Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: sailing

AMAZING BOATING FROM FREEPORT EAST

July 7, 2014 by Scott Gile

“Boating Portland, Part I” http://brewsterhouse.com/2014/06/21/boating-around-freeport-maine/, was the first part of this encyclopedic  compenduim, so start there and catch up before you dive in here!

Tour boating captain in blue shirt standing at the helm of his boat

At the helm – Atlantic SealCruies

OK, so we’ve moved up the coast from Portland to Freeport!  I’d love to tell you that there were multiple boating options from our hometown, but I only know of one, Atlantic Seal Cruises, with Captain Ring from Harraseeket Harbor in South Freeport (& Cook’s Lobster House on Bailey’s Island), but when you add in “the neighborhood,” there are AMAZING BOATING CHOICES FROM FREEPORT, & east!   Captain Ring is very entertaining, and works most of the year a commercial tug captain.  You’ll pick up some lobster traps, he’ll show you some seals, osprey, eagles and you’ll spend an hour on Eagle Island at what was the former home of the famous Arctic explorer, Admiral Peary!  Tom and his Wife actually owned a B & B on the Harraseeket waterfront, and he always raves about Brewster House when he stops by! He also does some special trips to Seguin Island light and fall foliage cruises.

A new opportunity locally is a husband and wife team, Bethany & Perry, who would love to share their 31’ ketch, “Tevake”, or their new acquisition, a beautiful dark green 70’ schooner, “Alert.” They sail out of Cooks by the Bailey/ Orr Island granite bridge, off Harpswell Neck. They offer a myriad of 2 hour to 6 hour charters on either yacht. Both boats are beautiful and they sail the local waters of Merriconeag Sound to Casco Bay. I can’t wait to have the time to sail with them! I would recommend this as the premier local sailing opportunity, the dock is a gorgeous 30 minute drive from Brewster House and their prices are very reasonable, and lunch or dinner awaits at Cook’s!   https://www.facebook.com/SchoonerAlert

We don’t get a lot of questions about boat fishing, but enjoying ocean fishing myself, I’ll offer a little information.  The “Barbarian III” out of Harpswell is a good example.  Chartering a sport fisherman is a blast, but it’s expensive enough that you’ll want to share the trip (& the stories) with some buddies.  $350 – $450 for a four hour trip is typical (for the whole boat), with $700 – $800 for an 8 hour shark or tuna fishing adventure.  Further, keep in mind, the premier sport fish in Maine are stripped bass or bluefish.  As they are both pelagic (they migrate), the fishing is best in either mid May to the end of June, or September to mid-October.

White cabin cruiser boating opportunity with outriggers at dock

Further afield (or should I say abay), but one heck of a daylong adventure, would be a trip to the lovely, rugged and wild Monhegan monheganwelcome.com. This would be an excellent adventure for those enjoying longer stays at Brewster House!  The May edition of Down East Magazine has a great piece about Monhegan, and it’s struggle to keep a year round population. The island is about 8 miles offshore, just short of 2 miles long, and very high and rocky. Its’ jewels are a year round community of artists and a very hardy community of lobster fisherman who only pursue their quarry in Winter, when prices for the delicious sea spiders are higher. It is a lovely place to hike and explore, and at the end of your hike, there’s even a local micro-brewery (the Monhegan Brewing Company) to reward your efforts! You can depart from either Boothbay or New Harbor (either of which is about 50 minutes east of us). Ferries depart at 9AM or 2PM, and you are asked to be there 45 minutes early hardyboat.com. I would recommend reservations. Bicycles are not welcome, although, you can arrange to bring your kayak!

Yellow & white hulled large schooner at anchor with blue sky behind

Schooner Heritage at anchor

Lastly, and really more of a “mid-coast” adventure is life experience you should not miss! That would be the traditional fishing schooner Heritage at anchorschooner charter fleet that sails out of Penobscot Bay www.sailmainecoast.com. These are largely classic, former fishing schooners, 75 – 150’ in length, that go out for 3 to 10 day trips, complete with crew, all meals provided, and you participate in running the boat as much (or as little) as you like. My Sister, cousin and myself took a 6 day trip on the “Heritage” in August a few years ago and had a wonderful, relaxing trip…..no TV’s or other distracting electronics, laying on deck at night watching the meteors and satellites, just quiet, extraordinary views of the sea, mountains, islands and marine life aboard a comfortable large, powerful schooner equipped with fabulous water toys, like sailing dinghies, rowing dinghies, etc. Food is prepared on a woodstove and of remarkable quality and taste. Don’t forget your wine!! And, don’t forget to start and/ or end you adventure in the luxurious comfort of Brewster House, at the turn of the Maine coast!

 

Boating Portland, Part 1

June 21, 2014 by Scott Gile

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Wow, boating Portland offers so many great boating opportunities, this blog will be confined to that City, and I’ll follow up with a subsequent blog for boating choices from Freeport, and East.  Commercial St. is 20 minutes from our door, so after the bustle of a day on the water, and lunch or dinner around the Portland waterfront, there is no better respite than a glass of wine on the porch of Brewster House on the quiet north side of little ole Freeport!

