Your Guide to Boating in the Lakes Region 2014 Edition
Sail Away page 11 Getting Out Page 14 Dine by Boat page 22 Summer Plans page 32 Mail Bonding page 34 Fish Finder page 38
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Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 1
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4 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
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Finding the Fish: By Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
f you want a great fishing experience in the Lakes Region, you have to know where to go to catch your choice of trout, salmon, and other fish. If you do not know the best fishing spots on Lake Winnipesaukee or if you have never fished before but would like to try it, booking a charter is a great way to solve your dilemma. If that charter guide just happens to have grown up fishing on Lake Winnipesaukee while spending summers at his family’s island summer fishing camp, so much the better. Glen Leathers, the owner of Island Fishing Charters, knows the lake exceptionally well and offers charters for the seasoned and beginners in the sport of fishing. The name of the business is a nod to the fact that he spent sum-
mers living with family at a rustic fishing cottage on Cow Island. “We still have that camp and it is where I learned to fish. I grew up fishing on Winnipesaukee,” Glen says. Glen is a third-generation Winnipesaukee fisherman; his grandfather and father and other family members were great fishermen and loved to spend time in the 1960s on that island summer camp. Fishing was a favorite pastime enjoyed by everyone in the family. After retiring from a career as a firefighter, Glen moved to Meredith and found himself fishing a lot. He decided to turn his knowledge of the lake and fishing into a fishing charter business, and he has been very successful. Island Fishing Charters docks at Meredith Marina and it is from that spot that he takes eager fishing enthusiasts out onto the lake
GILFORD- $59,900. Large 38x13’ dock available at a full service facility, all the amenities needed for summer enjoyment on Winnipesaukee. 2 bath houses, 2 beaches, playground area, gas & pump outs.
MEREDITH- $175,000. Residential building lot with dock in Lake Ridge on Meredith Bay. Views of lake & mountains, underground utilities, private pool & storage lockers.
GILFORD- $595,000. Need more space to store trucks, cars & boats; this restored Antique cape has a beautiful 2-story barn with 4 bays & another garage/warehouse spread out on 3 country acres with a pond. Gorgeous granite kitchen with brick fireplace, hardwood floors, 4 bedrooms & 3 Baths.
ALTON - $625,000. Build your lake house here. Septic, well & dock installed, foundation in for a 4-bedroom, 4000 sq. ft. home with a 2-car garage. Current plans available or have your architect change to suit your needs. 157’ on Winnipesaukee & a sandy beach.
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ALTON - $895,000. Extremely well built home with guest house & 3-car garage on 2 separate lots. 1.46 acres with end of road privacy. 190’ of waterfront, spectacular views & a Boathouse with newer dock. Main house has a brick fireplace, custom cabinets, many built-ins & a huge deck.
MEREDITH- $990,000. Gorgeous views from almost every room of this spacious Winnipesaukee waterfront home. 3 Bedrooms, 3 baths, den, family room, living room with stone fireplace, sunroom & 1st floor master suite with fireplace. Large private deck, garage & many extras!
MOULTONBORO - $2,190,000. 2 separate contiguous waterfront lots & a small island on Winnipesaukee. There is a seasonal cottage, natural sandy beach, permanent dock & a huge building envelope for new house. Expired septic design also available. A total of 4.07 acres with 847 feet of waterfront.
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www.ellenmulligan.com Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 5
Really take care of yourself this summer, dock here. We have a few slips left for the 2014 season
Photo courtesy Glen Leathers, Island Fishing Charters
for a morning or afternoon of great fishing. “I get excited every time I fish. I found it exciting as a kid and it has never changed,” Glen says. “Being a professional fishing guide is about teaching people how to fish and making vacationers aware that they can, indeed, catch landlocked salmon on Lake Winnipesaukee.” Talk to Glen for a while and you will discover that Island Fishing Charters is about so much more than simply going out for a few hours of fishing. It is about teaching and conservation and making sure those on the lake understand the fragile ecosystem. Some of Glen’s charter clients want to go out to catch salmon and lake and rainbow trout, fish that thrive in the deeper, colder lake water. Some want to learn how to catch those fish themselves so they can continue to fish in the future. Others are families vacationing in the Lakes Region, looking for something fun and unique to do. “Going out with a guide is a great way to fish,” Glen said. “You can learn more in one day of fishing with a charter than in an entire season fishing on your own.” While many people want to go out to fish for salmon or trout, Glen also offers charters to fish for bass, perch, and other types of fish. With his knowledge of the lake, he knows where to go to catch the various fish varieties. “I am out there fishing from ice-out ’til the day the season closes in September. I live here and I know all the things that make fishing change on a daily basis, such as weather.”
