September 1, 2016
NEBO TV Report from the Field: Rockland, ME
The city of Rockland, once dominated by fish-processing plants and the lime-export trade, has transformed itself into a dynamic boating destination filled with interesting places to visit.
The New England Boating crew called on Rockland last week, with the brand-new 250 Main Street hotel serving as our chic and modern base camp. From here we started things off with an early-morning kayak trip. Waiting to meet us at the Rockland Public Landing was Mark DiGirolamo, owner of Breakwater Kayak, which is also located near the Landing and offers a host of guided kayak tours. After launching our kayaks, Mark took co-host Tom Richardson on an information-packed paddle around Snow Cove, pointing out some of the local birdlife along the way.
Next up was a visit to the Wyeth Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum, right in the heart of downtown Rockland. Co-host Parker Kelley got a tour of original Wyeth works with commentary provided by curator David Troupe.
Rockland is loaded with museums, and just a block away is the Maine Lighthouse Museum. Tom toured the museum with Paul Dilger, a retired Coast Guardsman and head of the museum’s Board of Directors. The museum contains all kinds of lighthouse artifacts, as well as exhibits on the U.S. Live Saving Service and the Coast Guard. Visitors can see a large collection of Fresnel lenses, an actual breeches buoy rescue system, a Life Saving dory and other primitive rescue gear, as well as plenty of lighthouse lore.
After our museum visits we launched the Pursuit at the public landing and bought it to Journey’s End Marina, the largest marina in Rockland and one that offers a full range of services, including transient slips. Nick O’Hara, whose family has owned the property for over 70 years, told Tom about the history of the marina and its many amenities, not the least of which is its close proximity to downtown Rockland and its many restaurants.
Speaking of which, our dock-and-dine segment featured Archer’s on the Pier and its ebullient chef and owner, Lynn Archer, who treated the crew to her exquisite lobster reuben sandwich and the lobster club, which won a Bobby Flay’s Throwdown contest. Both sandwiches are bursting with lobster meat, and will not leave you hungry! If you visit Rockland, you have to dine here.
After departing Archer’s, Parker took in the downtown area ambience and visited a few of the interesting shops along Main Street.
Wrapping up the shoot was an extensive harbor tour with Doug Woodbury of Journey’s End Marina. Woodbury led us around the harbor, starting at the famous Breakwater Light, at the tip of Rockland’s mile-long breakwater, and making our way from the north end of the waterfront to its southern end. The tour revealed Rockland’s diversity as a port that manages to accommodate a range of commercial marine enterprises while also rolling out the welcome mat to visiting boaters and tourists who simply want to explore this special place.
You can learn more about this interesting destination when the Rockland episode airs this fall on NESN. Stay tuned to NewEnglandBoating.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on show times and dates.