Archive for the ‘Blue Hill Peninsula’ Category

Wings, Waves, & Woods returns to Deer Isle

May 10, 2010

Birders and art fans are invited to Deer Isle for the fourth annual Wings, Waves, & Woods, May 21-23. The festival, timed to coincide with early migration, is sponsored by the Island Heritage Trust, and a brochure detailing the event can be downloaded from its website.

Bob Duchesne, founder of the Maine Birding Trail, author of Maine Birding Trail, and a Maine Audubon trip leader for more than 20 years,  is this year’s special guest.

The festival opens with a reception Friday evening at the Pearson Legacy Gallery  showcasing bird-related artwork by more than 40 artists.

On Saturday and Sunday, experts will lead walks (free, donations appreciated), guide boat trips (fee), and give presentations and demonstrations. Here’s a sampling:

Warbler Walk, Settlement Quarry Preserve

Scotts Landing Bird Walk

Birding by Kayak, kayaks provided, $60

Nesting Eagles and Their Neighbors, Causeway Beach

Introduction to Birding

Puffins & Pelagics, cruise to Seal Island with Bob Duschesne, $60

Create Birdbaths & Planters, $35

Birdhouse Building for Kids, $5 includes materials and snack

Studio Demo & Tour (with the mega-talented Missy Greene and Eric Ziner)

Birding Identification Made Easy, Bob Duschesne

Lily Pond Walk

Found Objects Sculptures, demonstration, with Peter Beerits at Nervous Nellie’s Jams & Jellies (one of my all-time favorite places)

Local Foods Chowder Supper will be available on Saturday night (seating limited; $12).

Where to stay: There are some wonderful accommodations available on Deer Isle. My favorite is the aptly named Inn on the Harbor, in Stonington. Both the Pilgrim’s Inn and The Inn at Ferry Landing are lovely B&Bs in Deer Isle. To really get in the spirit of the birding weekend, book a cabin at the oceanfront Goose Cove Resort, in Sunset, which borders the Barred Island Preserve. On a budget? Boyce’s Motel, in downtown Stonington, has clean rooms, some with kitchenettes. For dirt cheap accommodations, book a bunk at the rustic-bordering-on-primitive Deer Isle Hostel.

Table Farmhouse Bistro plans wine dinner

April 29, 2010

It’s officially spring in Maine when the seasonal restaurants, such as Blue Hill’s Table, A Farmhouse Bistro, begin to open. This Sunday, May 2, Table is hosting an “Italian Wines and (very) Local Foods” dinner. Chef/owner Rich Hanson and Chef Jeff Kelly are presenting a menu with primary  ingredients sourced from within 25 miles of Blue Hill. George Schwartz, of Vias Wines, has paired the menu with Italian wines.

The opening reception will pair spring-dug parsnip crostini and oysters with migonette with Bisol Crede prosecco. That should be enough to get your tastebuds intrigued. The rest of the menu is posted; the cost is $76 per person, plus tax and grat.

Golf and sail the Maine Coast

April 20, 2010

Windjammer, Penobscot Bay © Hilary Nangle

You want to sail, partner wants to golf; not a problem: The Maine Windjammer Association has you both covered with three packages that add golf to any 3- to 6-day cruise this season. Cruises on one of the 12 member vessels start at $400 per person, which includes all meals, activities, and accommodations. To that, add one of these options:

• Samoset & Sail Package: A one-night stay at Samoset Resort, with a round on its 18 hole, PGA championship course complete with cart and club rentals, for $179-$234 per person.

• Lanyards, Links, and Luxury Package: A two-night stay at historic B&B in Rockland, including gourmet breakfasts, one round of 18-hole golf, cart and club rentals, for $250 per person.

• Travel-Light Sail & Golf Trail Package: Includes map and complimentary club rentals at participating courses around the State of Maine. Free!

Victory Chimes © Hilary Nangle

Never been on a windjammer? Let me tell you what to expect. It’s a few steps above camping on the water. Expect a cozy bunk and hearty meals. A few boats have roomier and more private facilities, but for the most part, you’re living in tight quarters with like-minded individuals. Bring good books, musical instruments if they’re portable, binoculars. You’ll sail by day, then anchor usually off an island or a small seaport, given a chance to explore it before returning for the night. It’ll be quiet, and if the weather cooperates, star-gazing provides the best free light-show for miles around.

Windjamming is not for those who need to be waited on hand and foot, who demand luxurious accommodations and fancy baths (most boats have shared heads and shower, but there’s usually a sink in your cabin), fussbudgets, or who can’t survive without being connected to the electronic world. Most—but not all—boats are historic vessels, built for freight and retrofitted for human cargo.

There are no set destinations; wind and tide set the daily course. You have to be willing to roll with the weather—sunshine, clouds, fog, rain, gales—whatever Ma Nature pitches, you deal with.

For the right people, though, it’s a vacation without compare.