Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Boating Odyssey (Reprinted from the Hamlin Herald Newsletter Spring 2010)

Hello and welcome to a whole new season of boating!  Can you believe it's 2010?  It's been a full decade since people quit hoarding canned food, hiding in basements, and worrying that computers would cause unimaginable chaos because they couldn't deal with the number "2". 

Of course, alot has happened since then, but one thing has remained the same...People still worry about stuff.

Worrying doesn't accomplish much in the end.  It can lead to heart disease, panic attacks, and even a nasty cold sore.  If something bad is going to happen, why not be oblivious to it?  What better way to be blissfully unaware than to be out on the water with your friends and family!?
If you have a boat, here are a few reasons to commit to getting out on the water more in 2010:

1. Every year we get older.  As we age, we gain respect and wisdom.  However, we become more responsible and we get roped into things that we really don’t want to do.   People can’t ask for favors when you are five miles offshore on a boat.

2.  Boating is a great way to lose weight.  Typically people wear fewer clothes on a boat, and love handles look horrible in rough seas.  Planning boat trips this year is the surest way to shed a few pounds.

3.  Practical people don’t own boats.  So, if you own a boat and you think you should cut the grass or go grocery shopping...Don’t Do It.   Boater’s recognize these common chores as mundane.  Boating keeps you focused on the important things in your tan.
If you are reading this article and you do not own a boat, do not despair.  Maybe you are ageing, getting thick around the waist, or you just can’t seem to find the time or energy to get things done around the house.  If any of these ailments sound familiar...well, it’s time to buy a boat.

If you aren’t already convinced...continue to read:

1. Buying a boat now is the best time to buy a boat in the entire history of mankind.  Not only are there great deals, but there have been great enhancements in technology.  Ancient Greeks used to enslave people to row their boats to save on gas and reduce emissions. Today, clean burning fourstroke engines allow quiet and efficient propulsion without violating people’s basic human rights.

2. When you buy a Sweetwater pontoon, a Polar kraft aluminum deep-v, or even a Stingray sport boat, you can toss a line and hook a fish.  When you catch a fish (make sure you are within your daily limit), bring it home and filet it.  Then, smoke it for several days over hickory and seal it in a Ziploc bag.   Finally, FedEx the smoked fish to Hamlin’s Marina c/o Dan Higgins.  By doing this, you have performed a good deed.

3. When you buy a boat, you will probably buy a trailer.  Hauling your boat on a trailer is a public service.  Imagine how many people will pass you on the highway this summer on your way to the lake. Every one on those people will wish that they were just like you.  And why shouldn’t they want to live by your example?  You are successful, good looking, and enjoy life.  One of those people passing by is sure to have an epiphany and buy a boat so they can be just like you, and thus find happiness.  Buying a boat has taken you one step closer to walking in the path of Ghandi.
If you still refuse to do more boating in 2010, you may be destined to grow old, gain weight, and do chores for the rest of your life. 
Others may now feel a sudden lust for life.  You are the chosen ones...the ones destined for long hours on the water this year.  Please let Hamlin’s Marine know if we can help you in your quest for greatness in 2010!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Penobscot River...Rediscovered

Almost five years ago, my family bought a boat yard on the Penobscot River just south of Bangor.  At one time the place was thriving, but the yard had become a backwater sanctuary for a few hardy do-it-your self types fixing up their boats. 

The sad part was that the yard sat on a beautiful section of river with roots steeped in history.  Right where our marina sits was the site of the worst U.S. Naval defeat on record.  See for yourself at:

This was way back during the War of 1812.  To this day, there are hulks of battleships blanketed by fine silt along the river bottom.  In a way, that naval defeat signaled the decline of boating on the Penobscot River.  After that, the river became a working river whose banks swelled with timber for the sawmills.  In the winter, it was harvested for huge blocks of ice to send all over the country. 

The Industrial Revolution was not kind to our lovely river.  Factories from Bangor to Bucksport dumped byproducts of manufacturing right into the river.  The worst was coal tar which sank to the bottom of the river and slowly bubbled up like a witches brew. 

I am told that by the Oldtimers around here that the mighty Penobscot River was an open sewer back in the 50s and 60s.  Nobody cared to recreate on the river, and folks built their homes far away from the foul smelling waters. 

It's hard for me to image the scene sitting in my office overlooking a particularly scenic bend in the Penobcot.  The river is pristine now.  Atlantic salmon, sturgeon, harbor seals, bald eagles, and even fresh water loons make this place their home.  Even in the few years I've been here, I've seen the river continue to heal itself with the ebb and flow of the tide and the heavy spring runoff.  Groups like the Penobscot River Restoration Trust ( are helping this beautiful lady back on her feet.

Lot's of folks may feel guilty about the scars we've left on our landscape and our surroundings, but the Penobcot River has actually been preserved by our past abuses.  The stinking waters stunted any of the of the development experienced by other bodies of water.  A trip down the Penobscot delivers a unique experience.  You'll have glimpse of what life was during the War of 1812 without the cannonballs, looting, and blood curdling screams.  Plus, you can always shoot over to the Marshall Wharf in Belfast for a handcrafted brew from Three Tides!

Thursday, October 21, 2010