Boothbay Harbor

boothbay harbor  094boothbay harbor  001We’d been eagerly awaiting our arrival in Maine as this was our first time in the state and many people had told us that it’s a beautiful place.  We stayed in Southport, near Boothbay Harbor, at Gray Homestead Oceanfront Campground.

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boothbay harbor  024boothbay harbor  016boothbay harbor  014Our campsite, though not right on the water, had a view of the ocean, as we were up on a slight hill.  It was located in an old homestead, which still has some of the original homes on it (and I believe some of the family of the original homesteaders). boothbay harbor  013

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The campground had a small beach which we could walk to that was also a boat launch.  And at that little beach is where we began our newest collection – sea glass!  At least these are small items and don’t take up much room in the RV.boothbay harbor  019boothbay harbor  023

boothbay harbor  022boothbay harbor  015boothbay harbor  071boothbay harbor  021boothbay harbor  020boothbay harbor  009boothbay harbor  027boothbay harbor  007boothbay harbor  044The rain followed us once again, and so we spent a day on a quick driving tour of the area.  Boothbay Harbor is a very picturesque town, with lots of great boats and beautiful views.   And many of the working boats are lobster boats.  This being the beginning of the season, we saw lots of buoys marking lobster traps on the water and lots of traps all around.

And, speaking of lobster, we had our first Maine lobster – a lobster roll: fresh lobster meat with very little of anything else on a toasted hot dog type bun, YUM!boothbay harbor  075boothbay harbor  076

boothbay harbor  010boothbay harbor  008boothbay harbor  011boothbay harbor  031boothbay harbor  036On the first clear day, we took the kayaks out, heading out into the wind, which we like, because then it’s an easier paddle on the way back.  We paddled out to Burnt Island, a nearby small island with a small lighthouse.  We took our time walking around the little island and collecting more sea glass, then planned to continue to Boothbay Harbor for lunch then return.boothbay harbor  032boothbay harbor  037boothbay harbor  035boothbay harbor  034boothbay harbor  039boothbay harbor  038

boothbay harbor  040boothbay harbor  041But the weather changed and the wind speed increased considerably.  So we made it to Boothbay Harbor in some pretty big swells.  And then the wind shifted, meaning we’d have to paddle back into the wind through the swells.  The conditions looked unsafe so we switched to plan B, and left the kayaks in a kayak shop in town.

boothbay harbor  042boothbay harbor  043Tidal Transit, a kayak outfitter that Hector had visited the day before to get a nautical chart became our safe harbor.  Travis, the owner, is a great guy and he even let us leave the kayaks at his shop overnight.  And Travis recommended another great restaurant, where we had awesome clam chowder and fried clams.  One of his employees gave us a ride back to the campground although we were willing to take a taxi.  Such nice folks. boothbay harbor  028boothbay harbor  046boothbay harbor  002

boothbay harbor  047boothbay harbor  048boothbay harbor  049boothbay harbor  051The next morning awoke calm and sunny so we drove out to the harbor to pick up our kayaks.  Once again everyone at Tidal Transit was extremely helpful, giving us a hand carrying the kayaks back out to the water.  I also had the opportunity to observe one employee giving instructions to a person who rented a kayak there, and can say they are extremely knowledgeable and professional.  This is what I call great customer service.  And they also have nice quality rental kayaks, I would highly recommend this shop.

We paddled around in the pretty harbor for a bit, back to Burnt Island for another quick walk and then back to the campground.  And on two different occasions we spotted two different seals popping their little heads out of the water.  It’s really fun to see them from the perspective of a kayak.

This day the wind actually cooperated so we could have made the roundtrip, but I was a little tired so Hector rode his bike back to town to get the car while I stayed at the campground and rested.boothbay harbor  053boothbay harbor  058boothbay harbor  052

boothbay harbor  050boothbay harbor  095boothbay harbor  074boothbay harbor  067The next couple of days, we’d planned some errands.  I’d been reading that prices are higher in Canada (not to mention the Value Added Tax), so I’d made plans to take our car in for new tires and an oil change and to go shopping in Portland, Maine.  An added bonus is that Maine only has a 5% sales tax, so we could save some extra money, especially on the big ticket items, the tires.

