September 8, 2015
NEBO TV Report from the Field: Boothbay Harbor, ME
After spending 3 days in Boothbay Harbor, we still only feel as if we’ve scratched the surface of this scenic destination. The adventure really started over the winter, when co-host Parker Kelley began an email exchange with Boothbay resident Lorri Higgins, who urged NEBO to film an episode in her favorite town. We hope more viewers will follow her lead.
On Tuesday, September 1, the crew assembled at the Boothbay Harbor Fish Pier launch ramp, where we were just able to splash the Pursuit C260 before low tide. We then brought the Pursuit to nearby Brown’s Wharf Inn & Marina, where co-owner Tim Brown found us a place to stash the trailer and assigned us a slip after filming the marina profile segment with Tom. Tim and his staff couldn’t have been friendlier or more helpful, and immediately put us in a “Boothbay state of mind.”
Also helping in that regard was our next destination: The Lobster Dock. After docking the Pursuit at the small float in front of the restaurant, we were greeted by owner and chef Mitch Weiss, who set us up with an array of appetizers, entrees and some cold Shipyard ales. The view of Boothbay Harbor as the sun set was spectacular. Now that’s the way to kick off a shoot!
After returning to Brown’s, the crew checked in at the Topside Inn, situated on a hilltop overlooking the harbor. This quaint, clean and comfortable B&B/inn is run by amiable hosts Mark Osborn and Brian “Buzz” Makarewicz, who made us feel right at home from the get-go. We enthusiastically recommend this place to anyone visiting Boothbay Harbor.
The next morning, after breakfast and coffee on the Topside’s big porch, we drove to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, where Director of Marketing Kris Folsom gave us a tour of the stunning 240-acre grounds, which are filled with hundreds of flowering plants and curious sculptures. She even treated us to lunch at the Botanical Gardens restaurant. Boaters can access the Gardens from Boothbay Harbor after tying up at the floating dock or kayaking over from the harbor. There’s even a deep-water mooring that transients can use free of charge.
Next on our to-do list was a trip to Cuckold’s Lighthouse and a harbor tour aboard the Hinckley 44 of local resident and boater Paul Coulombe. After docking at the lighthouse, which also serves as a charming bed-and-breakfast, we received a tour from innkeepers Heather Graham and Mark Zinkiewicz. It’s quite a place, with a fully renovated interior that’s clean and comfortable.
After bidding farewell to Mark and Heather, we departed in Coulombe’s Hinckley for the harbor tour segment of the show. Coulombe walked us through the main approach to the harbor while pointing out some local points of interest. We disembarked at Brown’s Wharf and headed up the street to the Thistle Inn, where owner Max Ross treated us to a wonderful meal in the cozy, year-round restaurant, the interior of which looks and feels like the cabin of a wooden ship.
It was a spectacular wrap to a spectacular 3-day shoot in a spectacular boating destination!
On Thursday morning, Tom and cameramen Nick Vaillancourt and Tyler Adams headed back to Brown’s Wharf, where they met up with Max Ross of the Thistle Inn and Capt. Barry Gibson of Shark VI Charters. It so happens that Gibson is Tom’s former boss and mentor when they both worked at Salt Water Sportsman magazine, so the following fishing segment was a kind of reunion. Barry, Tom and Max brought the Pursuit to nearby Spruce Point, where they immediately began catching mackerel—easily the most dependable species in Maine. Most anglers use these fish for bait, but they are also great fun for kids to catch, and they sure are plentiful!
While Tom fished, Parker visited some downtown establishments, including House of Logan and Allison Evans Ceramics. Around noon, the crew convened at Kaler’s Restaurant on the waterfront, which offers dock-and-dine access and is also near the Town Landing. Owner Sam Kaler served us some signature drinks, along with a big platter of crab legs, burgers, calamari and more.
After lunch, Parker and Director Gene Allen headed off to capture more of the local ambience while Tyler and Tom hauled the Pursuit so the crew could get an early start for home on Friday. With the boat safely on its trailer at Brown’s, the crew met for a sailing session with Sail Muscongus aboard the wooden Friendship sloop, Sara Mead, which is moored off the Spruce Point Inn. The father-and-son crew of Nate and Randy Jones explained how Friendship sloops were once used for commercial fishing, and showed how to haul a lobster trap from a sailboat. And yes, we did indeed catch some lobsters.
At this point we had pretty much put the wraps on our busy Boothbay episode, except for the grand finale—a sunset lawn party organized by Mark and Buzz at the Topside Inn. As guests and new friends enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the lawn, the crew filmed the show close, complete with drone footage. It was a spectacular wrap to a spectacular 3-day shoot in a spectacular boating destination!
New episodes of New England Boating TV will begin airing this fall on Mondays and Sundays on NESN.
Check local listings or stay tuned to NewEnglandBoating.com for details on the air times and dates.