Friday, October 24, 2008

Movie Magic in Acadia National Park

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Otter Cliffs was abuzz with activity Tuesday, as a crew of 50 cameramen, caterers, crane operators and others descended on the area in preparation for several days of filming for “Ashecliffe,” a new Martin Scorsese movie due out from Paramount Pictures next October.

The lower spur of the Park Loop Road atop Otter Cliffs has been blocked off for the duration of the filming, which is expected to last into Friday. Automobile, bike, and pedestrian traffic can still pass freely through the upper portion of the road there.

The “second unit” shoot does not involve the director or any of the big-name actors who star in the film. Paramount Pictures crews are using a crane and a boat to get shots of a stuntman on the cliffs, as well as scenic shots that will be incorporated into the movie, said executive producer Chris Brigham.

The movie, based on the Dennis Lehane (“Mystic River,” “Gone Baby Gone”) novel “Shutter Island,” stars Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo as two U.S. marshals in 1954 who investigate the disappearance of a murderer from a hospital for the criminally insane. Well known actors Max Von Sydow, Ben Kingsley, and Michelle Williams also star in the film.

Crews were busy rigging the area for the shoot on Tuesday, with filming expected to take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, said Lea Girardin, director of the Maine Film Office. The crews are made up largely of people from Boston and New York, with a small portion of people traveling here from Los Angeles, Mr. Brigham said.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Buy a lobster - Save a fisherman

The Associated Press October 14, 2008

STONINGTON — Thousands of people showed up at a lobster bake to get a good deal on Maine's signature seafood while extending a helping hand to the beleaguered lobster fleet.

To show its support for the local lobster industry, the Penobscot East Resource Center organized the "Eat a Lobster, Save a Community" lobster bake Sunday that offered cooked or live lobsters for $3.50 each on the Stonington fish pier.

The Maine lobster industry is under pressure with lobstermen getting low prices for their harvest while coping with high fuel and bait costs.

The lobster bake was one way to give support to the Stonington-Deer Isle lobster fleet and send a message that communities along the Maine coast can help their local fishing communities, said Annie Tselikis of the Penobscot East Resource Center.

"People are still thinking of lobster as a luxury item, but when it's cheaper than steak it's not. Right now it's cheaper than hamburger," she said.

Nearly 5,000 lobsters were sold at the event, with proceeds going toward fuel credits for the local lobster fleet, she said.

The wholesale price of lobsters has plunged in recent weeks as consumer demand has fallen and orders from major processors in Canada have dried up. Many lobstermen have talked about tying up their boats and dealers have suggested they haul fewer traps to get prices back up.

The price lobstermen get for their catch has fallen to about $2.25 a pound in Stonington, Tselikis said. Lower prices have been reported elsewhere.

In contrast, lobstermen got more than $4 a pound on average in each of the past four years, according to the Department of Marine Resources. Prices in the low $2 range are reminiscent of what fishermen were getting in the mid-1980s.

The Penobscot East Resource Center, which works with fishing communities in eastern Maine, also organized a community meeting in Stonington today to discuss the lobster market and how the community can respond.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

5 Most Important Burrito Elements

The obvious: served warm and made with fresh ingredients. However, other key factors can make or break a burrito. Listed in order of importance are the top 5 keys to a good burrito:

1. Good meat. The most important ingredient as far as flavor goes. Out of all meats, carne asada is the benchmark meat in the measure of a good burrito. Should be tender and cut in small bits, not thick chunks. Rubbery or charred meat can destroy a burrito.

2. Proportions. This is a tough one. All ingredients should mesh together to create a unified taste. No one ingredient should overpower the others. Too much sour cream is a big strike against a burrito. The best burritos combine meat, rice (may contain very small traces of vegetables like peas and carrots), beans (preferably black – pinto beans tend to sog down and drown out the interplay of flavors), sour cream, salsa (hot or mild with cubed tomatoes), shredded lettuce, and guacamole. Shredded cheese is not essential to a top-rate burrito, yet may be added in small amounts without compromising the overall taste.

3. Cohesive. Tortilla should be wrapped tightly and must be steamed. Moist tortillas cling better to the contents and go down smoother. A dry wrapping is harder to digest and distracts from the main show. None of the internal ingredients should be visible until you take your first bite. After that, minimal bursting at the seams should occur, but expect your hands to get messy.

