Finding adventure in Portland Harbor (video)

When life seems to get busier and more complicated by the day, it’s nice to step off the hamster wheel and get some fresh air. We try to sail as often as possible and spend most weekends away from the dock seeking secluded anchorages and hidden beaches. Yet during the week we often fall into the cycle of eat-work-eat-sleep-repeat. To break the pattern we set off in search of a micro-adventure in Portland Harbor.

After calling in to order pizza from Flatbread’s, I packed a dry bag with a camera, extra clothes, some Downeast Cider, and the usual safety gear into the dinghy. I set off across the harbor, timing my arrival at the public dock to pick up Skye and the pizza simultaneously.

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With Skye and the pizza aboard, we set off for a picnic on Fort Gorges. The fort, completed in 1864, is built of beautiful granite and brick but is slowly falling apart. I’ve been visiting the fort throughout my lifetime and have seen a substantial change in the degradation of the structure. Even as a kid I remember the officer’s quarters still somewhat intact with plaster and beautiful staircases. Most of that is gone now, but the Friends of Fort Gorges are hoping to change that by raising money to renovate the impressive structure.

Check out the video of our adventure here!

If you want to visit the fort, you will need to have a boat of your own. At high tide, you can tie up to the granite pier (bring lots of fenders), but I prefer to beach the dinghy at mid tide. There are many hazards on the fort so watch your step, particularly atop the fort walls. If you haven’t been yet, it is a special place and offers some of the best views of Portland.

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Matt Garand

About Matt Garand

Lifelong Mainer, and professional mariner, Matt Garand is the creator of A Life Aboard, a look at year-round living on a sailboat in Maine. Matt and his wife, Skye, live aboard in South Portland and use every available chance to throw off the lines and explore the coast.