Kennebec River Cruise: Around Arrowsic Island

Photographer Al Trescot loves the Kennebec River region and its people. Through his books and his articles, he has shared this passion. Last spring, I mentioned that I didn’t know that region at all. He said he’d give me a tour.

On an incredibly beautiful mid-September morning, we boarded his boat at Robinhood Marine Center in Georgetown. Professionally, I usually visit this boatyard/marina during the slate-grey days of December. On this day, it might just have been the most beautiful marina I had ever visited. The modern docks blended beautifully with the many restored buildings that had once been the thriving village of Riggs Cove. Robinhood Marine Center’s owner believes in living history, and this has been his canvas.

Al’s nicely modified Eastern 22, with its enclosed wheelhouse, was the perfect
Boat for this cruise — not too big, not too small, fast enough, and very nimble. Al had made sure that we left at the top of the tide because he wanted to go around Arrowsic Island via the Back River.

If you look at the chart, the Back River looks mostly green – not what one would call navigable, but at top of the tide, and with a helmsman who has done the river many times, it proved to be one of the most beautiful rivers I’ve been on. The river is pristine, almost people-free and vastly different than the shores of my home waters of Penobscot Bay. If there ever was a place to explore with a small, well-founded powerboat, this is it.

After the natural beauty, it was great to see the different beauty of human activity going through Bath. Maine Maritime Museum’s campus is gorgeous from the water, and the scale and hum of Bath Iron Works is impressive.

Returning to Robinhood, we came to another hum of activity, Andy Vavolotis and the rest of the team at Robinhood Marine Center were rigging Andy’s creation, a 28-foot schooner to his design. At the same time, a new rebuild, serious modification of an old Glastron powerboat that had been lengthened and made better than birth, was being launched.

This Friday afternoon, four generations of Robinhood Marine general managers were on hand to lend advice and kibbutz. It is a testament to Andy and the culture of Robinhood Marine Center that this all could be happening on a beautiful, sunny fall day.

Thank you Al, for showing me your neighborhood.