According to the Web site wordorigins.org, “Scuttlebutt is an early 19th century nautical term for an open cask of water kept on deck for use by the crew. The term comes from scuttle – to cut a hole in – and butt – a large cask. Sailors would gather about the cask and trade stories and gossip, much like modern office workers do at the water cooler or coffee pot. By the turn of the 20th century, American sailors began using the term scuttlebutt to refer to these sea stories and gossip. Eventually the term became associated with any gossip or rumor.”

Pirates plan Down East invasion

EASTPORT — Everyone is invited to Eastport for the fifth annual Eastport Pirate Festival and Pirate Invasion of Lubec, a celebration of the area’s 400-plus years of thalassic heritage.

The Labor Day weekend festival will begin with the Pirate Invasion of Lubec on Saturday, Sept. 4 and finish with the first annual International (Pirate) Lobster Boat Race on Sunday, Sept. 12.

The invasion of Lubec will offer a full day of mayhem with the entire community and visitors alike in full pirate costume, beginning with a pirate muster breakfast at the Lubec Masonic Lodge from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

The Eastport Pirates will arrive by air, land and sea at approximately 9:30 a.m. for the official invasion.

Tickets for those wishing to participate in the invasion by boat and tall ship are available from Eastport Windjammers at 853-2500 and Fundy Breeze Charters at 853-4660.

Lubec will hold a Pirate Parade at 10 a.m. and a Pirate Bed Race at 10:30 a.m. with the winners representing Lubec in the Eastport Bed race the following week. Children’s activities and waterfront games, including the first annual Lubec vs. Eastport Tug of War, are also scheduled.

Restaurants and businesses in Lubec will host a daylong Taste-of-Lubec with food and brews available for all participants.

Proceeds from many of these events will benefit Lubec’s 2011 Bicentennial Celebration, which also marks the 200th anniversary of the date when Lubec and Eastport became separate communities. There will be water taxi service between Eastport and Lubec for the invasion and throughout the festival weekend.

The Eastport Pirate Festival is the largest pirate-themed event in Northern New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Last year an estimated 8,000 pirates from the United States, Canada and beyond of all ages, both male and female, participated in this family event.

The first International (Pirate) Lobster Boat Race will take place Sunday, Sept. 12, the last day of the festival. The race is open to fishermen from both the U.S. and Canada with a grand prize lottery of $1,000. There will also be a $1,000 prize for Fastest Boat In The World.

Other events in Eastport will include a Pirate’s Ball, bed race, ship parade, and the crowning of a king and queen, all based on a pirate theme. Free music and entertainment, children’s breakfast and daylong events, cutlass and canon demonstrations, great food and other vendors will be among the offerings throughout the weekend. Everyone, including pets, is encouraged to dress and speak like a pirate.

Those wishing to obtain vendor information, race information or a schedule of events for the Pirate Invasion of Lubec or the 2010 Eastport Pirate Festival should visit the Web site at eastportpiratefestival.com or call Chris Brown at 853-4343 or John Miller at 800-691-8182.

Candidates to speak on marine matters

PORTLAND — The Gulf of Maine Research Institute scheduled a series of lectures by gubernatorial and congressional candidates, designed to provide an opportunity for the audience to hear in-depth perspectives on their vision and plans for the Gulf of Maine, and to ask questions about key marine issues. GMRI said in an Aug. 26 press release that by engaging candidates in the forum they hoped to highlight and inform future policy development for marine resource management.

Each session will include a candidate presentation, moderator questions, and an open question and answer period. All gubernatorial and congressional candidates have been invited to participate.

The current schedule is as follows.

  • Sept. 7 — Eliot Cutler, independent gubernatorial candidate
  • Sept. 14 — Kevin Scott, independent gubernatorial candidate
  • Sept. 28 — Dean Scontras, Republican House of Representatives candidate for the 1st Congressional District
  • Oct. 5 — Shawn Moody, independent gubernatorial candidate
  • Oct. 12 — Libby Mitchell, Democratic gubernatorial candidate
  • Oct. 19 — Chellie Pingree, Democratic House of Representatives candidate for the 1st Congressional District

All candidate presentations will take place on Tuesdays in September and October and will begin at 7 p.m. at the GMRI offices at 350 Commercial St. in Portland. Sea State Lectures are free and parking is provided in GMRI’s adjacent lot.

For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Olivia Vega by e-mail at ovega@gmri.org or call 228-1622.

Maine Yacht Center added to Clean Marina program

PORTLAND — The Maine Clean Boatyards and Marinas Program has added another facility to its growing list of Designated Clean Marinas with the presentation of a flag and certificate of designation to Maine Yacht Center in Portland.

