The atmosphere on the waterfront today was relaxed. The calm before the storm. Everything that could be done to protect the waterfront from the threatening Hurrican Earl had been done. But there is another reason for relaxed atmosphere: Earl has been downgraded enough to be less of a threat than he was yesterday at the same time.
For Hamilton Marine the past several days have been a boon to their marine supply business. Peter Ayers, store manager, said business has increased by 6 times during the past two days. That includes more bumpers, dock lines, chafe guards and moving pendants, said Ayers. He did not know yet how todays sales stood up over last years. He said that the Portland store keeps a heavier stock than other stores because they receive daily truck loads from Searspot.
The Explorer of Seas, with 3,114 passengers, was scheduled to come in tomorrow. However, it arrived today to avoid Earl. (See above photo.) This luxury ship carries the most passengers of the cruise ships berthing in Portland this year. It has a unique partnership with The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science because it provides the schol state-of-the-art laboratory space to conduct oceanographic and atmospheric research. Voyager-class ships like the Explorer are the third largest passenger ships in the world. A record setting seventy-three ships carrying 75,731 passengers are expected to call to port this season, according to a press release issued by Nicole Clegg, last month.
Crews at Portland Yacht Services were tired from the rush of getting boats out of the water over the past several days. Phin Sprague, Jr., of PYS expects however that about 2/3 of the boats brought out of the water will be back in the water next week. He said: “Earl has petered out. It’s wonderful to be in Maine. We’re at the end of the line.” Sprague bought 3,000 ft. of lobster trap line to tie things down from next door Hamilton Marine.
Willie Lewis who has a 26 ft. sailboat at PYS moved his boat to a mooring not far from the dock. “There is no worse feeling than to see a boat out there on a mooring getting beaten up. It’s better to be overprepared.”