After nearly 2 decades exploring and working the Maine Coast, I'm launching a boat and an idea that will weave adventure through the inlets of this place.
The Maine Coast.
"These were rough and ready people. They faced the cold, the fog, the gales, and the rough seas to get cargoes of fish ashore. They cured fish, and they ate, drank, roughhoused and fought. They paid no attention to The Council for New England and its declared monopolies, prohibition, governors and charters. In these practically anarchic fishing settlements, maritime Maine was born.
Roger F. Duncan
Where we came from is often forgotten. My dad tells me the first known Browne's in our family lived at Five Islands Village in Georgetown Maine. I didn't know this until recently, and although I wasn't born in Maine, I have lived here my whole life and could always sense my heritage here. I still get in fights with other Mainers if they say I'm "from away". Home isn't always where you find yourself born.
As a kid growing up in Alfred, we would visit the beaches of Southern Maine as often as we could, and make the pilgrimage as a family to Popham at least once every summer. My aunt Nina, who I've come to relate to more as I've grown, would always beat my family to the beach. Feet in the sand, a 12 ounce can in a koozie or a cup with some jingling ice in hand. My family was always so happy at the beach. For some people the cold water is a deterrent, but for our family it was a gift. We'd warn each other if the water was cold enough to make the bones in your ankles hurt, but anything more bearable than that, and we'd get our share of floating in. We tended to gravitate to the beaches with the rivers: Ogunquit, Parsons, Popham, that was our home turf.
Those experiences do more then just shape you, they teach you what's important.
It's funny to me that the my family heritage goes back to Five Islands. I always got a sense of belonging during the drive through Phippsburg, camping at Hermit Island, or floating the river at Popham Beach. The Southern Maine Hills were always home, but I could always feel my connection to the region around Five Islands. I'm not sure how, but there's some way that connection gets passed on to the next generation.
It wasn't until college that I really took to being on the water rather than visiting it's shores. I began working charter boats out of the Kennebunk River and experienced something for the first time, work that felt good. It made me feel alive, and at the end of the day, I felt better then when I started. I'm not sure if we're all meant to be outside, but I'm pretty sure I'm cut from the same cloth as those "rough and ready people" Robert Duncan was talking about.
Once I took to the work, the work took to me. Besides the boats in Kennebunk, I found myself on traditional gaff rigged tall ships over 100' long, salmon boats in the Bering Sea and the occasional lobster boat - spearing hard bait and banding bugs.
Just like most people in this world, its been a struggle to live the life I want. I prioritized my life on the water and work that invigorated me, often at a cost to my finances, and sometimes, my personal life. But I think in the end, it's best to continue with what you're most drawn to as long as you conduct yourself with respect for others while you do so.
I love this place and I can feel it in me. I was never going to be satisfied working on the water until I was running my own boat. I've been dreaming up the idea for Maine Coast Cruising in some way or another since the moment I started sailing. I know what the Maine Coast can do for your soul, and I'd like to share that with you. Its people, heritage, and natural beauty come together to create one of Earth's great elixirs.
Come join us and explore this great place. If you do come, bring your spirit for adventure, a bathing suit, and an open mind. I'll warn you before hand if the water is so cold it hurts your ankles.