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Working the Tide along the Maine Coast

Good morning everyone. We had the rare opportunity to see the T/V Sate of Maine from the Maine Maritime Academy at Castine, Maine returning to her home berth this morning. She came in on the last of the ebb tide giving the pilot a little bit of a current on the bow with which to help slow the vessel down.

Handling a large vessel in such a tight stream can’t be easy. There were three tugs standing by for the pilot who was up on the bridge calling the shots as the ship came into the Bagaduce River. We switched the radio channel on the VHF to listen in on the pilot’s succinct requests: “Taurus, come 90 and ahead easy”, “Fort Point back down 1/4″, Taurus, ahead 1/2”, “Pentagoet, standby amidships to push to the dock.” All commands echoed by the tug captains who have worked with these pilots on numerous occasions. Like a well choreographed dance these folks know each other, their vessels and the tricky currents that sometimes play a big factor in bringing a ship alongside in tight places, never taking anything for granted.

Notice the clammers working the mud flats in the fore ground. They work the tides as well. The flats must have just re-opened. We saw folks clamming out to Isle Au Haut yesterday morning at low tide. This is back breaking work. I love fried clams and appreciate the back muscles that make these delicacies possible on my dinner plate.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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