Places & Ports

Squirrel Point Light, Kennebec River, with Phippsburg in the background. Photo by Tim plouff

Surf & turf cruise

March 20, 2023 at 12:00 am

When the weather numbers don’t roll upright, a land cruise along the Maine shore can be a joy, providing rich seascapes until conditions improve, when priceless landscapes can be savored from your boat.

Photo by Jack FarrellThis granite breakwater creates a critical harbor of refuge for Gosport Harbor on Star Island in the Isles of Shoals.

Points of refuge

March 20, 2023 at 12:00 am

Spring 2023 By Jack Farrell When my passion to become a respectable sailor was at its peak many years ago, I was a voracious consumer of the practical literature of the sea. While I spent my summer weekends at the self-directed school of hard nautical knocks, my winter evenings wereRead More

Photo by Jack FarrellOne of the mysterious iron eyebolts found embedded in the bedrock of Star Island. They were possibly used as moorings by the original inhabitants of the Isles of Shoals. They certainly would provide a solid hold on the island.

Replacing hope with certainty

November 21, 2022 at 12:00 am

December 2022 By Jack Farrell With a long winter ahead of us, one of the best ways to keep in touch with a passion for the ocean is to read about it. Ever since I bought my first little sailboat over 45 years ago, I have supplemented the school ofRead More

Marshall Island: A true Maine getaway

Marshall Island: A true Maine getaway

August 22, 2022 at 12:00 am

Marshall is one of dozens of islands in the MDI/Deer Isle/Penobscot Bay region that affords public access. Materials from the Maine Island Trail Association ( and Maine Coast Heritage Trust ( outline which islands you can visit by oar and paddle, sail or powerboat and which islands offer camping options.Read More

Photo by Bruce ParsonsA bird’s-eye view of Star Island.

An insider’s guide to the Isles of Shoals

June 20, 2022 at 12:00 am

There’s lots to love about this location just off the Maine and New Hampshire coasts. Here are some tips for making the most of your visit.

Destination: Seaside retreat

Destination: Seaside retreat

April 18, 2022 at 12:00 am

Cruising the Maine coast usually involves marina accommodations or dropping anchor in a secluded cove. These classic Maine seaside resorts that appeal to landlubbers offer an alternative for boaters interested in a little more luxury.

Posing at Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. Photo courtesy Roger Karlebach

Our plan C cruise turned out to be just fine

April 18, 2022 at 12:00 am

 Plan A was the Newfoundland south coast, but it had a COVID closure. Plan B was Maine, which endured a moth infestation with toxic by-products. So, Plan C, and a lovely one at that: Massachusetts.

Photo s by Albert PresgravesAbove, Seguin Island rises out of the ocean a few miles off Popham Beach in Maine. At right, the island’s lighthouse.

In a year when everything was shifting rapidly, Maine was my rock

March 14, 2022 at 12:00 am

In many ways, the summer of 2020 was like any other. But there was the COVID pandemic, which changed everything, except for the things that did not change, like sailing along the coast of Maine.

Following in the footsteps of giants

Following in the footsteps of giants

September 27, 2021 at 12:00 am

October 2021 By Jack Farrell An icon of our coast passed away at his home of nearly 105 years early in September. Ned McIntosh was an inspired boatbuilder, blue water sailor and motor boat captain on the Isles of Shoals route. Most of all, Ned was a kind and happyRead More

The shallow waters of Essex Bay do not keep out all sailboats. The near boat is a Pearson 42 that draws 5 feet 3 inches and the distant boat is Mike Roger’s Hunter 34 that draws 5 feet 5 inches. Our boat draws 4 feet 4 inches. Photo courtesy Hamer Shannon

Cruising in the shallow end

September 27, 2021 at 12:00 am

That’s what Massachusetts’ Essex Bay offers – an attractive place to gunkhole – but with a fixed keel boat and a draft over three feet, the experience is both a challenge and a pleasure.