Penobscot Pilot, squared away
Not only did I get up on Mt. Battie yesterday and take that new header picture of a more June-like Camden Harbor (remember the old November one?), but I got down the Bay last Friday, catching a ride on the Penobscot Pilot. That’s Captain Jane Ryan and I above, and bigger here , just after she’d smoothly maneuvered alongside Nor’easter to pick up pilot Skip Strong (who snapped the picture). I’m wearing the float coat and harness because I’d been out on the bow shooting Skip’s descent down gangway and ladder, and because Jane runs a very safety conscious operation (with very good reason).
The Penobscot Pilot is squared away in other respects too. Built to the pilots’ specs by Liberty Yachts in 2003 (photo gallery here), she has an enormous (and spotless) engine room, a rugged (unintended) swim platform, and excellent visibility (note the black defroster piping under the windows). The electronics are fairly normal—Furuno primary radar (a CRT model carried over from the replaced pilot boat, a Hatteras), Raymarine SL70 back up, Standard Horizon CP170 plotter, and a Dell laptop running Coastal Explorer. But the 48’ boat also has an ACR Nauticast Class A transponder (the less expensive non-SOLAS model, also once covered here as the GlobalWatch). The Pen Bay Pilots are into AIS, as mentioned earlier, and I even saw Jane program in the details of our short trip (easy with the Nauticast’s keyboard). She also joked as we closed with the Nor’easter that what she strives for on her CE screen—unlike the rest of us—is an AIS danger alert, and she surely achieved her goal with a momentary CPA of zero feet! But wait until you see what Skip lugs in his brief case…later.