above, a ring of greening leaves and grass. And on the community's outlet to the Atlantic, Hatchet Cove sees lobster boats returning to operation. Friendship lands the second largest lobster harvest in the state.
Water temperatures keep the coast cool all year
Three divisions is the second consideration. The Southcoast, see details page, is immediately north of New Hampshire, the easiest to reach by car, and the most heavily visited. We see the Southcoast extending up to Portland, but include Bath and Wiscasset because they don't handily fit into the midcoast region.
Along this stretch of the Maine coast you are more likely to find an occasional sandy beach, fewer chances the farther north you go. More motels exist in these areas and there are more planned entertainment spots. It simply is more tourist oriented.
The Midcoast, see details page, is where, in our opinion, the real Maine begins. Here the characteristic rocky coastline becomes the norm with very few sandy beaches; lobstering is a major activity here; motels give way to inn, B&Bs, and rental cottages; lighthouses are plentiful; and
the thick Maine (they can't pronounce Rs) accent begins for real.
The center of the midcoast is the tri-city are of Rockland-Rockport-Camden. It includes the major islands of North Haven, Vinalhaven and Islesboro, all of which have regular state-run ferry service almost hourly.
Downeast, see details page, is the northern-most stretch of the Maine coastline, and begins roughly at Belfast and continue north to the Canadian border.
Downeast is more coastal rural than the midcoast, towns are smaller, fewer tourists visit this area. The motels are less in evidence, and the inns, B&Bs and rental cottages are more the norm. The area includes Swan's Island, Deer Isle with Stonington, and Mount Desert Island with Bar Harbor, Southwest Harbor and Northeast Harbor. Tourism tends to be concentrated in those areas.
Arriving at the Southcoast can be easily accomplished by car; it is about an hour and a half from Boston via I-95. Flying in, you would arrive at either Boston's Logan Airport or the Portland Airport, rent a care and drive to the coast.
The midcoast is approached by car using I-95 and going up US 1 — often an ordeal on a crowded two-lane. By air, again Boston is a natural. But we'd suggest giving Portland or August as strong possible alternatives. In either case, the coast is best approached via Route 90 from Augusta.
Downeast, is a whole other story. Arriving in Boston and driving up to the downeast area, in our opinion, is a waster of time. The better alternative is to fly into Bangor, rent a car and drive east to the coast.
Getting about in Maine demands patience
Locals say Maine has two seasons: Winter and Road Repair. They’re not kidding, and this makes travel on Maine's roads problematic. Full story
Time to set sail on the Maine coast
For a true Maine experience, there's hardly anything more exciting -- and relaxing -- than a multi-day sail onboard a wind-powered schooner. And the Penobscot Bay has a full dozen of these historic boats that offer trip durations ranging form a couple days to a full week.
The boats range from 46 to 132 feet in length on deck with cabin accommodations for six to 40 passengers. Smaller boats, such as the Mistress, don't necessarily have tighter accommodations than the larger vessels.
Mistress is the smallest in the multi-day fleet and takes only six passengers. By contrast, some of the boats in the 60-foot range take 20-or-so passengers. Read Schooners. MaineSail offers a narrative of a week's sail on Penobscot Bay so that you can learn from those who've been aboard a sailing schooner. Read Sailing.
First light, highest tide
Maine is the northern-most and eastern-most state in America. As such, it receives the nation's first -- and some say its best light. Through the years, artists (and tourists) seem to have agreed. See for yourself!
Portland, Maine, squeaked into the top 12 in last year's [2007's] Top Travel Destinations. "Fantastic mix of culture and education" with several Gourmet hit restaurants." "Extreme weather," though,can make Maine travel challenging. Full story.