March 21st marks spring in most places. In Maine it’s the start of mud season. All that snow has to melt. Mist hangs heavy. Sometimes it snows; other times it rains. Mud happens.
It’s a good time to visit the Maine Maritime Museum although not all the buildings are open. The museum is set in the old shipyard from back when Bath built tall ships. The white pines of the region were harvested for masts.
The caulker’s shed is open year round. There is a nice view of the Kennebec River from inside. You can imagine the work that went into crafting huge clipper ships of wood in such a cold climate. It’s still below freezing at night in March.
Bath has been a city since 1854 and has lovely architecture and cute shops. The current population is just under 10,000. The city is the ideal location for shipbuilding because the Kennebec River flows down to the ocean by Popham Beach.
These days naval battleships, frigates, cruisers and destroyers are built at Bath Iron Works. There’s a navy saying since WWII, “Bath-built is best-built.” You can see the movable dry dock and cranes from the museum grounds just a bit further up the Kennebec River. It’s a big employer in our area. You do not want to drive past when the 3:30 shift ends.
The museum holds onto Bath’s long heritage as a shipbuilding city. There are lovely paintings and sailor uniforms on display. It’s well set up for visitors of all ages as my children show below. During the summer there are seal watching and light house spotting cruises.
There is so much to see and to touch.
Don’t you love lanterns?
I could imagine sitting down at this old desk to write a nautical tale. It got me thinking of a character . . . a curator of a nautical museum! Why not?
Blog Watch: if you need a laugh, read this satirical post and book review at A Cuban In London. Expat Bee@From the Desk of Bee Drunken blogged nostalgically about Mothering Sunday in England and how it differs from Mother's Day in the USA. Elizabeth@About New York wins the diligent blogger award. She’s been blogging live from India during her month long vacation and even posting comments. Cool photos and commentary! Her last India post was up yesterday. Safe journey home!