Please refer back to my piece of July 29th, 2013.  In that blog I referred both to Atlantic Seal Cruises and The Portland Schooner Company.

Wendameen on a port tack

Wendameen on a port tack

The Portland Schooner Company runs two vintage, beautiful schooners “Bagheera” & “Wendameen” several times a day, including sunset cruises http://www.portlandschooner.com.  Sailing is a beautiful & unique experience in which the power of nature is both moving and soothing!   See their website for schedules.  This experience  is very economical and exhilarating, when there is wind!!  Our Seafarer Adventure Package includes a trip with Portland Schooners for two!

A simple and inexpensive approach to appreciating Casco Bay by ferry would be Casco Bay Ferry Lines http://www.cascobaylines.com.  They offer a great variety of adventures, everything from the “Mailboat Run” (to most of the inhabited islands in the Bay) for a 3 hour round trip for just $16, to “Sunset” and “Sunrise” runs.  Can you think of a better way to while away a few hours, taking in the Bay on a summer day?  I’ll bet you can bring your own cooler too!

Of the same ilk, but a hair more tourist oriented would be Portland Discovery Land & Sea Tours http://www.portlanddiscovery.com.  While much of their business is bus based, they do sell a couple of “Lighthouse Tours” of the Portland Casco Bay area, one of which is a sunset tour!  All for a piddling sum!

White & Blue hulled lobster boat with smiling crew aboard

Lucky Catch Lobstering

One of our favorite themes is lobsters, so the Lucky Catch Lobstering Tours www.luckycatch.com are a hoot!  For $30 (adult), you’ll get to participate in being a lobstaman (or lobtsawoman) and even take home a lobster for dock price!!  These tours are 1 hour 45 minutes, and they also lead seal watches as well.  Seals remind me of dogs a bit.

Humpback tail on wate & Tour Boat

Odyssey Whale Watch

There are whale watch boats from both Boothbay Harbor and Portland, but for this installment, we’ll confine our attention to the latter.  Odyssey Whale Watch Tours http://www.odysseywhalewatch.com operate a good size boat (above) out of a Commercial Street wharf.  They leave at 2PM in season, and go out up to 20 miles out for a 4 hour trip, during which you may see humpbacks, fin whales, minke whales, and often porpoises.  Remember, on any of these trips, once you leave the dock, the air temperature will reflect the sea temperature (which is now in low 50′s), so bring an extra layer!  It is an amazing experience to hang at the bow of the boat looking down at porpoises riding the bow wave, as they turn and look back at you!

Whatever your taste in ocean adventure, Brewster House has the best beds (choice of pillows, choice of layered blankets, ironed sheets), quietest rooms and most incredibly delicious breakfast in Freeport, so come back to recoup!!   We’ll deal with the Nova Scotia Ferry as a whole other subject!  Remember, this is only Part One!  Next blog, we’ll work up from Freeport North and East to New Harbor, stay tuned!!

THE DOWNEASTER- LL BEAN OUTDOOR DISCOVERY WEEKEND

April 12, 2014 by Scott Gile

God, thank you for today!!  Mid-sixties, no wind and you could even feel the warmth of the sun on your skin!  I took a big gamble and took off my snow tires! 

What’s the last thing you want to do on the weekend, after a week of commuting?  No more driving, or sitting in traffic, right??  Brewster House has your answer!!  Take your comfy seat on the Downeaster, (North Station, Woburn, Haverhill or Exeter, NH), even bring your bicycle, and enjoy the ride!  http://www.amtrakdowneaster.com.  We will pick you up and drop you off at the station, if you let us know when you’ll be arriving.
Then you ask, “what will we do, Tonto?”  Brewster House recently arranged for you to join LL Bean’s Outdoor Discovery Schools!!  For very short money, LL Bean offers an amazing array of choices of “learn to” activities.  The tie in to being car-less here is that you simply walk the 3 blocks to meet them, and they will take you by shuttle to their Discovery Center where these activities are offered (near Wolfs Neck).  If you can imagine this, you could be learning to fly fish, skeet shoot, kayak, paddleboard, or canoeing!  Further, at specified times, they will be offering mixed activities for more extended adventures, such as biking and camping, sea-kayaking including camping, etc.  In the winter, they offer snowshoeing and cross-country skiing lessons as well (snow conditions permitting).    Check out their website for dates, times and availability http://www.llbean.com/llb/ods/33?page=outdoor-discovery-schools. 
 
