The launch of the 2011 boating season continues with the opening cruise of the motor vessel Rekord from the Sharp’s Point South dock at the Sail, Power & Steam Museum on Tuesday, June 14. The following Friday, Rekord will meet the schooners Stephen Taber and Lewis R. French at the finish line of their Race on the Bay.

That race, which will begin in Camden Harbor at noon on June 17 and end when the boats pass the Rockland Breakwater later that afternoon, marks the 140th birthday of the two sailing vessels. The Taber and French are the nation’s oldest working sailing ships and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as National Historic Landmarks.

Rector appointed to lobster policy council

AUGUSTA — Sen. Chris Rector, R-Thomaston, has been appointed to the Lobster Management Policy Council, representing Zone D as a non-voting member. The appointment was made jointly by Maine Senate President Kevin Raye and Speaker of the House Robert Nutting.

“As a legislator who represents one of Maine’s largest fishing areas, I have had numerous conversations in recent years with those concerned about how to continue their livelihood on the open seas,” said Rector in a May 31 press release. “Maine fishermen struggle on a daily basis to earn a living and keep a traditional livelihood intact. Serving on the Zone D council is just one small way that I can support an important industry in our state and those men and women who earn their living catching lobsters.”

Maine has seven established lobster management zones. Zone D stretches from Cape Rosier to Pemaquid.

Each lobster management policy council comprises locally elected lobster license holders and an appointed non-voting legislative member who may submit proposed effort limitation rules to referendum within a lobster management zone and to the commissioner. Limitations that may be considered include the maximum number of lobster traps that may be fished, the maximum number of traps on a trawl line, or the time of day when lobster fishing may occur. Any limitation proposed by a council must be stricter than current law.

Rector represents Maine Senate District 22, which includes the Knox County communities of Appleton, Camden, Criehaven, Cushing, Hope, Matinicus, North Haven, Owls Head, Rockland, Rockport, South Thomaston, St. George, Thomaston, Union, Vinalhaven and Warren.

Women at the Helm announces 2011 season

ROCKPORT — NorthPoint Yacht Charters announced the 2011 season of Women at the Helm, a summer sailing collaboration for women, designed by and for women to learn basic sailing skills. This day program will offer hands-on experience to help women gain confidence and improve maritime skills in a fun, relaxed, non-judgmental atmosphere. Women at the Helm works with sailors at all levels of experience to help women become take-charge skippers by working on points of sail, sail trim, navigation, piloting, helmsmanship, seamanship, anchoring, safety, man overboard drills and much more, a press release said.

The program schedules day sails out of Camden with flexible schedules and small group dynamics with an experienced captain and teacher aboard Sagacious, a well-maintained 34-foot Bill Shaw designed Pearson sloop.

Daysails for 2011 are as follows.

  • Thursday, June 23 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, June 24 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, July 5 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (This may be extended to a six-hour sail.)
  • Thursday, July 21 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 22 from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (This may be extended to a six-hour sail.)
  • Monday, Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (This may be extended to a six-hour sail.)

An overnight trip has been planned for July 31 through Aug. 1, departing at noon and returning to Camden the following afternoon at around 4 p.m.

Additional day and overnight trips can be arranged. Four people are needed for a day trip and three are needed for an overnight at the individual prices. The boat and instructor can also be booked for custom charters.

For prices and other information about this and other NorthPoint Yacht Programs and charters contact Larrain Slaymaker at info@northpointyachtcharters.com, call 557-1872 or visit the website at northpointyachtcharters.com

Sail Power and Steam Museum offers programs

ROCKLAND — On Friday, June 3 at 7 p.m., local illustrator and author Sam Manning will present a talk on The King’s Broad Arrow, marking and building masts by hand for the largest sailing vessels.

On Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m., George Thompson will give a talk, complete with photos, about the deep-sea submersible research vessel Alvin.

Both talks are free and donations are appreciated.

Sharp’s Point South and the Sail, Power and Steam Museum are at 75 Mechanic St. in Rockland. For more information on these events and the Sail, Power and Steam Museum, call 701-7627, write to ssmuseum@midcoast.com or visit the website at sailpowersteammuseum.org.

Lobsterboat races to begin

WINTERPORT  — The first lobsterboat race weekend of the 2011 season will take place summer solstice weekend in Boothbay Harbor and Rockland. Boothbay races will take place on Saturday, June 18 and the Rockland race will be Sunday, June 19.

