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Shannon Bryan

mainetoday.com editor Shannon Bryan has a fondness for Maine’s peculiar goings on. And helmet cams. There’s definitely a fondness for helmet cams.   Since she arrived in Maine from the Midwest seven years ago, it’s been her mission to experience it all firsthand – from the cardboard boat races to the paddleboard jousting tournaments. With any luck, she’ll persuade you to try it, too.

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Things to do This week





Posted: September 3, 2014

13 gorgeous photos of Maine lighthouses (in honor of Open Lighthouse Day)

Written by: Shannon Bryan - mainetoday.com editor - sbryan@mainetoday.com

We’re used to appreciating Maine lighthouses from the outside. We take their pictures. We take our pictures in front of them. We might even take one of those pictures that looks like we’re squishing the lighthouse between two fingers. But on Saturday, we can get a rare look inside some of Maine’s purtiest lighthouses. September 13 is Maine Open Lighthouse Day, and a host of Maine lighthouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for tours (some times vary). This means we get to appreciate Maine’s bold beacons of safety inside and out. Although, let’s be honest, we don’t need a special day to appreciate Maine lighthouses. We can appreciate them every day, perhaps by going to one of Maine’s many lighthouses and reciting Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem The Lighthouse, perhaps accompanied by a trio of violinists or a children’s choir (the children are cheaper but the violists are less likely to use the lighthouse as a jungle gym). Or, you know, take a quite moment of lighthouse appreciation…[quietly appreciating now]…and gawk at some gorgeous lighthouse photos! Go ahead, they like it.

Open Lighthouse Day

Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014. All lighthouses will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Open lighthouse day is a collaboration between the U.S. Coast Guard, the Maine Office of Tourism and the American Lighthouse Foundation. FMI: www.lighthousefoundation.org

Bass Harbor Head (Bass Harbor, Mount Desert Island)
Land based. Only the light tower will be open on Lighthouse Day. The lighthouse contains a beautiful, fourth-order Fresnel lens in its lantern. It is cared for by the United States Coast Guard and is an active aid to navigation.

Burnt Coat Harbor (Swan’s Island)
Offshore. Both the light tower and keeper’s house will be open. Visitors can get to Swan’s Island on the Maine State Ferry from Bass Harbor. For more information, go to www.maine.gov/mdot/msfs/swansisland.htm or call 207-244-3254. The lighthouse is cared for by the nonprofit Friends of Swan’s Island Lighthouse and remains an active aid to navigation.

Burnt Island (Boothbay Harbor)
Offshore. Note special admission time: 9 a.m. to noon only. Both the lighthouse and keeper’s house (living history museum) will be open. To get to the light, use Balmy Day Cruises in Boothbay Harbor. For information, go to www.balmydayscruises.com or call 207-633-2284. The lighthouse is cared for by the Maine Department of Marine Resources and is an active aid to navigation.

Curtis Island (Camden)
Offshore. Only the light tower will be open. Visitors must find their own transportation to the island. Kayak tours may be available from Camden Harbor. The lighthouse is cared for by the Town of Camden and is an active aid to navigation.

Doubling Point (Arrowsic, along the Kennebec River)
Land based. Only the light tower will be open. Visitors will have the chance to meet Karen and Danny McLean, former Coast Guard keepers at Doubling Point and Doubling Point Range Lights. The lighthouse is cared for by the nonprofit Friends of Doubling Point Lighthouse and is an active aid to navigation.

Dyce (Dice) Head (Castine)
Land based. Only the light tower will be open. The lighthouse is cared for by the Town of Castine and is an active aid to navigation.

Fort Point (Stockton Springs)
Land based. The light tower and bell tower will be open. The lighthouse contains a beautiful, fourth-order Fresnel lens and the bell tower has exhibits inside. The lighthouse is cared for by the Fort Point State Historic Site and is an active aid to navigation.

Goat Island (Cape Porpoise)
Offshore. Note special admission time: noon to 3 p.m. only. The light tower and keeper’s house will be open, with monitors showing old photos and home video. To get there, call Captain Kevin Kennedy at 207-831-3663 for boat schedule and fees to get to the island. Kayak rentals also available from Kayak Excursions and Coastal Maine Kayak.

Grindle Point (Islesboro)
Offshore. Both the lighthouse and keeper’s house (museum and gift shop inside) are open. Trips to Islesboro are available on the Maine State Ferry from Lincolnville to Islesboro. For information, go to www.maine.gov/mdot/msfs/islesboro.htm or call 207-789-5611. The lighthouse is cared for by the Town of Islesboro and is an active aid to navigation.

Kennebec River Front Range Light (Arrowsic, along the Kennebec River)
Land based. The front range light will be open. The lighthouse is cared for by the nonprofit The Range Light Keepers and is an active aid to navigation.

