Recently, another local photographer, Dave Cleaveland of Maine Imaging, invited me out on the Kennebec River on his boat for a morning of talking photography and exploring the Kennebec. Dave picked me up at the town dock in Bath just after sunrise, and we decided to head south down the river. We immediately passed Bath Iron Works, a full service shipyard that has built over 425 ships for the US Navy since 1884. It's impressive to see, as on any given day you might pass by and see Arleigh Burke -class or Zumwalt destroyers being worked on, in addition to a number of other types of ships. But Bath Iron Works isn't something that excites me photographically, so we continued on.
Lighthouses of the Kennebec River
A little further south, we came upon Doubling Point Lighthouse, a lighthouse I've photographed several times. This lighthouse marks a sharp turn in the river as you head north into Bath, standing watch on the riverbank while the keeper's house sits tucked beneath the trees. We cruised by slowly I photographed several angles, but the angle above struck me, since when I photograph it from the shore, I usually can't get the lighthouse and the keeper's house in the same shot. This lighthouse sits just across the river from where I live, and when the leaves fall off the trees, I can see it from my office window.
As we meandered further south down the river, we came upon Squirrel Point Lighthouse in Arrowsic, Maine. Squirrel Point was built around the same time as Doubling Point Lighthouse, as part of an upgrade of the Kennebec River's lighthouses, an indication of how important the river is considering the location of Bath Iron Works. I've also photographed Squirrel Point from the shore, which requires a mile hike from the parking area to get to the lighthouse. As we came downriver, the lighthouse came into view as early morning light shone on the opposite bank behind the lighthouse.
After passing Phippsburg on the West Bank and Squirrel Point on the east bank, we continued south and came upon Perkins Island Lighthouse. This was a new one for me. The lighthouse can only be seen from a boat or from the riverbank in Phippsburg. As we came by Perkins Island, I found it perched up on the ledge above the water line. The sky glowed behind it while the river remained pretty calm. It was an idyllic setting and I could imagine being the light keeper waking on a summer morning and checking the light and watching the river for traffic.
After passing Perkins Island, we came upon Fort Popham, a civil war fort at the mouth of the Kennebec River. We didn't linger here, since I don't find the fort all that photogenic all by itself. It's a cool piece of history, but it's a short, squat building and there's not much to it. We continued on past Popham Beach and Pond Island Lighthouse, until we came to Seguin Island Light. Seguin Island lies about 2.5 miles south of the mouth of the Kennebec River in the Gulf of Maine. Seguin Island is Maine's second oldest lighthouse, with Portland Head Light being the oldest. We could just see the tower peeking above the tres on the island, but below the lighthouse, at the base of an impossibly long stairway, sits a boathouse and dock. The sun was fully up by now and the day was gorgeous.
From Seguin Island we turned northeast and headed up the Sheepscot River, past Reid State Park and into Five Islands Harbor before reaching the Sasanoa River, which zigzags north of Georgetown Island before feeding into the Kennebec again, where I was dropped off back at the town dock. It was a great way to start my day and I'm grateful to Dave for taking me out.