4. No water leakage. A small puddle will drip out of the bottom of some burritos while you work your way down. A good burrito will not drip yet should be moist enough throughout.

5. Right size. The worst thing is to come up short and leave behind a mushed fraction of your burrito. Neither you nor the burrito will appreciate this failure. The second worst but far less severe situation is to finish and still crave more burrito. Chances are you only need a fraction of another burrito to fill you up, so if you order another one, you will be faced with the worst thing left over. Although the right size depends on your appetite, choosing an incorrect size will tarnish your whole consumptive experience.

Miguel's Bar Harbor

After having a great lunch at Miguel's in Bangor a few month's back (best refried beans I've ever had - actually fresh!), we were disappointed recently at the Miguel's in Bar Harbor.

A former locals favorite, Miguel's went away for a few years and then came back with lackluster results. I had the house burrito and all it had inside was cheese and meat. Rather boring compared to the take out burrito place down the street, Gringo's which serves up all kinds of interesting burrito combinations.

The fresh salsa and chips was fine and we did take advantage of the half price appetizer deal although the choices were rather similar to the dinner entrees. Maybe next time I'll try chicken mole or something in the higher price range. My burrito was less then $10 which is good for Bar Harbor but then again wasn't very exciting.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Islesford Dock Restaurant

"The Islesford Dock is the center of social activity on Little Cranberry Island. The Islesford Dock Restaurant is the anchor around which Marian Baker's Pottery Shop, the Little Cranberry Yacht Club and Sue Hill's Winters Work gift shop revolve."

A recent boat trip over to the
The Islesford Dock Restaurant had mixed reviews among our party. Five adults and three kids. We had nice boat ride over but found it difficult to find a place to dock on the busy wharf. We arrive around 12 on a Sunday when brunch is served ($6 - $12). We have been before and have expected the prices to be a bit steeper than somewhere on the mainland (it is a unique location worth paying for the experience) but we were not expecting to wait approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes for our breakfast after placing our order. It was just eggs after all. The waitress said they were having a problem with their water so we couldn't get any ice water and after taking our order we didn't see her again until the plates were ready. No reorders of drinks or even an update on what the hold up was.

When the food did arrive it was ok. My omlete ("approriately priced" = $10) with brie and sausage was ok. The edges of it seemed nearly deep fried, so I imagine it was cooked in a skillet full of oil. The home fries on the side were deepfried and they wasn't any toast or anything else. Believe me when I say we were starving by the time the meals came! Surely a better deal for breakfast can be had at Denny's but even a fancy breakfast at Two Cats in Bar Harbor is more satisfying at only $8.

At night the Dock serves high end dinners aimed at the yahating crowd as it represents a reason for the rich to justify their expensive boat purchases. For normal people the dock is usually a fun experience and you can arrive by the Little Cranberry ferry or mail boat. Expect to pay a bit more then you'd expect but hopefully you won't have to wait as long as we did.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seacoast Fun Park - Trenton, ME

Two summers ago I panned the Seacoast Fun Park for its terrible management of the water slides the day we went (letting big fat teenagers go down too soon after little kids and nearly swamping them under) and the crummy mini golf course with no shade and unleveled surfaces.

But today on a hot and muggy July day, we had a great time. The price seems to have been reduced from $18 or so two years ago to $15 for an all day pass that can start as early as 11 am and go until 5 pm. The price is still rather steep for locals who might want to go often but you can get a yearly pass to the slides and pool for $40 which is very reasonable if you for 4 or more times in the summer.

Today it was not over crowded and the attendants kept the kids under control and safe. I just wish they had more shade for the parents who don't want to shell out another $15 bucks.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hard or Soft?

If you are looking to chomp down on some lobster in July or August on Mount Desert Island or in Downeast Maine in general this summer you might be confronted with a lobster choice that you may not have experience before - hard or soft?