Published by Smiley Publishing Group LLC, P.O. Box 119 Wolfeboro Falls, NH 03896 | 603-569-5257 | thelaker.com
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Publishers of home, The Laker and Dining Out in the Lakes Region.
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© 2014 All Rights Reserved. No reproduction in part or whole without express written consent. Cover Photo Courtesy of Bill Hemmel/ http://www.lakesregionaerials.com
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6 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 7
shire fishing guide license which includes written and oral and practical tests. Glen is required to be a commercial boat operator and, to do so, he passed a test with the NH Marine Patrol. His boat is subject to manual inspection for all safety equipment. After passing the necessary tests and getting licensed, Glen obtained insurance and was set to run fishing charters. Now in its seventh season, Island Fishing Charters is especially busy at the height of the summer season. “I currently have a sizeable client base and we are already getting calls and bookings for this coming summer,” he said when interviewed in early April. Vacationers love to take fishing charters and Glen is busy every day in July and August. Fishing clients can be anyone from groups of men and women fishing enthusiasts to families with children. “Children love fishing, and they are very teachable,” Glen explains. The fishing trips run for about five hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. Those who book a charter must have a fishing license; if they do not have one, Glen can help them obtain Photo courtesy Glen Leathers, Island Fishing Charters
The weather does affect fishing conditions. For example, the water temperature affects cold-water fishing. As the weather gets warmer (and along with it, the water temperature), some fish go deeper to reach cold water. Glen uses the best safety practices and monitors the weather, and he will not go out if the weather is bad or predicted to be bad. “I started Island Fishing Charters part-time while I was still a firefighter. In 2009, I retired and started to run the business full-time. I run charters from April through September. It is really more than those months, however, when I figure in boat maintenance, marketing the business at boat shows, and other tasks. It really is more like a10-month job.” Glen says he got a taste of the joys of running fishing charters when he was a child. He saw his father and grandfather taking others out fishing. He witnessed first-hand the joy that teaching others about fishing brings to people. In order to run charters, Glen obtained a State of New Hamp-
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the necessary license. Glen has all the bait and tackle, from 12 to 20 rods on the boat as well as lures, flies, and live bait. “Sometimes fishing is great nearby and we catch there and then go elsewhere so clients can see the lake. I know a lot of island and lake history and I love to share it with others.” Island Fishing Charters takes out a maximum of five clients per charter. The boat is a 22.5-foot Starcraft Islander and is a very stable and comfortable fishing platform with an enclosed cuddy cabin to get out of the weather (and with a private head). It has all required US Coast Guard safety equipment and is inspected by the NH Marine Patrol. Rules are strictly followed when it comes to how many fish can be caught. Some clients choose to keep a few fish for an evening supper but others staying in hotels or motels with no kitchen facilities may take a few fish for a beach barbecue if they have a grill.
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Glen is a great spokesman for conservation of natural resources and he promotes sound fish-handling with his clients. After catching fish, if they are not to be kept, Glen practices methods to get the fish back into the water as quickly as possible to avoid trauma to the salmon, trout, and other fish. Although busy in the summer, Glen begins to take out charters once the ice goes off the lake. At that time, it is mostly sportsmen booking his services. “Some people just love to fish and don’t have a boat or want to get a boat.” Later in the summer, clients are often families on vacation looking for something fun and unique to do. “I’ve had trips of all women and also people from other countries. I love fishing with Englishmen and -women because they are very polite, optimistic, and eager to learn about fishing,” says Glen. Glen adds that a charter is the best possible way to learn about fishing, even if the client just wants to fish for a few hours and has never held a fishing pole before. “You will learn a ton on a charter because we love to talk about fishing. We try to make the most out of every fish; this is a small and fragile resource and we do have to be careful with it.” That means that, if clients want to keep a fish now and then, Glen must make a choice of which fish to keep and which to put back, such as not keeping a female salmon full of eggs. Glen plans to continue running Island Fishing Charters for years to come and has some big dreams. One particular dream is to find a way to offer fishing charters to those who otherwise could not get out on the lake, such as disabled people. It is a big dream and will take time to realize, but for a guy who has made a childhood dream of living a life where he can fish every day, it just may someday be a realized dream. For more information on Island Fishing Charters, call Glen at 603-493-7559 or visit www.islandfishingcharters.com.
