Spring in Mid-Coast Maine means the scent of grass being mowed for the first time, blooming trees just introducing their finery and daffodils by the thousands making us smile – a gift after our long Maine winter.
Boats are moving about in the Rockland harbor as the large schooners from the windjammer fleet get ready to sail in late May. There’s the historic Schooner Stephen Taber (1871) up on the railway at North End Shipyard getting her coat of bottom paint. If you listen, you can hear the ancient “tink, tink” of the caulking mallets as the seams of the great hulls are repaired between wind and water. The aroma of oak chips and pine tar fill your senses, and you know you are seeing living traditions that for countless generations have been the hallmark of Maine’s proud shipbuilding heritage. The Schooner Mary Day, one of the newer vessels (1961), waits in line for the Stephen Taber to be launched at high tide - a cycle that plays out until all of the great wooden vessels are painted, repaired and inspected for the new season.
Lobster boat owners are out in their yards putting a coat of paint on their boats and buoys, getting ready to set their traps in Penobscot Bay when the lobsters return. They really do march across the bottom to come back to our area!
The large yacht yards in Belfast, Camden, Rockland and Boothbay are in high gear. Yesterday we saw a sloop out sailing for the first time this year. Summer is slipping in and soon Penobscot Bay will host many world-class sailing yachts, along with many people like us who enjoy paddling about in our kayaks.
On land, carpenters and painters are out and about. The Captain Lindsey House Inn is getting new railings and fresh paint. The Limerock Inn is repairing its turret. And the restaurant across Maine Street is getting a new entryway. The Historic Inns of Rockland will be on the Rockland Library Garden Tour in July, so the gardens are receiving extra special care this spring. Ah yes, the gardens – there is nothing more enchanting than the spring gardens in the Mid-Coast area. We can be seen most days "butt up" planting new perennials, moving shrubs from one area to the next, pruning and hunting for those pesky dandelions before they blow seed all over the grass. A trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay should be on everyone's list. Make a day of it, you will not regret the time spent.
Soon the few restaurants that have been closed since January 1st will once again open. High up on the roof of the Farnsworth Museum, the big EAT sign made by the famous sculptor, Robert Indiana, is being put in place for the season. We are ready for our guests. It is a great time to be in Mid-Coast Maine.