While many in Maine, residents and visitors alike, think of October as the month of changing leaves, apple picking and Halloween, the office of Gov. Paul LePage said what makes October in Maine uniquely special is that it is the month that represents the peak of the harvest of lobsters. In honor of that industry, LePage proclaimed October Maine Lobster Month.

In 2010, Maine harvesters caught more than 93 million pounds of lobster with fall being the most productive season. About 80 percent of lobsters landed in the U.S. are harvested in Maine, representing about 70 percent of all seafood caught by Maine fishermen.

For more information about Maine’s lobster industry, visit the website at lobsterfrommaine.com or contact the Maine Lobster Promotional Council at 541-9310 or info@lobsterfrommaine.com.

Bill McKibben to give keynote at Rockland conference

ROCKLAND — The Island Institute is gearing up to present its fourth annual Sustainable Island Living Conference in Rockland, Oct. 14 through 16. The event will feature nationally known speakers who will join island residents and other interested parties in discussions about economic development, leadership and civic engagement.

The keynote speaker on Friday, Oct. 14 will be Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots nonprofit organization 350.org.

For much more information and to register, visit the website at islandinstitute.org or contact Sally Perkins at sperkins@islandinstitute.org.

History conference highlights boatbuilding in Maine

SEARSPORT — The history of Maine boats and boatbuilders will be the theme of a conference at Penobscot Marine Museum on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 21 and 22. Scheduled speakers and topics will include:

  • Jon Johansen, historian and publisher, Maine Coastal News, speaking on The Evolution of the Maine Lobsterboat
  • David Cockey, president, Museum Small Craft Association, speaking on Results of a Comparative Study of Maine Peapods
  • Ralph Stanley, boatbuilder, speaking on Friendship sloops
  • David Andrews, historian, speaking on the Gamage boatyard of South Bristol
  • Walter Ansel, head shipwright, Mystic Seaport, speaking on Rebuilding the Dragger Roann at Newbert & Wallace of Thomaston

Additional speakers and topics will be announced.

The event will begin Friday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 p.m. with a screening of the documentary “Maine Built Boats: Art & Soul,” produced and narrated by ESPN commentator Gary Jobson. Registration for live sessions begins Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8:30 a.m. Meals and refreshments are included both days.

For more information or to register, call 548-2529 or visit the website at penobscotmarinemuseum.org.

Toughcats play for First Lady

PORTLAND — While not exactly a maritime event, North Haven and Vinalhaven music fans noted that The Fox Island’s own band, Toughcats, played for Michelle Obama Oct. 1 in Portland.

Maine Maritime Academy makes Puerto Rico connection

CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy and the college’s Loeb-Sullivan School of International Business and Logistics will host a contingent of more than 20 students, faculty and administrators from Puerto Rico in early October.

According to a press release, the visit, scheduled for Oct. 11 through 16, is designed to strengthen the college’s ongoing relationship with the Catholic Pontifical University of Puerto Rico.

The collaboration of the two institutions was conceived in 2004 to attract sustainable enrollment to both colleges on site and, more recently, through distance education and taps the specialization and expertise of Maine Maritime Academy to meet the particular needs of Puerto Rico’s island economy and potential for maritime trade growth in response to expansion of the Panama Canal.

A lecture titled Impact of Panama Canal on Shipping in Caribbean/South America and the U.S. Northeast by Dr. Jaime Santiago, dean of the College of Business Administration, Catholic Pontifical University of Puerto Rico, will be offered Thursday, Oct. 13 at 4 p.m. in the academy’s Delano Auditorium at Leavitt Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Apprenticeshop offers special rate, schedule

ROCKLAND — The Apprenticeshop is offering an opportunity for interested parties to join an intensive 12-week program in learning how to build a boat.

Between now and the end of December, participants can enroll in the Boatbuilding Skills Program at half off the usual tuition, and can start the program on a date that’s most convenient for them.

The program is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who has 12 weeks to devote to learning traditional wooden boatbuilding. No prior boatbuilding experience is needed. In addition to young people testing out a new trade, The Apprenticeshop encourages participants who are retired or who are making mid-career changes.

Along with a thorough introduction to shop safety and the proper use of hand and power tools, the 12-week program teaches students how to build a classic New England boat, the Susan skiff. The building process includes use of traditional tools like the block plane, the spokeshave, the backing iron, and the drawknife. The Apprenticeshop also uses a complete set of power tools including band saws, table saws, jointers and planers.

Students are expected to work Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., with an hour break for lunch.

More information about the program is available at apprenticeshop.org/internship, by email at info@apprenticeshop.org, or by calling 594-1800.

Portland events supports SailMaine

PORTLAND — SailMaine has been providing educational, recreational and competitive sailing opportunities to sailors of all ages since 1996 from its home base on Casco Bay.

The fourth annual SailMaine Soirée silent auction will take place Saturday, Oct. 22 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Portland Yacht Services and will act as the kickoff to an annual appeal designed to raise funds in support of community programs at SailMaine.

The SailMaine Soirée will include live music by Sly Chi, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction with items donated by the Greater Portland community. To purchase tickets, visit the website at sailmaine.org and click on events, or contact events director Sarah Helming at sarah@sailmaine.org.

Bar Harbor Oceanarium recovering from fire

BAR HARBOR — A Sept. 27 story at the website at wcsh6.com described ongoing work to rebuild the lobster museum at the Bar Harbor Oceanarium, after it was destroyed by fire in June.

“As many as seven workers have been on hand at the oceanarium each day working to rebuild the museum,” the story said. “While the outside of the new building is now complete, workers say that there’s still a lot of work to do on its inside.”

David and Audrey Mills told WCSH that they have received a number of donated items for the new museum to replace what was lost in the fire, which includes used wooden lobster traps and buoys that are decades old.

The cost to replace the building and contents has topped $100,000. David and Audrey Mills are hoping to reopen to the public before their seasonal closing date at the end of October.

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.