Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: schooner

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!!

Eight Awesome Mid-Coast Maine Things To Do

May 1, 2014 by Scott Gile

Boothbay_Harbor_High_Tide-21. BOATS– In our view, if you really want to appreciate Maine (or at least our part of it), there is no substitute for experiencing our gorgeous coastline, islands & peninsulas on a boat. Whether that be the Portland Water Taxis, Atlantic Seal Cruses out of Freeport, an antique schooner trip,  the experience of where the land and water meet is intoxicating! If you have the time, spend the day cruising out of Boothbay or New Harbor to Monhegan. It’s 8 or 10 miles offshore, high, windy & naturally stunning with huge cliffs and puffins nesting in them, populated by a few hardy fishermen, and a thriving year round artists colony, and a 100+ year old hotel. One fabulous breather!!

2. BEACHES– Maine has some beautiful beaches, as different in character from each other as the far reaches of our huge State! South of Portland, there are several long sandy stretches, from the black long sands of York, to the white beaches of Wells, Ogunquit and Old Orchard Beach. In Freeport, we have our own Casco Bay facing beach at Winslow Park, and at either end of the Kennebec River two stunningly wild, different and unspoiled State Parks including both Popham Beach on the west, and Reid State Park at the east end of the River.

3. LIGHTHOUSES– There at least five of these within an easy drive of Freeport, including Cape Neddick Light in York, Goat Island Light on Cape Porpoise, and the Portland sisters, Cape Elizabeth (or Two Lights) and the photogenic queen, Portland Head. Less than an hour east of here, you’ll find the Pemaquid Point Light, sitting on a huge striated, slanted granite ledge that can only be described as breathtaking! DON’T MISS the lighthouse boat tours of the Kennebec lighthouses offered by the Maine Maritime Museum either (see link in “Museums)! We have specials at Brewster House built around these explorations!

4. OUTDOOR ADVENTURE– Wow, this is a HUGE category!! I’d put such diverse items in this box as kayaking, bicycling, golf, white water rafting (see Kennebec, Dead & Penobscot Rivers) Northern Outdoors, hunting, fishing, cross-country, Discovery Outdoor Center, ziplines and downhill skiing, mountain-biking, ATVS, snowmobiles…..and so on!!

5. RAINY DAY?– Museums such as the magnificent Maine Maritime Museum in Bath , Portland Art Museum, the Joshua L. Chamberlain Museum  (the man who saved the Union Army at Gettysburg), or the Sabbaday Village on Rt. 26 where you can experience a still active Shaker village and their magnificent furniture and handworks, or check out the DeLorme Maps store and 30’ globe 5 miles south on Rt. 1!

LLBeanBoot-sm6. SHOPPING, ETC. – This one is obvious; Freeport being the center of the LL Bean Universe, (5 separate stores) and all of the surrounding outlet stores is 3 blocks south of Brewster House! Kittery and its outlet stores are about 40 miles to the south. If you’re of the gambling persuasion, there is the Oxford Casino, about 30 miles northwest on Rt. 26 too (1/2 mile paved racetrack nearby)!

7. EATING– Again, HUGE category, Freeport has a pretty high food bar, as well as the adjacent towns – Brunswick & Bath! Portland has really become elevated as a “Foodie” center of the east coast. Pahk your cah at Congress Square in Portland and check out the amazing choices of cuisine, or head to the waterfront for ATMOSPHERE+!! Obviously, seafood and fresh local meat and produce is a big part of that program. Check out our neighbors at the Azure Café.

8. DRINKING – Many, many choices for wine, beer or martini lovers within a very short drive!! For beer in Freeport, check out The Maine Beer Company or Gritty’s McDuffs. Both microbreweries, and Gritty’s is a pub style restaurant as well. There is a relatively new “wine bistro” in Freeport, very popular among locals (yes, we’re working our way there too!) called “Conundrum”. Last summer, some guests from Georgia shared their fabulous experience with “Wine Wise Events” of Portland, who does wine tasting cruises, restaurant samplings and other really fun such imbibing adventures ! I’ll be talking more about Christa’s company soon.

That should get you stahted this summah!!

