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Messing About in Boats

As we were preparing Brightline, our 25-foot Old Port Launch, for another season on the water, we went back to the Wind in the Willows to get the quotation exactly right. And were reminded that it was Ratty who observed that “there’s nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” And it was to young Mole, who had never stepped foot on any boat, he said it.

To many of us Mid-Coasters, Maine is the ocean as much as it’s the land. (Obviously those inland in Augusta or up in Madawaska in the potato fields might disagree.) It’s salt water that runs in our veins and it’s the vantage point – and calm – you get from being afloat that deeply affects how we think about this special corner of the world.

Being able to put guests aboard Brightline – especially the children who are stepping aboard a boat for the very first time – is a true delight. For we know that their encounters with the sea, the tides beneath them, the birds in the air and on the islands around us (puffins!), the seals and whales that suddenly show their curious upturned faces to the humans peering in theirs can be transforming.

We used to commute aboard a ferry and considered it a luxury to be riding on the upper deck, in the seabreeze, while our motor-bound friends sat in traffic on a summer afternoon. And now we can share that privilege with our visitors, ferrying them to town, providing a waterborne tour out to Burnt Island or a front row seat to windjammers and lobster boats out on the Bay.

Indeed, there is nothing quite so worth doing as letting folks mess about in a boat.  We’ve told Brightline you’re coming. She can’t wait to show you around.