Waterfront Braces for Hurricane Irene; Peaks Island Ferry Vehicle Service Ban Could be on for Sunday; Weather Dependent

Anamchara Prepares to be Hauled This Afternoon

By Carol McCracken (Post # 863)

“I haven’t decided what to do yet,” said one boat owner late this afternoon tied to the dock at Portland Yacht Services. “I have to decide pretty quickly, though.” That’s because customers were told their boats had to be removed from the docks in the marina by tomorrow; that’s because the docks there will most probably be destroyed if Irene hits the east coast of Maine as is anticipated.

Rob Benson, operations manager, spent much of his time talking to boat owners about their options. One opted to sail tomorrow up to Snow Island because there is a large sheltered mooring area up there, although he conceded that many of these “hurrican holes” are filling up quickly. Jim Forbis, who was getting ready to take off said he never tells anyone where his “hurricane hole” is because he doesn’t want more people there. Miriam Thompson and her husband arrived at PYS today after a rough sail from Jewell Island. At first they were going to moor in the Harbor, but finally decided to be hauled out at PYS like many boats. Late this afternoon Benson said that 25 boats had been hauled today and there were 29 more boats to be hauled on Friday. “PYS” owns three hydraulic lifts with trailors which were kept busy hauling boats all day.

At Casco Bay Ferry Service, Mayor Nick Mavodones, operations manager for the line, said that the strongest winds are expected to occur Sunday afternoon and Sunday evening. He went on to say that there is a “good possbility that on Sunday there will be no vehicle service. It all depends on the weather. If the wind direction and speed are east/southeast, we will likely bring the car ferry to Peaks Island because it will be in the lee of the Island.” The decision will probably be made on Sunday. This information will be posted tomorrow on the website and through enews sent to customers. Mavodones has been in conference calls with the US Coast Guard, Maine Emergency Management, Maine Weather Service and a host of other waterfront properties.

One boat still undecided back at PYS said this is a tough call for many of us. It’s costly to haul these boats and for many of us, it means the end of the sailing season for this year.