So off we went to buy sundries, pet supplies, and to stock up on staples for the kitchen and bath.  We also found a fabulous seafood market, and bought some sushi grade tuna and lobster meat at very reasonable prices.  A very productive day.boothbay harbor  068boothbay harbor  066

boothbay harbor  063boothbay harbor  062boothbay harbor  061boothbay harbor  065boothbay harbor  064The next day we headed to Freeport, Maine to the L.L.Bean flagship store.  This store carries very high quality clothing and outdoor gear.  So, to keep up with Angel, we bought new rain jackets 🙂

boothbay harbor  073boothbay harbor  077That evening we got together for dinner with some neighbors from Quebec that we’d met several days earlier, Jean and Marta.  They are really lovely people and we had a wonderful time together.

boothbay harbor  081boothbay harbor  082If most of the people in Canada are half as nice as they are, we are in for a wonderful time in July and August.

The next morning we saw our other neighbors, Jim and Phyllis from Florida, who’d arrived a couple of days earlier, getting ready to go paddling.  They had two beautiful wooden kayaks with them that they recently built.  Hector is always fascinated with wooden boats so he was in awe.

Early that afternoon we took a whale watching tour out of Boothbay Harbor.  On the way out, we spotted Jim and Phyllis on their kayaks coming into the harbor.  Hector got some nice photos of them, fun!

boothbay harbor  083boothbay harbor  079boothbay harbor  078The day had started out pretty cloudy, but cleared up quite a bit and turned out to be a great day, although pretty cold on the boat.  Fortunately, Hector and I were well prepared, with extra layers, our new rain jackets, hats and gloves.  On the way out we cruised by several islands and some picturesque lighthouses.

boothbay harbor  086Once we got out into the open ocean, the swells were pretty big and the water was a very dark blue.  The marine biologist on board explained that the dark color of the water is due to phytoplankton in this area.  We remember our friend phytoplankton from the Everglades, they are the base of the marine food chain.  The biologist also mentioned that the ocean depth in this area ranges from 100 to 400 feet.

boothbay harbor  087boothbay harbor  089boothbay harbor  091boothbay harbor  093boothbay harbor  090boothbay harbor  092Unfortunately, we didn’t spot any whales.  The captain tried mightily, heading out to various known feeding areas.  A small group spotted a Minke whale right before we were to return, but once the whale went underwater, it didn’t return anywhere where we could see it (apparently, a normal behavior for a Minke whale).

boothbay harbor  097boothbay harbor  096boothbay harbor  095boothbay harbor  098Oh well, it was still a pretty boat ride.  And, since we didn’t have a “quality” whale sighting, they gave us standby tickets for any of their boat tours at any time in the future.  So we’ll have to come back someday.

boothbay harbor  012boothbay harbor  069And so, it was time to head to our next Maine destination.   Judging from the start of our stay here, it’s going to be grand.

~ Brenda

8 thoughts on “Boothbay Harbor

  1. What a great journey!!!! The food, the sights, It’s a good thing you both love to hike and paddle to keep the pounds off. I am extremely jealous and live vicariously through your journey, excellent photography and narratives. Both you and Brenda deserve a Writers Guild Award.
    Miami Bob

    • It has been! We definitely need to remain active to not pile on more pounds, cause the food sure has been wonderful (we’re in total lobster fest mode now). So glad you’re enjoying our journey along with us. Lots of beautiful boats around here have made us think of you. No awards yet, but we love the support from friends. Big hug, Brenda

  2. Such a lovely state!!! I’ve never been but would love to some day… maybe with Kayla soon to be schooling in MA??? 🙂 I am envious of your Colorado blue skies… We are literally burning EVERYwhere and the skies are East Coast milky with air quality in the tank. Folks who have AC are running it now less for the temps (low 90s and upper 80s) than to keep from breathing smoke. 🙁 Miss you — stay safe!!! Jean, et. al.

    • You should definitely visit, just not in winter. It’s been an unseasonably rainy and cold June, but with some beautiful days here and there. So sorry to hear about the fires, we’ll try to send some of this rain your way. Colorado still has some of the most beautiful clear skies, hope you get to see them soon. Hugs to all, Brenda

  3. I love Maine!!! I’ve been there a few times, mostly when I lived in the Adirondacks. Steven had family there with a camp on Shag Pond. Freeport brings fond memories, too, as do the sound of loons. And I’ll never forget the best bummer sticker I ever saw, it merely read, “Maine Bumpa Sticka”. Loved it!!! Enjoy your continuing journey, my friends! Thank you so much for sharing!! Love, Rebecca

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