Races are scheduled to start around 11 a.m., weather permitting, and the Rockland course runs immediately adjacent to the length of the harbor side of the Rockland Breakwater.

According to Bruce Leiter of the Maine Lobster Boat Racing Association, “This race will afford the best possible shoreside spectating of traditional Maine lobsterboat racing of any venue in the state, and has become the best attended and best rewarded competition of the year.” Almost $30,000 in prizes were awarded to competitors last year.

Come Boating begins community sailing

BELFAST — Come Boating! will offer a community sailing program for the second year in addition to its community rowing program. Experienced skippers will take up to four people on free two-hour sails on Belfast Harbor and Penobscot Bay on a Drascombe Lugger 18-foot, 9-inch open sailboat. No previous sailing experience is required.

Sails will be scheduled several times a week beginning June 1. Participants must sign up in advance on the registration forms that are in the black mailbox at the Come Boating! boat shed near the boat launch. Monthly schedules will be posted at the boat shed before the first of each month.

Sails are weather dependent, and may be canceled or shortened by the skipper.  Participants should wear flat rubber-soled shoes and bring sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, water, and a wind/rain jacket. Come Boating! will provide life jackets. Alcohol and smoking are not permitted on the sailboat.

Come Boating! offers community rowing in its 32-foot pilot gigs, Belle Fast and Selkie, several mornings and afternoons each week. No experience is required. Participants must sign up in advance at the boat shed.

For more information on the sailing program, contact Cecile McKenzie at  cecmck@gmail.com or 930-3603 or Jeff Smith at jeffjapan055@gmail.com or 930-3627.

For information on all of Come Boating!’s activities, visit the website at comeboating.org.

Management council sets June agenda

NEWBURYPORT, Mass. — The New England Fishery Management Council will meet Wednesday through Thursday, June 21 through 23, for an agenda that will include a briefing on the U.S. Navy’s upcoming operational and training activities in the North Atlantic ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.

The council will hear a summary of agency efforts to reexamine conservation and management guidelines and comments developed concerning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s draft enforcement priority-setting process. If applicable, the Coast Guard may report on comments received as part of its initiative to improve the overall compliance with and effectiveness of the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan regulations

A public session on Tuesday, June 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. will hear stakeholders and any members of the public who would like to comment, discuss ideas, critique or provide new information that may be considered in possible revisions to the cooperative research strategic plan.

On Wednesday, June 22 the council will hear a number of reports on species in the region, and hold a gear policy discussion.

The council will consider approval of final action on Amendment 17 to the Groundfish Fishery Management Plan to authorize state permit banks and hear an update on the development of Framework Adjustment 47 to the that plan.

The session on Thursday, June 23 will begin with a discussion of an April 2011 report commissioned by National Marine Fisheries Service that reviewed the fisheries management process in the Northeast, and the relationships among the NEFMC, the NMFS Regional Office and the Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Other species reports will follow.

The June meeting of the New England Fishery Management Council will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St. in Portland. For more information visit the website at nefmc.org.

Trash Free Seas Act introduced in Senate

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine, joined a bipartisan group of senate colleagues in introducing legislation designed to clean up and prevent ocean trash from washing ashore and destroying marine ecosystems, a May 27 press release said.

The Trash Free Seas Act of 2011 would reauthorize the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act of 2006, which expired at the end of 2010.

The Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act was first passed by Congress in 2006 to address the growing and pervasive issue of marine debris. The act created Marine Debris Programs in both the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard with the aim of increasing knowledge and awareness of the sources and extent of the problem.

Atlantic bluefin tuna not endangered

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced May 27 that Atlantic bluefin tuna do not warrant species protection under the Endangered Species Act.

A press release said the agency was committed to revisit the decision by early 2013, when more information will be available about the effects of the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, as well as a new stock assessment from the scientific arm of the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas, the international body charged with the fish’s management and conservation.

NOAA has formally designated both the western Atlantic and eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean stocks of bluefin tuna as “species of concern” under the Endangered Species Act, placing the species on a watch list for threats to the species.

“Based on the best available information and assuming countries comply with the bluefin tuna fishing quotas established by ICCAT, both the western and eastern Atlantic stocks are not likely to become extinct,” the press release said.

While the NOAA team found that presently available information did not favor listing, it recognized the need to continue to monitor potential long-term effects of the oil spill on bluefin tuna and the overall ecosystem.

According to the website 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.”

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