For those "from away" lobster is lobster. But here close to the source of the lobster's watery home you have two "types" of lobster - hard shell or soft shell. Or I've seen it called "Tender New Shell" or as the locals call them "shedders". You see in order for a lobster to grow they have to shed their old skin and grow a new one. The hard shelled lobsters travel better than soft shell lobsters so they are the ones that get sent around the world. Soft shells typically are only sold locally.

So which one is better? Its a matter of preference. Hard shell lobsters typically cost more per pound because the meat is packed into the shell tight so you are not buying a lot of water. The shells are tough so you need to use crackers. Soft shells on the other hand are suppose to be sweeter than hard shells, cost less per pound and can usually be cracked open by hand.

The only down side I've experienced with "shedders" is the meat in the tip of the claws sometimes is a bit mushy. But like I said, its a matter of preference. A lobsterman friend of mine loves this mushy part. Its his favorite part of the lobster.

If your planning on gorging yourself on lobster you might consider the soft shells because you can rip into them fast. Besides locally on the MDI in the peak of summer shedders might be the only type of lobster you can find. The hard shells get harder to find and get shipped away.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Colonel's Restaurant, Northeast Harbor Maine

-------------- BURNED TO THE GROUND - JULY 2008! -------------------

After a pleasant visit to the public gardens (Thuya and Asticou) and the marine of Northeast Harbor on the Sunday after a very busy Fourth of July, our party enjoyed a very uncrowded early dinner (5 pm) at the Colonel Restaurant, down the alley and outside on the deck.

The Colonel is always a favorite spot for lunch when we are hiking in the area but this time we tried eating a light dinner and were pleased with our choices which included an excellent kid's meal of lightly breaded chicken fingers, shaved steak subs, a BLT and a nice mushroom pizza. All items were under $10 and were washed down with some excellent microbrews fresh from the tap.

Unlike the nearby Tan Turtle Tavern which boasts a ridiculously huge menu of hundreds of items that takes 20 minutes of concentrated study, the Colonel is very straight forward with its selections. Nothing is out of the ordinary, just simple and good. All the bread is freshly baked on the premises and the street side Colonel bakery is a great for grabbing desert. Too bad they are only open in the "season" because we've drive over to visit the Colonel all winter.

Who would have thought among all of the fancy art gallery's, sail boats and blue blooded mansions that you'd fine such a reasonable place to eat.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Queen Mary 2 visits Bar Harbor July 5th, 2008

Queen Mary 2 recently visited Bar Harbor and dwarfed the local lobster boats. It was the size of one of the porcupine islands!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Ban the plastic

The water on MDI is great. Some towns have public water from the lakes in Acadia National Park including Eagle Lake, Long Pond and Jordan Pond. Most houses outside the immediate Bar Harbor area have private wells. The water is fine to drink for sure! So was do people walk around $1+ bottles of tap water that were trucked in from who knows where (like Fiji?). I don't know. It makes absolutely no sense and its terrible for the environment. Some people just have to pay for everything or its somehow not good.

If you need to drop a dime to get a drop of water the best deal on the island is over in Southwest Harbor. You can fill up at the outside filling stations in front of Mount Desert Spring Water for 25 cents (YES ONE QUARTER) a GALLON (YES NOT A PINT A GALLON!).

Drive on over to Seal Cove road and fill 'er up!

Stop Global Warming - Do your part!

With gas prices raising at alarming rates with no sign of ever stopping I almost peed my pants when I saw this idiot pulling on to the island in a giant RV/Greyhound bus type thing that had more square footage them my house AND he was towing a pimped out Humvee behind him! Soon those type of excessive wasters are going to be rioted against. Wait about a year a watch that Humvee get flipped over in a gas shortage riot.

Don't Idle in Your Car

Idling wastes money and gas, and generates pollution and global warming causing emissions. Except when in traffic, turn your engine off if you must wait for more than 30 seconds.

More action items

Monday, June 9, 2008

Chainsaw Artist Ray Murphy

While in the MDI, Acadia, Bar Harbor, Downeast Maine area don't miss one of the most unique, genuine, original, folk artist in the world. Ray E. Murphy, the originator of chainsaw artwork created his first chainsaw artwork in 1953 when he was only 10. He sawed messages for his brother into blocks of fire wood and faces on fence post. Fifty years or so later, he has sawed over 53,000 chainsaw art items! Ray is now in Hancock,Maine performing his stage show in the summer and sawing inventory during the winter.

In his show "the World's Number One Chainsaw Sawyer Art Stage Show" Chainsaw Sawywer Artist Ray Murphy has become famous for his unique performances such as sawing 16 numbers on a toothpick or sawing 50 numbers on one side of a pop cycle stick and the alphabet on the other side. Or sawing two sculptures at the same time by using a chainsaw in each hand.

The Bar Harbor Insider and friends recently ran into Ray at his Hancock headquarters and chatted about the upcoming 2008 tourist season. He said that recently he had been contacted by David Lettermen's people looking to bring him on T.V. to demonstrate his chainsaw artistry. But Ray turned him down. The only place in the world where you can see his amazing show is right here behind bullet-proof glass at his stage show. You can see his work all over the world for example at the St. Augustine Ripley's believe it or Not Museum they have and exhibit of letters carved on a pencil with a chainsaw by Ray "Wild Mountain Man" Murphy but only in Hancock Maine can you actually see the artist at work.

He also made it very clear the his artwork is created ONLY with chainsaws not like some other artists who use carving and sanding tools.

Luckily we were able to snap a picture of one of his impressive eagle statues before it was hauled off to be delivered a collector's house.

More about Ray Murphy:
Ray's Official Website
Listen to an NPR story on Ray
Featured in the book Art of Chainsaw Carving

Chainsaw Sawyer Art Stage Show Info:

734 U.S.Highway 1, Hancock, ME [Show Map]

5 miles East of Ellsworth, U.S.Highway 1.

$10, under 10 yrs free.

Summer. Opens mid June.

Email for show times.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Paul Bunyan Statue - Bangor Maine

When visiting the Downeast, Bar Harbor, Bangor area of Maine don't get so blinded by the thought of lobster dinners and the beautiful seashore scenery, give a little thought to the history of the area. For example many people don't realize that Bangor was once the lumber capital of the world. Lumber from the Maine woods flowed down the rivers and cities like Bangor became rich. Today little remains to remind visitors of the lumber history but there are some great attractions based on the areas woodsman past.

The first well known example is the Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor across from the new casino building.

Paul Bunyan Statue and Birthplace:
Address: 519 Main St., Bangor, ME
Directions: I-395 exit 3 Main St, just west of the river, north a block or two, on left side opposite the Holiday Inn. Bass Park.
Admission: Free.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Bar Harbor - World's Best

Bar Harbor as a travel destination came out high on a list from TripAdvisor. In the 2008 Traveler's Choice Destinations Awards Bar Harbor placed 92 in the World.

Bar Harbor was the only New England destination in the list and place 16th in the top 25 US destinations by the members of TripAdvisor.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Sips - Southwest Harbor, MDI

Recently we had dinner at Sips in Southwest Harbor and it was a fantastic experience although it seemed like we were the only one's there who didn't have a full head of silver hair. Maybe all the young people were across the street at the terrible Moose place? Maybe its just the difference between the more mature wine drinking crowd and younger the beer guzzling crowd across the street?

Whatever, inside the cozy Sips they serve up a great selection of wines available as 2 oz "sips", 5 oz glasses or full bottles. They even have a three wine sampler available. The beers available are all exotic German or Belgium specialty beers. The dinners range from 12 - 21 bucks, from steak to pasta, to excellent risottos. Local seafood is featured on the menu and on the specials board.

All in all Sips offers great food in a cozy atmosphere with decent prices. A children's menu is available but its a romantic place for just the two of you if you can get a sitter.

We've also tried Sips for breakfast. They have great coffees and the prices are very reasonable.

Address: 4 Clark Point Rd, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679
Phone: (207) 244-4550

Bass Harbor Light

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mama Dimatteo's Bar Harbor - Open for the season

Three course early bird (5-6)and late dinner (9-10) specials are only $16.99. Plus they have great martinis! -- BHI


Shrimp and Prosciutto
Gulf shrimp wrapped with prosciutto, grilled and served on a bed of greens with a drizzle of warm balsamic vinaigrette

Beef Skewers
Spicy marinated sirloin tips, grilled and served on a bed of greens with a blue cheese dipping sauce

Mama’s Wings
Baked crispy and tossed with Mama’s hot sauce, served with a blue cheese dipping sauce and celery sticks. Caution, these babies are hot!

Baked Artichokes
Artichoke hearts wrapped in prosciutto and baked with a spiced cream cheese


Steak and Caesar
Our house sirloin and a Caesar make a great combination

Tuscan White Bean and Spinach Salad
Tender white beans, sun-dried tomatoes and basil, with a touch of balsamic vinaigrette and olive oil, tossed with spinach

(17.99–Market Price)

Tuscan Tenderloin
A hand-cut filet rubbed with garlic, rosemary, sage, black pepper and olive oil, grilled and served with gorgonzola butter

Chicken Crustini
Naturally raised chicken breast topped with mozzarella cheese, wrapped with flaky puff pastry and baked, served on a bed of marinara

Steamed Lobster
A 1-1/4 hard shell lobster, served with drawn butter

Roasted Salmon
Wild organic salmon filet and asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, roasted and served on a bed of baby greens with warm balsamic vinaigrette

Fresh Catch of the Day
Grilled, baked, broiled or sauteed—check our daily special sheet

(10.99-Market Price)

Salmon Puttanesca
Bronzed organic or wild salmon, finished in a vibrant olive, caper garlic wine, basil and tomato sauce, served over fettucine

Lobster Alfredo
Freshly picked lobster, sauteed with Mama's scampi butter, finished with alfredo and served over fettucine

Crab and Spinach Stuffed Shells
Jumbo shells stuffed with a crab, spinach and ricotta filling, baked with alfredo sauce

Two Sauce Shrimp and Prosciutto
Grilled prosciutto wrapped shrimp, served over linguine with half alfredo and half marinara

Veal Ravioli Saltimbocca
Veal ravioli topped with mushrooms, prosciutto, marsala wine sauce and cheese

Lobster Ravioli
Chunks of lobster in a saffron pasta, served with our roasted red pepper cream sauce

Your choice of spaghetti marinara, macaroni and cheese
or grilled chicken breast


Friday, February 22, 2008

122 Cruise Ship Visits for Bar Harbor in 2008

The following ships are scheduled to visit Bar Harbor this year:

Maasdam: Owned by Holland America, built in 1995. Her gross tonnage is 55,441.She carries 1,627 passengers and has a crew of 560.

Bremen: The former name of this ship was Frontier Spirit, built in 1990. She is German, registered in the Bahamas. Her gross tonnage is 6,752. She carries 164 passengers and has a crew of 94.

Grandeur of the Seas: Built in 1996 and marketed by Royal Caribbean, she, too, flies the flag of the Bahamas. She has a gross tonnage of 73,817 carries 2,950 passengers and has a crew of 760.

Queen Mary 2: A British ship and currently the flagship of Cunard Lines. She is large, with a gross tonnage of 148,528. She carries 2,620 passengers and has a crew of 1,253.

Explorer of the Seas: This ship, marketed by Royal Caribbean, was built in the year 2000 and is registered in the Bahamas. She has a gross tonnage of 137,308 and carries 3,224 passengers with a crew of 1,285.

Grand Caribe: This ship is an American, Canadian, Carribean Line ship, classified as a mini cruise ship. She is an American ship. Her gross tonnage is 94 and she carries 96 passengers with a crew of 17.

Norwegian Dawn: A Norwegian Cruise Line ship registered in the Bahamas. Originally she was ordered as Superstar Scorpio. Built in 2002. She has a gross tonnage of 91,740 She can accommodate 2,224 passengers and has a crew of 1,300.

Caribbean Princess: This Princess Line ship is registered in Bermuda. She was built in 2004 and has a gross tonnage of 112,894. She carries 3,592 passengers and has a crew of 1,142. She will make her maiden voyage to Bar Harbor in 2008.

Norwegian Dream: Another Norwegian Cruise Line ship registered in the Bahamas, she was built in 1992. Her gross tonnage is 50, she carries 1,948 passengers with a crew of 750.

Aidaaura: This is an Italian ship run by Aida Cruises. She was built in 2003 and makes her maiden voyage to Bar Harbor in 2008. Her gross tonnage is 42,289 and she carries 1,300 passengers and 418.