Marshall Point (Port Clyde)
Land based. Note special admission time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (museum and gift shop inside) will be open. The Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum is cared for by the nonprofit St. George Historical Society and the lighthouse is an active aid to navigation.

Monhegan (Monhegan Island)
Offshore. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (museum inside) will be open. Note special admission time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Trips to Monhegan Island are available on Monhegan Boat Line in Port Clyde at monheganboat.com/schedule/ or call 207-372-8848, Balmy Day Cruises in Boothbay Harbor at www.balmydayscruises.com or call 207-633-2284, or Hardy Boat Cruises at hardyboat.com/monhegan_ferry.htm or call 207-677-2026. The light station is cared for by the nonprofit Monhegan Historical and Cultural Museum Association. The light tower is an active aid to navigation.

Owls Head (Owls Head)
Land based. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (interpretive center and gift shop inside) will be open. The light station is cared for by the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation. The light tower, which contains a fourth-order Fresnel lens, is an active aid to navigation.

Pemaquid Point (Bristol)
Land based. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (museum inside) will be open. The lighthouse is cared for by the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation and its local chapter, the Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. The light tower, which contains a fourth-order Fresnel lens, is an active aid to navigation. The Town of Bristol cares for the keeper’s house.

Portland Breakwater (South Portland)
Land based. Only the light tower will be open. The lighthouse is cared for by the City of South Portland and is an active aid to navigation. The tower is often affectionately referred to as “Bug Light.”

Portland Head (Cape Elizabeth)
Land based. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (museum inside and gift shop in adjacent building) will be open. On Open Lighthouse Day, approximately 280 tickets will be made available to visitors on a first-come-first-served basis. A ticket will be required to climb the tower. You must be at least 48 inches tall to climb the tower. Visitors must be able to climb 85+ steps unassisted. The lighthouse is cared for by the Town of Cape Elizabeth and is an active aid to navigation.

Rockland Breakwater (Rockland)
Land based (via a 7/8-mile long walk along the breakwater). Both the light tower and keeper’s house will be open. Boat transportation will be available for a fee. Call the Rockland Yacht Club launch at 207-233-2800. The lighthouse is cared for by the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation and its local chapter, Friends of Rockland Harbor Lights. The light tower is an active aid to navigation.

Seguin Island (Seguin Island, off Popham Beach)
Offshore. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (museum and gift shop inside) will be open. To get to Seguin Island, contact the Seguin Island Ferry at www.fishntripsmaine.com/seguinislandferry or call 207-841-7977. The light station is cared for by the nonprofit Friends of Seguin Island, and the light tower, which contains a beautiful first-order Fresnel lens (the only one of its kind in Maine), is an active aid to navigation.

Spring Point (South Portland)
Land based (via breakwater). The light tower will be open. The lighthouse is cared for by the nonprofit Spring Point Ledge Light Trust. It is an active aid to navigation.

West Quoddy Head (Lubec)
Land based. Both the light tower and keeper’s house (museum inside) will be open. The light station is cared for by the West Quoddy Head Light Keeper’s Association and the State of Maine. The light tower contains a Fresnel lens and is an active aid to navigation.

Whitehead Island (near Sprucehead)
Offshore. Lighthouse, keeper’s house, whistle house and schoolhouse will be open. Note special admission time: 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. only. Reservations are required. Access will be by boat. For reservations, visit www.whiteheadlightstation.org/2014-specials.html or call 207-200-7957. The light station is cared for by the nonprofit Pine Island Camp; the light tower is an active aid to navigation.

Wood Island (Biddeford Pool)
Offshore. Both the light tower and keeper’s house will be open. Access will be by boat (reservations required). The light station is cared for by the nonprofit American Lighthouse Foundation and its local chapter, Friends of Wood Island Lighthouse. The light tower is an active aid to navigation. For reservations, visit www.woodislandlighthouse.org or call 207-200-4552.
We went: See the light: Take a tour of Wood Island Lighthouse in Saco Bay

Other lighthouse activities during Maine Open Lighthouse Day weekend

Maine Lighthouse Museum (Rockland)
The Maine Lighthouse Museum in Rockland will be open during Maine Open Lighthouse Day. The museum contains the largest collection of Fresnel lenses on display in the United States and offers exhibits that pay tribute to our nation’s lighthouse and lifesaving history.

Whaleback Day (Kittery)
Take a cruise by Whaleback Lighthouse in Portsmouth Harbor aboard the Sir William Pepperrell. The hour-long cruises depart at 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Historian Jeremy D’Entremont, will be aboard to tell passengers about some of the fascinating history of these two spectacular locations. www.portsmouthharborlighthouse.org

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