Common Eiders

The Common Eider Ducks have caught my attention lately as one Eider hen has three ducklings that she brings to the cove next to Ocean Point Inn to swim and feed.  This is the first time I have seen Eider ducklings at Ocean Point.  Not long ago the Common Eider was rarely seen, since it was hunted for its meat and eggs to near extinction in the 19th century.  Even though stricter laws to protect the Eider were enacted in the 20th century, the Eider population continued to diminish.  In 1930 Allan Moses, a taxidermist, convinced J. Sterling Rockefeller to buy Kent Island which had a large colony of nesting Eiders.  Six years later Rockefeller sold the island to Bowdoin College for $1.00 and they continue to do extensive research there.  Their very special down, one of the lightest and best insulators in the world, also helped save them.

Male Common Eider

Male Common Eider

The current population of Eider in Maine is stable  The species found along the Maine coast is similar to the ones found in the Arctic.

It is interesting that the Eiders only lay 3 – 5 eggs in their down lined nest compared to the local Mallard Ducks that lay 10-12 eggs.  The Eider ducklings are dark brown all over.  They eat crustaceans and mollusks so the little ducklings start diving right off.  They are amazing to watch.  The hen takes care of them and the males swim around in the area.  One day I watched the Eider hen try to have her three ducklings join a Mallard hen and her brood of nine.  The Mallard pecked at the Eider and pushed her ducklings away.  She would not let the Eider ducklings feed near her ducklings.

Here at the Ocean Point Innducks3 we are trying to protect the Mallard Ducks in the pond by asking our guests not to feed them.  The ducks become accustomed to being fed and do not fly south  in the fall.  There is no food for them here in the winter and they cannot survive. Please help us protect them!

Eider hen chasing the Mallard ducklings away.

Eider hen chasing the Mallard ducklings away.

lobster-boat-sunAn easy day trip from Ocean Point Inn is the area around and including Bath Maine – originally called Sagadahoc by the Abenaki Indians. Sagadahoc meant “mouth of big river” which is very appropriate as it is on the Kennebec River just north of the mouth. Samuel de Champlain explored this area in 1605, a few years before the Popham Colony was started. This colony did not succeed due to harsh weather and poor leadership, however these early colonists did build the first seagoing vessel constructed in the New World called Virginia of Sagadahoc. Most of the settlers in Bath, Maine, came from Bath, England.

Bath, Maine continues to be best known for shipbuilding, which began in 1743 and continues today at Bath Iron Works among others.

Ornaments Home and GardenAs you cross the bridge into the town of Bath, scan the skyline for the beautiful old sea captains’ houses with their widows’ walks and the elegant church steeples. A picture perfect New England seaport!

Bath’s Main Street is one-way and full of interesting shops. Here are three places I like to visit, but be sure to poke down the side streets of Bath as well.

Ornaments Home and Garden Store is a fun shop selling both new and vintage accessories. Owner, Gail Hunt, has a definite flair for design and decor as you will notice when you enter. Enjoy!!

MarkingsGalleryThe Markings Gallery has fine local art and crafts in metal, clay, fiber, paper, glass, paint, stone and wood. The artists who contribute to this gallery do very high quality and creative work. It is very difficult to leave without finding something you must have!

Now You’re Cooking – A Cook’s Emporium is a wonderful cooking store for all types of cooks. You will enjoy the store even if you do not like to cook. A great place to buy gifts! They carry everything you might want for your kitchen and more. Cooking Classes are also offered.

If you like to knit, crochet, weave or felt do not miss Halcyon Yarn. Delicious yarns in an amazing variety of colors, fibers and textures that are difficult to resist. The staff is very helpful.

mmmfrontThe Maine Maritime Museum has an amazing collection of over 21,000 artifacts and over 140 small craft showing Maine’s Maritime Heritage. A variety of cruises along the Kennebec River range from 1-6 hours. Wildlife, lighthouses and the shipyard are part of these tours. Many photo moments await you.

Bath Iron Works Trolley Tours describe the history of the shipyard which builds the Navy’s most advanced warships. The tours are M W F @ 12 and 2, T Th @2 and Sat @10. f you are in the area when a ship is being launched it is a great sight to see.

Dining in Bath:
Mae’s Cafe at 160 Centre Street has an amazing range of breakfast items served all day in addition to tasty lunch offerings of soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and much more. heir bakery will definitely fill your sweet tooth.

Solo Bistro at 128 Front Street is a divine place for dinner – a culinary delight with great ambiance. inner is served at 5 Wednesday through Sunday – closed on Monday and Tuesday. Friday nights they have live Jazz 6:30-9:30 P.M.

Kennebec Tavern at 19 Commercial Street is a waterfront Restaurant and Bar. Watch the boats on the river as you dine. They offer a large variety of seafood dishes in a casual waterfront 5_innatmosphere.

Enjoy your day in Bath. There are so many things to see and learn about in the town, a great short day trip from Ocean Point Inn.

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and a boat ride to Monhegan Island and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.

Monhegan IslandAnother favorite day trip of ours from Ocean Point Inn is to head for the tranquility of Monhegan Island.  This tiny island, twelve miles out to sea, is less than one square mile in area. The island has no paved roads and no cars, just wonderful walking trails that lead you to amazing vistas.

monhegan-inn-viewAs you walk through the woods watch for the Fairy Houses. Stop to build one of your own from natural bits and pieces and see how creative you can be!

Browse the shops and galleries. The Black Duck Emporium has great gifts, espresso drinks and home baked treats.  The Lupine Gallery features Monhegan Artists. Winter Works is a cooperative shop of creative items made by the Island’s winter residents. The Barnacle also has a few gifts as well as sandwiches, soups and pastries.

Monhegan Island Fish House MarketFor lunch, I often get a crab roll at the Fish House Fish Market and eat it on the rocks at Fish Beach.  After lunch, I like to look for sea glass and shells on the beach.  You can bring your own lunch and enjoy eating at one of the many vistas on the highest cliffs in Maine.

Monhegan Island LighthouseWalk up the hill to the lighthouse where you can sit and enjoy the view.  Keep your eyes peeled for whales, seals, birds and wild flowers.  Sometimes along the path from the dock, artists will be selling their crafts.  Note the lovely cottage styles as you walk around the island and try to imagine what it must be like here during a blizzard in January!
boat-tour
The Balmy Days II sails to Monhegan daily in season from Boothbay Harbor.  The ride out and back is beautiful in itself.  Capt. Bill Campbell will point out whales, seals, birds and other marine life as you go by the rugged coastline and outer islands.

Rams Head LightAfter leaving the harbor you will pass Ocean Point on your left and then the Ram Island Lighthouse on the right.  Next on the left will be the Pemaquid Lighthouse perched on the seaside cliffs.

What started out as a tiny spot on the horizon starts to look much larger.  Before you know it you are pulling into the dock at Monhegan Island.monhegan-island-color

Balmy Days offers an optional ride around the island for an additional fee.  You can make your reservation for the Balmy Days by calling 207-633-2284 or 800-298-2284.  Monhegan Island is a place that evokes fond memories and I bet you will want to return!

See more Ocean Point Inn things to do in the area including visiting Camden and Rockland and other day trips to Damariscotta, Bath, and Boothbay Harbor.