Brewster House Bed & Breakfast (Freeport, Maine Coast)

Category Archives: touring Casco Bay

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!!

More Boating Ideas

July 29, 2013 by Scott Gile

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

At the risk of being repetitive, time for more local boating opportunities…..  Listen, Maine is all about outdoors, and we’re smack in the nexus of a fabulous coastal ocean and river recreational paradise.  Note the root word “recreate.”  Isn’t that why we come to Maine??  Hey, we all know about the local shopping and eating options, but that’s not how Maine creeps into your “geeze, I can’t wait for vacation” thoughts!
Having a long sailing, fishing and general boating history, I’m working on making it a primary mission to know all the best local options for you to enjoy what we have here.  Did you know Casco Bay has 228 islands?  This afternoon, I had the rare chance to jump on Bella (my trusty motorcycle) and cruise over to Harpswell Neck to meet Captain Barry Commett of the Barbarian III.  Barry’s been on Casco Bay for over 30 years and has recently acquired a beautiful 31’ Eastern powered by a hefty Cummins diesel, which cruises at 16 knots (18 mph).  Barry can take you fishing for cod, mackerel, shark or tuna, although my personal choice would lean towards striped bass or bluefish (piranhas of the east coast).  Barry also loves to share the natural beauty and features of the Bay with his clients, and is just as happy to take you on a seal, eagle, osprey, eider natural tour, while pulling a few of his lobster traps on the way.  The Barbarian is immaculate inside and out, even featuring an oriental in the cabin!  Barry can take up to 6 out for a four or eight hour adventure.  By the way, stripers and blues bite better in May/June or Sept./October when they’re headed from or to the Chesapeake Bay area.  Barry’s website is www.barbarian3charters.com.  At $350 for ½ day, or $700 for 8 hours, this is a premier and custom experience.  Understand, owning, insuring and operating such a vessel does not come cheap!!
Captain Tom Ring takes folks alternately out of Freeport, or Bailey Island.  His mission is more often destination oriented, including lighthouse cruises or Eagle Island (the home of Artic explorer Admiral Robert Peary) visits, with narrated trips out and back pointing out natural features,  fauna, historical items and other nautical lore.  He also pulls a few lobster traps and carries you on a converted 40’ Novi lobster boat.  “Atlantic Seal Charters” is a bit more touring oriented , and carries a healthier compliment of passengers (24?).  Their website is www.atlanticsealcruises.com.   These trips are typically 3 hours, and also offer some hiking around the Island.  Cost is only $35 – $55/ person, depending on the trip.
The Brewster House has a long standing relationship with Portland Schooners, for that traditional  (but short) Maine traditional coastal schooner experience.  True, you have to drive to Portland, but the good news is that you’re there to eat and drink before and/or after your sail.  It’s very reasonable at $39/ adult, each carries up to 30 people, but keep in mind it’s a sailboat……only really entertaining if there’s wind. I n Maine, your best odds for that are between noon and 5PM, unless you’re lucky enough to have a weather front come through when you’re on the boat.  www.portlandschooner.com

I have my eye out for local sailboat charter guys, more on that later……..    As in all things, “you get what you pay for!”  Above all, if it’s not raining (and even maybe if it is), do yourself a favor and PLAY ON THE WATER to experience the real Maine!!

PS – I was a little off on the Downeaster, it’s more like $44 – $49 round trip from Boston’s North Station.  My Sister who lives in Newburyport is still convinced that would beat sitting in Sunday night traffic for 5 hours!!

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