Our new website is only weeks from being operable.  In fact, it could be sooner, but we want to hold off to include new photographs showing off our newly renovated rooms, which Christian Giannelli http://www.christiangiannelli.com will be taking for us next week.  In re-evaluating some of what’s on our current website, and what we inherited vs. new directions we think we should take, we will be offering several new packages.  We know you will find them to be simply elegant and will want to come spend time with us!  One of these will be the “LL Bean Outdoor Discovery Package,” including your choice of activity, and a dinner gift certificate to reward you for your outdoor efforts.
Not being a shopper myself, I’ve long thought we should be offering a package making it clear that shopping does not have to be your activity to enjoy the area (even though it may be your partners)!  I haven’t settled on a name, and please don’t jump on me with the “sexist” label, but I’m thinking of something like “Women Shop/ Men Play Package.”  Please know I am open to other name suggestions!  It is my intention to offer a range of active choices including golf, boating or LL Bean adventures, and maybe a spa treatment for the ladies!  Of course we need to reunite the group with dinner, so a dinner gift certificate will be in order as well.  I don’t know about your relationship, but in ours, usually the guys and ladies team up for such weekends, so this is a perfect set-up for two or more couples!
We are working with a local company who owns five golf courses, including the Bath Country Club and Sunday River Golf courses for a Golf  n’Stay Package.
You know those less exciting seasons?  Here we call them stick and mud season, but you may feel the same about winter.  Don’t forget Reconnect Weekends, where during our slower seasons, you and your family/ friends/ college buddies/ co-workers can take the whole inn for a VERY DEEP DISCOUNT.     

Jump into Spring with a plan to come to Brewster House and play!!  Please call if we can help you plan, or answer questions for you!  We love to help people relax and enjoy life!!!   

Explore the Maine Coast on an Antique Schooner

May 21, 2013 by Scott Gile

Portland Schooner Company's Wendameen

Our friends at Portland Schooner Company have already begun their 2013 season. That is always a happy time for us. It means good weather is here (yay!), and that our guests can now book a two-hour schooner cruise during their visit. We don’t like telling our guests that they are just a few weeks too early for a schooner cruise!

Portland Schooner’s two boats, Wendameen and Bagheera, sail from Portland harbor, several times each day, taking guests through the network of islands and, fair winds permitting, down the coast to Portland Head Lighthouse. Seeing that beautiful lighthouse from the sea is an experience one rarely gets!

If you enjoy sailing, or photography, or both, do yourself a favor and book a schooner cruise on  your next visit to Maine. In fact, at Brewster House we offer a special called “Sail into the Sunset” that includes a two-hour schooner cruise for two from Portland Schooner Company (and other special items, as well)!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Things to do near Freeport: Cruise on an Antique Schooner

June 19, 2012 by Scott Gile

Maine has a well-known heritage of boatbuilding. Much of its history can be seen on display at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. But that is another post for another day.

Wendameen, an antique schooner in Maine

If you would like to sail a bit of history, our friends at Portland Schooner Company have just the thing! Their two antique schooners, Wendameen and Bagheera, are both vintage Maine-built boats, designed by renowned yacht designer John Alden and built in East Boothbay. Wendameen was launched in 1912, and has a great history as a fast, private ocean schooner. Her story is told in Wendameen, Life of an American Schooner, by Capt. Neal Parker. There is more information about Wendameen on Captain Parker’s website.

Bagheera, in her turn, was a Bermuda racer, then was taken to the Great Lakes, where she won the Chicago-Mackinac race several times.

Both boats have been fitted out for passenger transport, and sail from Portland, providing two-hour cruises, private charters, overnight sails, and more.

We work with Portland Schooner Company for our Sail into the Sunset package, our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package, as well as arranging a two-hour cruise for guests who would like a bit more than the average tour of Casco Bay!

Come on and sail an old wooden schooner! How often do you get a chance like that?

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast, Freeport, Maine

Sailing into the Sunset

June 5, 2012 by Scott Gile

Now that we’re into June, our friends at Portland Schooner have begun their season, and the two beautiful antique schooners are in the waters of Casco Bay, ready for your two-hour cruise among the nearby islands and lighthouses.

Here at Brewster House, that also means that it is time for our schooner sailing packages to begin. Our summer package, Sail into the Sunset, including two nights at Brewster House, dinner right down the street at the wonderful Azure Cafe, a two-hour sunset cruise (or other cruise, if you prefer), and a gift certificate at L.L. Bean, helps to fill your visit with a variety of Maine activities.

The ever-popular Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package begins September 17, and continues through October (the schooner sails are subject to availability – if not available, the cost will be deducted from your bill). That is the package that has twice been featured in Smarter Travel, who called it “a steal of a deal.” This special includes all the components of the Sail into the Sunset package, plus a detailed booklet with detailed driving directions to some of the best foliage areas, and a $50 gasoline card to help with the driving costs.

It’s not too early to book your Sail into the Sunset or Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package. October is also homecoming for the local colleges, as well as their parents/families reunions weekends, so rooms are already filling up – in the midst of the best foliage season (the first three weeks of October).

See you soon!

Ruth & Scott
Brewster House Bed & Breakfast

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