Maine Travels with Dogs – Hardy Boat Cruises

A few miles out from land

A few miles out from land

Because my husband and I both have very demanding home-based businesses, we don’t get away much. Taking a few hours to attend a local play is a real treat, and getting a full day off is practically unheard of.

But since yesterday was John’s birthday, and the day before was our 5th wedding anniversary, we decided to take a day trip to Monhegan Island, an artists’ colony 12 miles off the coast of Maine, which is only accessible by boat.

There are three ferry companies that each make a couple of trips a day to Monhegan, all leaving from a different town on the coast. We of course wanted to take our three dogs, so a dog friendly boat was my primary criteria in choosing which ferry line we’d use.

The first one I clicked onto in my internet search was Hardy Boat Cruises, based in New Harbor, about an hour and a half from home. And yes, they are dog friendly – and even better… dogs ride for free.

John and the pups on the boat.

John and the pups on the boat.

So, Hardy Boat it was! (Also, I think they’re the same ferry I used about 25-30 years ago on my only other trip to Monhegan.)

Our dogs weren’t the only pups on the boat; on our way out, about 4-5 other dogs were heading there for the weekend, and on the way back another 3-4 dogs made the trip from Monhegan to New Harbor.

Leaving the harbor

Leaving the harbor

It was an absolutely gorgeous day for a boat ride… it’s about an hour from New Harbor to Monhegan, and a little longer on the way back, as the Captain takes us by a couple of islands with seal populations. We only saw a couple of gray seals yesterday… one was happily splashing in the water. And we did get a glimpse of a few harbor porpoises… very cool!

John looking at the harbor.

John looking at the harbor.

We weren’t sure what to expect from the pups. Mr Budro is a real homebody, so we figured he’d be long-suffering and just waiting to get home.

Happy Buddy on the boat.

Happy Buddy on the boat.

As it turns out, he loved it.

Rudi's taking a nap.

Rudi’s taking a nap.

Little Rudi generally doesn’t much care where he is, as long as he’s with us. And that was how it went yesterday.

Miss Millie trying to get comfortable

Miss Millie trying to get comfortable

Millie, however, was not a happy camper. Although she handled herself admirably – and even looked over the side a couple of times – she was not comfortable on the boat. However, like any dog, she’d far rather be with us than left at home, so we have no worries about taking her on a boat again.

John, little Rudi, Mr Budro and Miss Millie Mouse on the boat.

John, little Rudi, Mr Budro and Miss Millie Mouse on the boat.

It was an absolutely wonderful day, but we were all glad when we hit the mainland again, and it was time to head home.

Looking up at the dock from the boat.

Looking up at the dock from the boat.

We would highly recommend Hardy Boat Cruises for anyone taking dogs on any of the many ferry trips and cruises they offer. Not only are they dog friendly, but the crew seemed genuinely interested in how our pups were liking their trip. (And we got several comments on their matching fleece jackets.) You can find Hardy Boat Cruises at http://www.hardyboat.com.

NOTE: My apologies for the quality of my photos. These all came off my Blackberry, which is good for quick shots, but obviously doesn’t take crisp, clear photos.

John’s 10 year old camera is bulky and outdated, but practically indestructible… and the quality is phenomenal as these pictures show.

JKS 1
JKS 2

———————–
If you love animals the way we love animals, we hope you’ll get involved with The Maine Pet Expos.
Next year (2014), we will produce three pet shows, the Greater Portland Pet Expo on June 5-6 at Seasons Conference Center (off Exit 48); the Greater Bangor Pet Expo on September 12-13 at the Cross Insurance Conference Center in Bangor, and the Greater Androscoggin Pet Expo on September 26-27 at the Lewiston Armory on Central Avenue.
FMI: Please join our discussion group on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MainePetExpos, and “like” our page: https://www.facebook.com/themainepetexpos. You can also follow our Maine Pet Expos blog at http://mainepetexpos.com.
For exhibit booth, sponsorship, show program advertising, workshops, Designated Non-Profit, and volunteer information, please contact Linda at LSnyder (at) regroupbiz (dot) com. As we get a bit closer, you’ll be able to find exhibitors, sponsors, advertisers and attendee information on eventbrite.com
We’re also slowly working on developing a non-profit to raise funds for animal rescues – AARF – Animal Activist and Resource Fund. You can read more about AARF at https://www.facebook.com/AARF.AnimalActivistResourceFund.
We foster dogs through two rescue organizations (Maine Lab Rescue and The Pixel Fund), and collect donations for several rescues. For more information on either of these efforts, please contact Linda at LSnyder (at) regroupbiz (dot) com.
Welcome to our world!

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