By Carol McCracken (Post # 796)
Memorial Day is the traditional start of the boating season up and down the East Coast. The season is so short in the northeast, that each and every day lost to cold and rainy weather is preciously missed. The good days, like today, are all the more appreciated. Whether you arrive here by kayak or by a more leisurely route – by cruise ship – it is special time spent on the water.
This mornings early arrival of the cuirse ship Independence officially kicked-off the cruise ship season for Portland. In fact, fifty-nine ships carrying a record-setting 86,099 passengers are expected to arrive here from June to October. Construction for the deep-water pier at Ocean Gateway is expected to be complete later this summer with the Enchantment scheduled to be the first cruise ship to tie up to the pier. The Enchantment carries 2,250 passnegers.
Later this month some interesting ships – training ships – will arrive at the docks of Portland Yacht Services. The first to arrive will be the Spirit of Massachusetts on June 18 and stays for two days this trip – until it returns again in July. The famous Harvey Gamage arrives on June 24 for three days for its only visit of the season. The Bowdoin, of the Maine Marritime Academy, arrives on June 24 for a few days as well. The Spirit of Carolina arrives at PYS on 6/27 until 7/3.
Finally, replicas of the ‘Nina’ and the ‘Pinta’ will be docked at the South Port Marina, 14 Ocean Street between Thursday, June 23rd until their departure early Tuesday morning, June 28th. South Port Marina is located in South Portland. The Nina was built completely by hand and without the use of power tools. While in port, the public is invited to visit the ships for a walk-aboard, self-guided tour. Admission charges are $8.00 for aduls, $7.00 for seniors and $6.00 for children 5 – 16. Children 4 and under are free. The ships are open every day. No reservations necessary. Visit www.thenina.com for some interesting information on the history of the three ships. An educational visit – especially for school age children. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more.