Good deeds and lobster feeds abound on the Maine Coast this time of year.

Frenchboro Lobster Festival set for August

FRENCHBORO —The small offshore island village of Frenchboro will host the 50th annual Frenchboro Lobster Festival on Saturday, Aug. 13. The annual event started in 1962 and welcomes those who want to visit a Maine fishing village and eat lobster in a unique intimate setting.

The festival, set on the banks of Lunt Harbor with the mountains of Acadia looming in the background, features a boat ride through Blue Hill Bay and offers guests a chance to relax by the harbor, stroll village roads, or hike miles of scenic shoreline trails. The Frenchboro Historical Society will be open throughout the day.

Highlighting the festival again this year will be local country rock band Boots Murphy and the Heels. The band, featuring lead singer and Frenchboro resident Megan Murphy, will make its fifth appearance at the festival and will perform both classic and contemporary country music as well as classic rock. This year’s festival will also feature a library book sale, recycled treasures table, and a tie-dye booth to benefit the Frenchboro Fire Department.

Frenchboro, located on Long Island eight miles from Mount Desert Island, was established as a community in the 1820s, and now has a population of about 70.

The dinner includes lobster, chicken salad, hot dogs, coleslaw, homemade pies, and soda. Dinner will be served, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Maine State Ferry (passengers only) will make a special Frenchboro Lobster Festival run, leaving Bass Harbor at 9 a.m. and then leaving Frenchboro for the return trip at 3:30 p.m. Round trip ferry tickets are $10 for regular fares and $5 for seniors. Veterans and children 5 and younger can ride free. Ferry tickets can be purchased the day of the event only outside the Bass Harbor Ferry Terminal. For more information about the Frenchboro Lobster Festival call 334-2974.

Yacht club hosts talk on Maine’s first ship

CAMDEN — On Wednesday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m., Camden Yacht Club’s Sunset Seminar will feature Will West, boat builder, and Patti Irish, media consultant, whose talk is titled Maine’s First Ship. The public is welcome.

Wooden Boat School’s Roberge recognized by Coast Guard

BROOKLIN — Sector Northern New England Commander Capt. Christopher Roberge recognized Richard Hilsinger, director of the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin, and his son, recently at Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor.

Hilsinger and his son were involved in the rescue of three people on the afternoon of July 9, after their 16-foot recreational sailboat capsized in high wind in Eggemoggin Reach just off Center Harbor. Hilsinger, along with his son and a student of school, immediately responded from shore in a powerboat to assist.

Once on scene, Hilsinger and the others were able to rescue three people from the water. Two of the individuals were transferred to a nearby lobsterboat and transported ashore. Hilsinger then remained on scene with the third person and towed the capsized boat back to the harbor.

“Due to Hilsinger’s quick and selfless actions, none of the three people in the capsized boat suffered any serious or cold water-related injuries,” a press release said. “[They] undoubtedly helped save the lives.”

Muscongus Bay Boat Trip

WALDOBORO — The public is invited to Medomak Valley Land Trust’s Muscongus Bay Boat Trip on Saturday, Aug. 27. The boat will leave from the Pine Street landing in Waldoboro at 8:30 a.m.

The three-hour tour on the excursion boat Snow Goose, owned by Camp Kieve, is a highlight of MVLT’s summer schedule. Common sights are expected to include eagles, terns and other seabirds, seals and ospreys in their nests. The trip will be captained by Bill Chapman, whose knowledge of the bay should provide an informative afternoon on the water.

Space is limited and reservations are required. The cost is $40 per person. To reserve a space contact MVLT at 832-5570 or

Audubon Society hosts lobster bake

BREMEN — The Mid-Coast Audubon Society’s 2011 Annual Meeting, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, will be a traditional Maine lobster bake on the shores of Hog Island, in Bremen.

Chapter members and their guests are invited to share the meal and visit the Hog Island Audubon Sanctuary. The $40 ticket includes transportation to the island aboard the Snow Goose, a guided or unguided nature walk on Hog Island, lobster, clams or mussels, potato, onion, and ear of corn – all cooked on the beach under seaweed in the traditional manner. Lemonade, coffee and dessert will finish the meal. Children’s tickets are $20 each. Bring your own beverage, if desired. The boat will depart Bremen at 10:30 a.m. and depart Hog Island at 3:30 p.m. after lunch and the meeting.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Carolyn Gray at 563-3578 or for more information or to reserve a spot.

Research expeditions and global changes at Bigelow Laboratory

WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR — The interrelated challenges of climate change and ocean acidification are the focus of Bigelow Laboratory’s Café Scientifique on Tuesday Aug. 9 at 6 p.m. in the Boothbay Harbor Opera House, 86 Townsend Ave. in Boothbay Harbor.

Led by Bigelow Senior Research Scientist Barney Balch, the discussion is titled Voyages of Discovery: Polar Phytoplankton, Climate Change, and the “Global Squeeze Play.”

Balch and members of the Bigelow Ocean Observing and Optics laboratory are returning at the end of this July from a five-week expedition to the Arctic Ocean aboard the 420-foot U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker R/V Healy. The Bigelow team joined over 40 other scientists as part of a multi-year, interdisciplinary project of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration called Impacts of Climate Change on the Eco-Systems and Chemistry of the Arctic Pacific Environment, or ICESCAPE.

