Saturday, September 1, 2012

Rockport Marine Park, Windjammer Part 1

Our first September paddle was so awesome, and generated so many photos that we need to break it up into a few posts.  We'll start with our launch site:  Rockport Marine Park.

Rockport Marine Park has flush toilets, a pay shower,  and a hose for rinsing your gear after a paddle.  There are several parking spaces, a ramp launch, a small beach, docks frequently used for fishing, picnic tables, paths and benches.  There's also a vending machine, right by the building with cold water and Gatorade.  

So, with all those features, you're probably ready to pay through the nose to launch, but before you guess the price wait!  There's so much more!

An elegant bell buoy tipped on its side!

The last surviving remnants of Rockport's Lime Industry, a triple kiln.  Once enclosed by a great wooden shed, these kilns were topped by iron stacks made of boiler plate, which would be filled with limestone.  Most kilns used wood,  burning as much as 30 cords per load.  The Rockport kilns were run with soft coal.    
Close Up of the Kiln

A replica of the Vulcan steam locomotive used to bring limestone to the kilns.  The locomotive ran along a trestle which allowed it to dump the limestone into the stacks.

A fine plaque illustrating the industry, detailing the size of the operation and the tragic event which brought it to a close!

A memorial statue to Andre the Seal!  Andre the Seal was adopted by Harry Goodridge in the 1970's.  He was known for his evening performances in Rockport Harbor as well as for swimming from his winter home at the Boston Aquarium, back to Rockport every spring.  Somehow I missed the statue (Mark may have been saying something about being here to paddle not gawk,) so I will substitute instead pictures from long ago, when I watched the actual Andre the Seal perform.  Andre is the little blob and Harry Goodridge the man in the cage.

Now what would you pay??
Unbelievably, the park is free.  Launch fees are $2 for residents, $4 for non-residents. 

More information about Rockport Marine Park:

Rockin around Rockport

Maine Coast Guide: Lime

The Andre the Seal Memorial


  1. Your Rockport Marine Park launch fees are unbelievably low! Rachel and I just got back in from a paddling adventure at Lake Michie, Durham, NC. Here, we had to pay $5.00 to launch a non-motorized watercraft, we were NOT fishing, and we are Durham residents! Wonder why it's more "expensive" (maybe greed?) to keep up parks in North Carolina than in Rockport?

    1. I wouldn't blame greed or inexpensive Maine expenses: parts of Rockport Marine Park have received state funding, much of the rest is funded by taxes on the beautiful summer "cottages" which line Rockport's shore. Access to the ocean is a key draw for vacationers and summer residents. It's nice of them to make it available to all of us.

  2. Compare that with Granite Pier in Rockport, Massachusetts. For non-residents they charge the following: parking $6, launching $6 (per boat), long walk to ramp with a single port-a-potty along the way and no rinse water.

    1. What can I say? It's a bargain! Plus lobsters are terrific in Maine!

    2. Well, I guess I will "gladly" pay the five bucks launch fee at Lake Michie compared to Granite Pier! For five bucks, I can launch my kayak, use the port-a-potty, take advantage of the air conditioned park attendent's station (he has Direct TV too) + great view of Lake Michie, and paddle as long as I wish. Ok, I have no room to complain! ;-)