August 10, 2017
It was finally time to get back to cruising so we decided to head up the Penobscot River to Bangor. This would give us a good shakedown cruise in protected water and position us close to Hamlin’s Marine where we’d need to take the tender back in for scheduled service on our brand new outboards.
Our new friends Jason and Rochelle joined us for the trip. Rochelle had emailed me when we arrived in Belfast, saying she was a friend of a friend of ours and had been following our blog. They invited us out for dinner and we invited them for a boat tour and we all hit it off, so we’ve been hanging out a lot. Jason is a drummer in a rock band (a hobby, not his profession) and you can hear some of their music here.
We had a great trip up the river, stopping for the night at Fort Point. We went ashore for a walk at Fort Point State Park and found some berries to pick – blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries! We then headed by tender north to Bucksport, where a street festival was in progress. We had fun wandering around and stopped in for a drinks and some snacks at one of Rochelle’s favorite places. We passed by Fort Knox – not the one where the gold is kept though – and under the Penobscot Narrows Bridge.
After a peaceful night at anchor, we continued on to Bangor where we had a reservation at the town dock. We arrived on Sunday morning, for the last day of Metal Fest! Our spot on the dock wasn’t available until noon, so we anchored out across from the main stage. Interesting, but not exactly our kind of music. Finally our dock was available. Because of the climate, Bangor has only temporary docks that are put out for the short summer season. We were assigned to a small dock just outside Sea Dog Brewery and Bradley deftly maneuvered the boat into our spot without a hitch. It turned out to be a great location – walking distance to everything and a fun place to hang out.
Bradley went for some bike rides, 24 to 37 miles max, and I had some great runs and walks around the waterfront. I found the Hollywood Casino, where I stopped a few times to donate some money. I discovered a harness racing track, so would go for early morning runs to watch the horses work out. We visited several great restaurants and Jason and Bradley decided it was time for haircuts. This was a much bigger event for Jason than for Bradley, but the result was very good for both! And Rochelle was extremely happy.
Bradley drove the tender down to Hamlin’s Marine where they changed the oil and made some other minor adjustments. We also made a list of items that need attention on the big boat and will return to Belfast to deal with them.
We had been carrying our old fire extinguishers around in the hopes of using them for some practice. Docked near us was a boat owned by the fire department and I noticed a group of firefighters on the boat. I wandered over and met Joe, a lieutenant who does training. He offered to take us to his house where he could set some safe fires and let us put them out with our extinguishers. It was a great exercise, providing us a very good refresher course.
We visited Jason and Rochelle at their house where we enjoyed lobsters and met Jason’s dad Jerry and his wife Francis. We enjoyed Bangor and extended our stay by a few days, but finally departed to head back to Belfast. Jason, Rochelle, Jerry, and Francis all joined us for the trip. We stopped for lunch in Castine, where we tied up to the town dock. Then it was on to Belfast and back to Front Street Shipyard for a short stay.
Here’s a video slideshow showing some of the work we’ve done on the boat:
And some more photos: