Friday, June 2, 2017

Shakedown Cruise 2017 Belfast Harbor

Finally..we were able to get the boat out of the garage and into the water for a brief shakedown cruise in Belfast Harbor. Taking advantage of a break in the cold, wet , nasty weather so far this spring we headed to the boat ramp for our initial 2017 launching. 

Poor Forest..this being his first boat ride, he was a little anxious at the start but settled in quite nicely with the aid of peanut butter infused kongs and kibbles.  Kiwi on the other hand is now an ol' salt and took the entire experience in stride.  Ever mindful and on point for the possibility of more treats. 

As there was a breeze and subsequent chop and being that this was our first outing after a very long winter's layoff, we kept the cruise on the conservative side enjoying the inner harbor and keeping a close eye out on the boat's systems. 

In my excitement I forgot my camera and had to use my cell phone for the photos..The waterfront was very active and there was an added bonus.  The "Gulf Challenger", The University of New Hampshire's marine research vessel , of which my nephew is Captain, was tied up for a couple of weeks worth of work.

As I said, it was a short cruise but significant in the fact that we were finally back out on the water and all systems checked out. 

Hopefully we'll get into a better weather pattern soon.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Finally..A Break In The Rain..Eel Fishing

     It finally stopped raining long enough so Kiwi and I could get out for a walk this morning..I figured the upper end of The Rail Trail would be a good choice as most of our normal hiking paths were sure to be very mucky..

     Not far from the start (or the end) of the trail is the old Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad trestle spanning the upper Passawassawakeag River, which is mostly tidal water. Underneath the footbridge and the highway bridge, just up stream were some elver nets.

These baby eels can sell for $2000.00 per pound. Yes that's right.  2 G's per pound. I guess a $10.00 a pound hard shell lobster isn't such a bad deal after all.. 

We also managed to spy a bald eagle, a kingfisher and assorted sea ducks. Time well spent

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Busy As A Beaver..Only It's Woody Woodpecker

I haven't been able to observe the culprit who's been hard at work on one of the fir trees on our property but I have a pretty strong suspicion ..

Pretty low for a nesting spot? Bugs? This early? Anyways old Woody is making short work of the soft wood.

And it looks like we dodged a bullet on the snowstorm forecast for this weekend..lots of room for snow out in The Atlantic Ocean..50's in the forecast for later on this coming week..almost time to start doing springtime boat chores...

Tuesday, March 21, 2017



 Well it's officially Spring, at least that's the designation on the calendar. Things seemed to have been moving along just fine. The ground was bare, the sap buckets were out, the rake nearly made it out of winter storage..and then..snow..18" of the stuff. Winter was back with a vengeance. Very annoying...

Aside from the new seed and fishing catalogs that have been springing up in my roadside mailbox, one other spring indicator for me are the boat shows that arrive in several Maine locations this time of year. So Pat and I took advantage of a nice Sunday to check out some of the new models at The Bangor Boat Show.

What a pleasure to see all the gleaming and shined up models..bass boats..runabouts..jon boats..pleasure boats..jet skis.. and seemingly taking up half the floor barges. (They look like it would be fun to rent one for a day with a bunch of friends and , well, party. Possibly they might be too much fun.)


Not a sail to be seen. No, not in this show. This one is all about filling up the tank and grippin' it and rippin' it. 

And once we got home? I took a slightly longer glance at our little craft  safely tucked away in the garage.

And during those few seconds longer I found myself looking forward to the boating times that we are hoping to enjoy this coming season.  Our little boat may not be as shiny and gleaming as it once was but we are feeling pretty darned fortunate to have her. And the one option that she has that none of the new boats have? 

Great memories.. 


Friday, December 30, 2016

Back At It.... Is It #17 or 18?

    Meet Forest..

 He's number 17..or 18..or.. (One loses count after 15)

  9 week old Forest came to us on Dec 23rd.  A sturdy and rugged member of the most recent Guiding Eyes For The Blind F Litter, and next in line after our black lab Dixon moved on to college in October.  He, Dixon, is doing very well with his formal training and hopefully will become a life changing Guide Dog.
We had to delay taking on a new puppy because of surgery.  But that's past us  and we are now happily watching Forest getting more and more comfortable with us and Kiwi..his new family.
He has already begun learning the very early stuff.. name recall..sit..stay.. basic but important commands. One week down..15 months to go. And it will

So his and our new journey has begun...

He's going to do great..

Thursday, October 13, 2016

maine matters VOTES NO on Question 3

Press Release

October 11, 2016

Question 3: Maine Warden Service has concerns regarding referendum question.

The Maine Warden Service, the law enforcement bureau of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, is concerned that Question 3, if approved by the voters, will have negative impacts on some individuals who hunt and trap in Maine. Most importantly, this ballot question is written in such a way that it will be difficult—if not impossible—for Wardens to enforce.

Question 3 will require background checks for firearms sales and transfers and includes criminal penalties for those who do not follow the new law. It could make criminals out of responsible firearm owners. For example, the law will make it far more difficult for two hunters who have no criminal records and are legally entitled by law to possess firearms to share or loan their firearm to other legal hunters who are not prohibited from possessing firearms.

Loaning a firearm has been a common practice in apprenticeship and youth hunting for generations of Mainers, especially for those considering getting into the sport of hunting but who are not yet ready to purchase their own firearms.

There are only limited exceptions in the law. One exception allows a transfer between certain family members without a background check. Another exception allows a hunter to transfer a firearm to another hunter only for a “temporary” period of time and only if the transferee is in the “actual presence” of the transferor. This exception also requires the transferee to possess the gun exclusively in areas where hunting is legal.

The Warden Service also has concerns about the enforcement of Question 3. It would be difficult for a law enforcement officer to prove actual ownership and where the transfer occurred unless the transfer was actually observed by the officer. A routine interaction with a hunter would not generate that line of questioning unless there was reasonable suspicion that an illegal transfer had taken place.

Maine is well known for its hunting and trapping opportunities. These sports create jobs for Maine citizens and attract enthusiasts from around the world. The Maine Warden Service encourages Maine citizens to carefully consider the effects that Questions 3 will have on our outdoor heritage.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


     Living in Belfast has become quite trendy, at least compared to the old days of shoe factories and poultry plants. Belfast has become known as a cruise ship destination, a boutique town, artsy, ... cultivated. 

     Of course it wasn't always that way, far from it. But one constant that was here through the "bad" times and now during the "enlightened" times, was and is The Belfast City Park. 

     I can say this because I've lived it.  I've been a Belfast resident for 63 of my 67 years. (The "away" years being devoted to earning a degree in Massachusetts.)  So I think I can speak with some authority on the subject.                                  

     Being situated on High St., which is actually old U.S. Rt. 1, (BBP..before the by-pass),  the park was established in 1904 and consists of 17.5 acres of land that gently drops down to the shore of Belfast Bay. The first things that you'll see going thru the wrought iron gates is a memorial dedicated to our veterans and the old baseball field that has seen many a Little League Game.

Along the gravel driveway and dirt paths there are signs describing many of the trees in the arboretum that have been planted by future thinking citizens (both past and present),  including this venerable horse chestnut.

    The tennis courts, swimming pool and playground are not far away and are very actively used.

     To the left is a common ground once home to the Annual Belfast Broiler Festival. Over the years many thousands of festival goers were served up delicious chicken, grilled over tons of charcoal that was enclosed in cinder block pits. A grand time was had by all.

     To the right is a parking lot and horseshoe pit area that was the location of the old park pool. I spent many a summer day swimming and playing in the old pool and lounging on beach towels with my friends on the banked lawns overlooking it and the bay.

     Speaking of which..often times we would search for shade in the pavilion or head down to the shore for a swim.  Many kids would walk the shoreline back to town to their homes on Bayview or Union Streets. Which in those days may not have been an easy task given the slicks of chicken fat that layered the rocks after the tide had dropped. But we took it all in was just the way it was..

     Coming back up the looped, park road you'll pass the basketball and pickle ball courts as well as some newly installed outdoors fitness benches.  Years ago there was some discussion about paving the road but it never happened as a lot of people were concerned that a paved road would encourage drivers to go too fast. 

 Personally I'm glad the gravel has stayed as a reminder, at least to me, of the slower paced days of my childhood.

So if you're in town attending one of the many festivities that we now celebrate, take a tour of our park. Stretch your legs, stroll in the shade of the old trees on one of the walking paths, sit on a bench, get a bite to eat at the concession stand,  take a walk along the shore.  
Or maybe use one of the charcoal grills and throw on some chicken...

If you do I think you'll agree that Belfast City Park is one of the gems of our little city.