PUTTERING AND SPUTTERING ON BELFAST BAY

It was a lovely morning.
     The tide was just right, half up and coming on. The temperature was perfect. Blue skies, bright sunshine with just an easygoing southeasterly raising a slight chop. This was going to be a fine morning for our first briny boat ride on Belfast Bay.
As we eased out from the boat ramp the floats at the public landing were starting to collect their summer mix of work boats and pleasure craft.
It was clear to see that the harbor was coming back to life, awakening from it’s winter hibernation with many boats swinging at their mooring balls. Soon there will be a forest of masts and spars with there attendant pennants and flags. It was great to be back…
We were starting to clear the inner harbor markers. Past the location of the old steamboat wharf which now sports the city owned “Boathouse”.
Things have been going well, too well, and soon start to fall apart..quickly.
Motor boats are great as long as the motor is motoring properly. But ours wasn’t, coughing, skipping and belching exhaust, barely making headway against a now building southeasterly. Our top speed was just right, allowing the newly formed whitecaps to send a cold spray into the cockpit. Good thing my wife was at the helm as I could find shelter, hunkering down behind the windshield. Things were just not getting better with either the motor or wind so we decided to come about and head back toward town,
past the tow-boats and into the lee of the inner harbor.
On our port side, we came upon the latest attraction for the upcoming tourist season..
the 101 year old.. “Prudence”.
(My friend and once co-worker, Tom Groening,  recently wrote a nice piece on her for The Bangor Daily News. Be sure to check it out at..
As I’ve blogged about in the past, the big news around Belfast has been the new Front Street Shipyard that has literally set the waterfront buzzing with it’s non-stop activity. Including an awesome traveling boat lift with amazing lifting capabilities…
In addition to this lift, new buildings have been going up at an incredible rate.
This one is located on the site of the old Stinson Canning Factory and is the second such structure newly built since last winter.
By now the rough water was now finding it’s way back to us, our motor was still sputtering so we declared our initial bay cruise a partial victory and headed back to the boat ramp where we enjoyed the launching of a local vessel.
All in all it was a wonderful shakedown cruise regardless of the problems we encountered.
It’s great to be back on the bay.
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