Sea Princess: This ship, built in 1998, is a Princess Cruise Line ship and flies the British flag. Her former name was Adonia. Her gross tonnage is 77,499 and she carries 1,950 passengers and has a crew of 900.

Eurodam: This is Holland America Lines newest ship and 2008 marks her first visit to Bar Harbor. She has a gross tonnage of 86,000 and carries 2,044 passengers with a crew of about 800.

American Star: Built in 2007, this American Cruise Line ship is known as a mini cruise line ship. She has a gross tonnage of 100 and carries 100 passengers.

American Glory: Built in 2003, this American Cruise Line ship has a tonnage of 100. She carries 49 passengers.

Queen Elizabeth 2: A Cunard ship that will retire at the end of 2008 and become a convention center in Dubai. She was built in 1969. Her tonnage is 70,327 and she carries 1,815 passengers.

Crystal Symphony: Operated by Crystal Cruises and registered in the Bahamas, she was built in 1995 and has a gross tonnage of 50,202. She carries 960 passengers and has a crew of 545.

Jewel of the Seas: A Royal Caribbean ship built in 2004, she is registered in the Bahamas. Her gross tonnage is 90,000 and she carries 2,100 passengers with a crew of 1,050.

Royal Princess: Her former names were R Eight and Minnerva II. She was built in 2001 and is a Princess Line ship registered in the Marshall Islands. Her gross tonnage is 30,277 and she carries 698 passengers and has a crew of 373.

Constellation: This is a Celebrity Cruise Ship, an offshoot of Chandris Shipping. She was built in 2002 and is registered in Liberia. Her gross tonnage is 90,280 and she carries 2,038 passengers with a crew of 999.

Saga Ruby: Her former names were Vistajord and Caronia. As the Caronia, she often traveled to Bar Harbor. She is now operated by Saga Cruises of Europe and is registered in the Bahamas. Cruise passengers are senior citizens, the ship accepts passengers who are 50 years of age or older. The ship was built in 1973, with a gross tonnage of 29,292 and she carries 677 passengers with a crew of 376.

Norwegian Majesty: A Norwegian Cruise Line ship, her former name was Royal Majesty. She was built in 1992 and is registered in the Bahamas. Her gross tonnage is 40,876 and she carries 1,462 passengers and has a crew of 660.

Artemis: This is a Royal Princess ship registered in Great Britain. Her former name was Royal Princess. She was built in 1984 and her gross tonnage is 44,588. She carries 1,200 passengers and has a crew of 520.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Meal Deals at Jack Russels Steakhouse

Now through the end of January, use these coupons as many times as needed.

Valentine's Dinner Scheduled for mid-February

Book your reservations soon!

Rest easy guys, we will have CHOCOLATES and FLOWERS for all ladies with reservations, as well as great fish, beef and wine specials.

Free kid's meal with any adult entrée

Jack Russell's has a great kid's menu, and between Sunday and Thursday in January, we are running this offer.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Jon Moore and the Spray

Just don't ask him anything about the Internet:

Talk to Jon Moore about his boat, the Spray, and you’ll get the story of a lifestyle that is as rare as the vessel he sails.

In 1892, the aging Chesapeake Bay oyster sloop named Spray was given to, and rebuilt by, native Nova Scotian Captain Joshua Slocum in preparation for the first solo circumnavigation of the world. A replica of the Spray, with the same name, is moored in Northeast Harbor and is being refurbished by Jon Moore, a man much like Captain Slocum.

Moore’s Spray was built in Tremont by Ed Davis. Moore came across the boat in 1999 as she sat on shore at John Williams Boat Co. in Hall Quarry. She’s documented with a homeport of Boston, just like the original Spray of 1895.

“There are only 8 or 10 boats in the world that could be considered an authentic replica, which this could be one of,” said Moore. “All of the others are modified versions.”

Moore had wanted a Spray replica ever since reading “Sailing Alone around the World,” an account of Captain Slocum’s voyage, in the early 1980s.

“That boat is a very famous boat. My hull is the exact design of the boat that Josh Slocum sailed around the world,” he said.