“The burning of fossil fuels is predicted to nearly double the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” said Balch. “This increase will be responsible for a whole host of changes on the planet, including increased temperatures, intensification of the Earth’s water cycle, and acidification of the oceans.”

A biological oceanographer, Balch’s research focus includes bio-optics, biocalcification, and the biological productivity of the world’s oceans. He is developing new ways to study phytoplankton communities and ocean acidification using measurements of ocean color, sea surface temperature, and light both at sea and through remote sensing by satellites.

Café Scientifique talks are free and open to the public, with beer, wine, and sodas available for purchase. This is the seventh of 10 Bigelow Laboratory summer science conversations, held every Tuesday evening from 6 to 7 p.m. through Aug. 30. For more information, visit the laboratory’s website at

Animal Planet features Maine toxicologist

NEW YORK CITY — On Thursday, July 28 at 9 p.m., Animal Planet TV cable channel debuted “Black Tide: Voices From the Gulf,” a two-hour documentary on the impact of the Gulf oil spill on the people of Louisiana.

The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion on April 20, 2010, was the largest offshore oil spill in American history. Susan Shaw, director of the Marine Environmental Institute, and a marine toxicologist, was among the first scientists to dive into the Gulf of Mexico oil slick right after the explosion. Shaw was invited by the documentary’s producers Radical Media to contribute her toxicology expertise to the production.

Black Tide delves into the impact of a two hundred million gallon oil spill on local businesses, the environment and on the health of residents and wildlife. The documentary was over a year in the making and Shaw was interviewed in Louisiana on three different occasions — shortly after the disaster occurred and then a year later when she returned to Grand Isle Louisiana and Barataria Bay to visit her research sites.

Shaw is the lead scientist on Gulf EcoTox, a region-wide investigation on the effects of oil and chemical dispersants in the Gulf ecosystem. Her latest trips confirmed some of her dire predictions about the oil spill and the chemicals dispersants. As she had forecast in May 2010, the high-volume use of dispersants would create a huge reservoir of toxic oil in the Gulf that would permeate the food web from larval crabs to fish.

The dispersants break up the oil and keep it suspended in the sea. This increases exposure and also increases toxicity. Dispersants contain solvents that allow oil to enter the body more readily and once there, it can damage every organ, every system in the body.

“When the mainstream media packed up and moved to the next disaster, it gave the world the false impression that everything was back to normal,” Executive Producer Joe Berlinger said in a press release. “As this special shows, the people of the Gulf still face enormous consequences from the spill.”

Ocean Renewable Power Company launches Nova Scotia operations

PORTLAND — Ocean Renewable Power Company has announced that it has formed ORPC Nova Scotia Ltd. to expand its tidal energy development work in the Canadian maritime province. ORPC management recently participated in Nova Scotia Department of Energy’s Getting Power to Market tidal energy symposium in Halifax, where they met with Premier Darrell Dexter to deliver the news about the formation of ORPC Nova Scotia Ltd.

Earlier this year, ORPC formed a strategic partnership with Fundy Tidal Inc. of Westport, Nova Scotia, to develop tidal energy projects on the Canadian side of the Bay of Fundy, and the formation of ORPC Nova Scotia will help facilitate that goal, a press release said.

ORPC’s Eastport and Lubec hub has become a center for tidal energy development where, in 2010, the company completed its successful Beta TidGen Power System project, involving the largest ocean energy device ever installed in U.S. waters, the press release said.

ORPC’s Nova Scotia projects will benefit from the first feed-in tariff for tidal energy in North America announced earlier this month by the province’s Utility and Review Board. The 65.2 cents, Canadian, per kilowatt-hour paid to developers of small tidal energy projects is designed to encourage community-based, tidal power producers to sell the energy to Nova Scotia Power.

In addition, the Nova Scotia government is making $750,000 available to support site assessment efforts of small tidal project developments such as that proposed by ORPC and FTI.

Headquartered in Portland and established in 2004, ORPC is a privately held company, working on tidal, river and deep-water ocean current power generation technology and projects.

Hancock Lobster wins awards

CUNDY’S HARBOR — Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. was awarded top industry honors at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Maine company received an unprecedented three gold Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation or sofi awards from the specialty food industry. No other company has ever won three sofi awards in a given year.

The company picked up the Best in Show award for best product line. The Orr’s Island Oyster Stew won a gold award in the Outstanding Soup, Stew, Bean or Chili category and Lobster Risotto on the Half Shell won a gold award in the Outstanding Perishable Foodservice Product category.

Foodservice products are packaged especially for institutional use such as restaurants, hotels, resorts, etc. The Lobster Risotto is also available in retail packaging.

Gold sofi award winners were selected from more than 2,200 gourmet product entries in 33 categories by a national panel of specialty food buyers. Hancock Gourmet Lobster Co. received its first gold award in 2003 and was honored with its seventh, eighth and ninth gold awards at the Washington Convention Center on July 11.

According to the website at 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 or call 207-236-8511.