According to Maine Yacht Center General Manager Brian Harris, “The facility was designed with a number of best management practices in mind, but as time progressed and regulations changed there were some things that we needed to improve on to achieve our goal. It’s important to us to be good corporate citizens by protecting the environment that we rely on for our work.”

Maine Yacht Center is a full-service boatyard and marina offering major repair and refit services along with winter storage and seasonal slip rentals.

The purpose of the Clean Marinas program is to curb pollution resulting from storm water runoff, boat maintenance, fueling activities, waste storage and disposal, and sewage.

The Maine Marine Trades Association, with assistance from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the Maine Coastal Program, sponsors the Maine Clean Boatyards and Marinas Program. For more information about the program visit the Web site at mainemarinetrades.com.

Tidal energy device generates electricity at design capacity

EASTPORT — Ocean Renewable Power Company, a specialist in tidal, river and deep-water ocean current energy technology and projects, announced recently that its Beta Power System, the largest ocean energy power plant ever installed in U.S. waters, has successfully generated grid-compatible power from tidal currents at its Cobscook Bay site in Eastport.

The system’s core component, the proprietary Turbine Generator Unit, is deployed below ORPC’s research and testing vessel, the Energy Tide 2, and has a maximum design capacity of 60 kilowatts. Performance test results showed that the TGU’s electrical output met or exceeded expectations for the full range of current velocities encountered. ORPC will use the data obtained from the Beta Power System to fine tune the design of its commercial TidGen power system, planned for installation in Eastport in late 2011. The TidGen power system will be connected to the New England electrical grid through the Bangor Hydro Electric Company system, and will generate enough electricity to power 50 to 75 homes, an Aug. 24 press release said.

Through a three-year partnership with the University of Maine, ORPC is also working on environmental monitoring of ocean energy systems with a program to observe the marine environment around the Beta Power System. UMaine researchers, led by Gayle Zydlewski, are supervising the program, which incorporates state-of-the-art visual and acoustic monitoring technology. Data collected will allow UMaine and ORPC to better understand and help minimize any potential interaction between ORPC’s technology and marine life.

During the next two months, ORPC will also be demonstrating how tidal energy can be delivered to the U.S. Coast Guard for use at its Eastport station through a battery electrical supply system that is charged aboard the Energy Tide 2. This is the first application of tidal energy by a federal agency.

ORPC is one of the few companies in the world to have generated electricity from ocean currents without using dams or impoundments.

Maine Maritime Academy plans student involvement fair

CASTINE —The Maine Maritime Academy Department of Residential Life will sponsor a community involvement fair on campus this fall in an effort to encourage student volunteerism in the community.

Scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 9 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. the third annual Student Involvement Fair will be held to encourage interaction between students attending the college and community organizations seeking volunteers and members.

Groups wishing to participate in the upcoming Student Involvement Fair may do so free of charge and are asked to contact Lauren Garrett by Wednesday, Sept. 1 to sign up. Garrett can be contacted at 326-2280 or lauren.garrett@mma.edu.

Maine Maritime Academy seeks host families

CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy’s Student Sponsor Program is seeking community volunteers to serve as host families for students new to the college this year. Initiated 10 years ago, the program is designed to pair new students with faculty, staff and community hosts.

The program provides new students with an opportunity to meet members of the MMA and Castine communities in an effort to ease the often stressful transition to college life. In turn, members of the community gain an insider’s view of student life and activities at the college, and develop personal relationships with students.

Sponsors provide a place for students to relax and enjoy the companionship of sponsor families. Sponsors must live within a reasonable distance of Maine Maritime Academy and attend a mandatory information session presented by the college’s dean of student services and commandant of midshipmen.

Those interested in these opportunities must fill out an application and return it to the college’s Office of the Commandant of Midshipmen. Applications are available by calling 326-2250.

Maine Maritime Academy seeks employment notices

CASTINE — The Maine Maritime Academy Office of Financial Aid maintains a job bulletin program of employment opportunities available to its students in the Greater Castine area.

Initiated eight years ago, the program is designed to pair current students seeking off-campus employment with members of the community. Job notices are posted free of charge on the college’s internal Web site, which allows ongoing student access.
Jobs posted are commonly for yard work, snow removal, home repairs and painting, babysitting, house cleaning, clerical work, and house sitting and pet care. Employment may be ongoing, periodic or one-time, and details such as wage, personal and professional references, and verification of professional skills are the responsibility of the potential employer and employee.

The public is encouraged to take advantage of the free employment bulletin throughout the year. Notices may be submitted to Kathy Heath, director of financial aid, at 326-2339 or by e-mail at kathy.heath@mma.edu.

Send scuttlebutt to Herald Gazette reporter Shlomit Auciello at sauciello@villagesoup.com or call 207-236-8511.