“The reason Slocum used this boat was because the vessel is so well balanced that it would steer itself, even downwind,” Moore stated. “At that time they didn’t have a lot of advanced technology and electrical stuff for self-steering. The boat was so well balanced that he would set a course and go weeks without touching the helm. It really sails like that too,” Moore said. “You get her all set up and then you can go and make lunch. She’s got a lot of character.”

Moore has another name for the Spray. Usually he calls it home.

“We live on her most of the time. We’re not right now because we are doing a refit of the interior,” Moore said. “We rebuilt the interior from the original, which wasn’t much to begin with. When you live on a boat for awhile you kind of get a take of exactly how you want things.”

“We” is Moore and his wife, Christine, and son, Lewis.

Changes are happening topside as well.

“I am putting a Chinese junk rig on her right now. Originally, it was rigged as a yawl, but it was a regular Bermudian rig,” said Moore. “Then it was rigged as a sloop for awhile. I am putting a Chinese junk main on her because I am quite familiar with the rig because I have designed and built them before.”

“You get her all set up and then you can go and make lunch. She’s got a lot of character.”

— Jon Moore
The original Spray also was retrofitted with a yawl rig after problems Captain Slocum faced in the Straits of Magellan (at the tip of South America), according to historical accounts.

The mast that’s on Moore’s Spray right now is made of a black spruce tree that Moore carved last year.

“I did a lot of masts up in Newfoundland on work boats,” Moore said. “I’m coming at it from that angle, more of a work boat approach rather than a yachty-type approach. I primarily lean toward sailing vessels that have the ability to do something more than just look pretty.”

Moore is a self-employed marine surveyor and a self-professed “jack-of-all-trades, master of none.” A marine surveyor determines if a vessel is safe to use in conditions for which it was designed and what repairs need to be made to it.

“I do little projects like one with this fellow that bought a Friendship sloop and he is interested in learning to build and restore boats. I am helping him rebuild it as a tutorial to teach him boat work as we rebuild his boat,” he said.

Moore makes it clear where his heart lies.

“I do a lot of sailing, delivering a lot of boats, and expedition or wilderness cruising,” he said. “I lived off the coast of Newfoundland and my wife and I did a lot of wilderness cruising up there. We took old boats and made them seaworthy enough to take trips.

“We weren’t into immaculate reconstructions or anything like that. We were into getting boats seaworthy and doing something with them.

“I appreciate what guys are doing with yachts, but I am not in the furniture business.”

Owning a wooden boat does not mean you need to marry it, according to Moore.

“I survey boats all of the time and I run into people all of the time and they say, ‘Oh, a wooden boat, so much maintenance.’ It’s really nonsense,” Moore said. “It’s only really maintenance to the degree that you want to make it a museum piece. You don’t have to have it like that.

“I’ve taken old boats off a beach and four or five days later will have them operating,” he said. “I used them for the season then at the end of the season I put them back on the beach where I found them. I fished with them, I sailed them, and they worked.”

Harking back to a day when self-sufficiency was key to survival, Moore takes a utilitarian view of boat maintenance.

“In Newfoundland, if we had to do something, we’d put the boat on a beach, we’d pop a plank out and put a new plank in, on the beach, in the middle of a snowstorm. We didn’t have to have special shops and sheds. We did it with hand tools and it might have been a little crude, but it worked and we carried on.

“So, that’s where I come from,” said Moore, chuckling. “I’m not really yachty, per se.

Freakin' Cold and Tons of Snow

We've had record breaking snow recently. Which is great for cross country skiing and snowshoeing on the carriage roads in Acadia National Park. Only down side lately of this winter weather is the freakin' cold temperature. We are hovering in the single digits this week.

Ice fishermen will be loving it because the lakes are really starting to freeze up for the first time this season. Better than last year when we experienced a very strange warm winter that nearly left us without any ice fishing at all. Can you say Global Warming?

Unfortunately this area will feel the effects of global warming in a very direct way with about 60 percent or so of the island disappearing underwater and who knows what will happen to the fishing industry as the water warms. Meanwhile everyone seems to like to leave their trucks running all the time burning up expensive gas and diesel and contributing to the very greenhouse gases that are projected to destroy island life. Think global, act local!