Although wakes of passing lobster boats and ferries made the anchorage a bit rough during daytime, we had a pleasant stay in Portland. The seafood was excellent either purchased at the Harbor Fish Market on Custom Wharf or in any of the many fine restaurants. We especially liked Street & Co. (33 Wharf Street, reservations required, 207-775-0887) for upscale dining, great oysters and martinis; Becky's for breakfast/lunch (390 Commecial Street) and Captain Sam's Ice Cream (136 Commercial Street). We also had fun sampling the numerous local micro brews and hard ciders widely available in all the restaurants and pubs.
The Portland Museum of Art (7 Congress Square) is one of the finest in New England with works by Monet, Degas, Renoir, Gaugin, Matisse, Picasso, Homer and Maine art by the Wyeths.
Segway Tours of Portland (25 Pearl St.) gave us a fun local history lesson and chance to try this new mode of transportation. Tours are one hour narrated plus a 20 minute lesson which is included in the price ($65/hr/pp). Segways are classed the same as electric wheelchairs and you operate as a pedestrian. Speeds are limited to eight mph.
There are good chandleries (Hamilton Marine, 100 Fore St.) and markets (Whole Foods 2 Somerset St. if the Commercial St. shops don't have what you are looking for).
Because of its destruction by Independence Day firecracker in 1866, much of Portland was rebuilt in brick. We found it ironic that the Portland Fire Department would not take our expired (1982 & 2003) signal flares and advised us to contact the Coast Guard. The Coasties told us to call the fire department. This runaround prompted us to call the State Fire Marshall who promptly got someone to pick up the hazardous items. We now have a new complement of 2015 SOLAS Catagory 1 flares as well as an arsenal of 12 gauge and 25 mm rockets. Orion even offered to replace our old Olin flare guns for free (mail in).
Portland Yacht Services will arrange for any repairs or parts but be aware that because of the rough conditions in their mooring field and alongside their dock, the buoys and floats could create more work for them (we remained at anchor just outside the moorings).
Yesterday we moved 40 miles further 'down east' to Boothbay Harbor just in time to witness what appeared to be a funerary lobster boat parade around the harbor and heard the bell toll. Not asking for whom, we thanked the anonymous fisherman for his services and hoisted a glass in his honor.
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