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

A Clearing Storm at Portland Head Lighthouse

September 11, 2012 by Scott Gile

During the busy season in Freeport, Maine (July – October), we rarely get a chance to do our own sightseeing. However, this past Sunday afternoon we did have a couple of hours, so we packed up some camera equipment and headed to one of our favorite nearby lighthouses, Portland Head Lighthouse.

Last Saturday there was a bit of a storm, so we were hoping to see some nice cloud formations and waves. We were not disappointed!

In one of the traditional photo location, just south of the lighthouse, you’ll see (top) the clouds clearing just above the lighthouse. As we walked around Fort Williams Park, we also saw the large waves breaking on the rocks below the lighthouse (middle).

Then we were pleasantly surprised to see one of the antique schooners from Portland Schooner Company make its way past Ram Island Lighthouse, before turning to return to port from its noon sail (some of our guests were aboard!). Portland Schooner supplies the “surf” portion of our Fall Foliage Surf & Turf package!

All in all, a lovely day, some nice photos, and a good walk. You should try it!

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

Things to Do Near Freeport: Enjoy Maine’s Maritime Herigage

August 14, 2012 by Scott Gile

Just a short drive from Freeport is the town of Bath, home to Bath Iron Works, one of the few remaining locations where US Navy ships are built, and the wonderful Maine Maritime Museum.

This year (2012) marks the 50th anniversary for the museum, which celebrates Maine’s history of shipbuilding, its heritage and culture. The museum is filled with wonderful exhibits, indoors and out, showing how the old wooden ships were built, how they were used, and much, much more.

While there you can also schedule a tour of Bath Iron Works to see how the building of naval ships has changed, and a lighthouse tour or nature cruise, aboard the museum’s  Maine-built wooden boat Schoodic, which has a 40-passenger capacity.

In addition to its permanent exhibits, the museum has a series of special exhibits that change. The museum web site has a list of current and upcoming exhibits.

If you’d like to combine visits to the Maine Maritime Museum (and perhaps Bath Iron Works, as well) with a cruise of your own on a Maine-built antique wooden schooner, in cooperation with our friends at Portland Schooner Co., we have arranged our Maine Seafarer Adventure special, with two nights at Brewster House, admission for two at Maine Maritime Museum, and a two hour cruise for two from Portland Schooner.

Ready to cast off?

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

BBC Spot on Tourism in Maine – Brewster House Mentioned

June 11, 2009 by Scott Gile

BBC News video of Maine Tourism and Brewster House B&B
We posted this on our Facebook page and on Twitter when we learned about it, so apologies to our friends there who have already seen it. However, we didn’t want to omit our friends on the blog, so we’re providing the information (and a bit more detail) here, as well.

The short version of the stoy is that BBC News did a short spot on tourism in Maine. Much of it was filmed at Brewster House, and Scott appears, talking about the coming season. The video can be seen on the BBC web site.

There is, of course, a bit more background.

We were contacted by Greg Dugal of Maine Innkeepers Association, who is interviewed on the segment, asking if we would like to talk with BBC News about such a story. Of course we were interested, and spoke with the producer by phone. They also asked how we were attempting to increase interest and attract guests, and we told them about our packages with Portland Schooner Co. They loved that idea, so they also contacted them about the video.

A few days later the BBC News crew arrived, cameraman, producer and on-air personality Philippa Thomas (we’re not related, as far as we know). They were all delightful and professional.

First they filmed an interview on our guest porch with Greg Dugal, who gave them quite a lot of information on Maine and the outlook for tourism. Unfortunately, they only used a small portion of that interview. Then they came inside, and filmed Scott with Philippa Thomas walking through the ground floor rooms and discussing the house, the business climate, etc. Again, only a small amount was used in the clip. Next they were off to Camden to film the harbor (seen in the opening shots), and the next day to film at Portland Schooner.

Part of the BBC News objective was to report on the outlook for tourism in the face of a weak economy, so much of the clip sounds discouraging. However, all three of us (Greg Dugal, Scott, and Scott Reischman of Portland Schooner) feel that things are better than portrayed and attempted to say so. Unfortunately not many of those comments made it on the air.

The clip aired on Monday evening, June 8, 2009, but unfortunately they forgot to notify us (as they had planned to do), so we didn’t see the clip until the next day when they informed us of the location on the BBC web site.

We hope to obtain a DVD of the full interviews, so we can see how the entire thing came out.

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