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10 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
t is apparent in the faces of the youngsters who take to the water for the first time in a sailboat, without an adult on board. Sailing is fun, and they can do it! The Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association has been giving youth sailboat lessons since 1988, and this year will be expanding the sailing school’s offerings to include youths from seven to 18 years of age. Director Anthony Sperazzo said the school provides 250 student-weeks of instruction each summer (some students participating for multiple weeks) and has taught more than 2,200 sailors during the program’s existence. With the purchase of a .75-acre lot adjacent to its historical location at Fay’s Boat Yard in Gilford, the non-profit association plans to expand its offerings with a long-term goal of adding adaptive sailing for those with disabilities. Since its inception, the LWSA has provided recreational and competitive sailing opportunities as well as the instructional component. Each year, the association sponsors a sailing regatta which last year attracted a record 30 sailboats. Sailing clubs from Lake Sunapee, the University of New Hampshire, and Northern Lake George are among the regatta participants. LWSA also participates in the regattas that others put on. But it all begins with the youth sailors. The sailing school provides a half-day program for seven-year-olds, then Level I and II classes for those 8 - 10; and Level I, II, and III for those 11 - 16. New this year, the program is offering keelboat sailing clinics to those 16 - 18 — ages the association formerly did not serve. “We wanted to keep these kids we were losing,” said Sperazzo. That class is taught on 23-foot Sonar keelboats, going over skills learned in prior classes, such as navigation and chart reading, weather, compass
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readings, identifying marks and hazards on the water, boat handling, spinnaker handling, seamanship, and anchoring, along with more advanced skills. The youths start out in Optimist sailing dinghies — small, eight-foot boats which work well as instructional boats. Older students also get experience in twoperson Vanguard 420 sailing dinghies which are 14 feet in length. Instruction begins in the classroom but quickly moves onto the water to grab the students’ interest and to build their self-confidence right away. They learn sailor’s knots in order to rig, sail, and steer their boats. Prior to owning their own land this year, the association staff has been able to utilize Fay’s Boat Yard for the program. Situated on a protected area of Smith Cove, they are able to work within the cove when the wind is too strong to venture out on the Big Lake. The new property sits adjacent to Fay’s so they still have that protected area to conduct classes regardless of the weather. The association will be converting a house on the new property into classroom and office space, but the lot already is right on the water, making it a perfect spot to continue and expand the existing program.
Many of the students who go through the program remain with the sailing school as junior instructors and, eventually, full-time paid staff members. “We have a phenomenal staff,” Sperazzo said, “most of them coming back each year.” There are six full-time instructors and five junior instructors for the sailing classes. Before they can teach, instructors have to gain certification from US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing. To gain certification, the instructors must demonstrate sailing and teaching ability as well as completing safety awareness training. While the youth sailing program is a major focus of the LWSA, it is not just for children. The association also offers adult classes in sailing on Meredith Bay, in association with Mill Falls and Ekal. It also offers private instruction for adults and children. Al Posnack, chair of the Youth Sailing Committee, said, “As a nonprofit, we see our role as introducing the sport of sailing to as many as possible. With our own property now, we have more flexibility to do even more.” The regattas provide the next step for sailors wanting to go into racing. The LWSA sends students on to “ladder events” in which
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they can compete in regional, state, and national championships. Some of those students have gone on to become world-class racers and one crewed on an America’s Cup boat in Australia. Others have simply made sailing an important part of their lives. Posnack said it is gratifying to see students gain confidence and take what they have learned into their adult lives. Many of the students now own their own boats, or bring their families into sailing. He also noted that the association offers scholarships to see that no one misses the opportunity to sail because of the cost of instruction. Through cash donations and the donation of boats which the association can sell, as well as some grant funding, the LWSA is able to provide partial or full scholarships to those who want to take part. “We want to get kids out on the water,” Posnack said. For further information on the Lake Winnipesaukee Sailing Association, go to www.lwsa.org, call 603-589-1177, or email sailing2014:Layout 2 3/19/14 3:41 PM Page 2 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Getting Out on the Lake… Why do so many people come to the Lakes Region for vacations? Yes, it’s the mountains and the many fun things to do from hiking to swimming to shopping and dining. But one of the major reasons people return to the area year after year for vacationing is the wonderful lakes. From big Winnipesaukee to more intimate area lakes, boating fun attracts many to vacation in the area. Whether you are a newcomer to the Lakes Region or a returning vacationer, there is no reason to forego boating in the area if you do not own a boat, canoe, or kayak. There are many marinas offering boat rentals of all kinds, catering to everyone from canoe-lovers to power boat enthusiasts. At Canoe King on Route 16 in Tamworth, water-lovers can rent canoes, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. “We have been in business over 50 years; we were the original canoe rental company when we started in North Conway,” says Mitch Gordon, owner of Canoe King. “We have been located in Ossipee since 1999.” Canoe King rents Olde Town Canoes and has enough of them to rent to vacationers by the day or week. Mitch says many of those who rent are vacationing at campgrounds (the Bearcamp River is close by). Canoe King offers a shuttle service for the river trip and to many of the local lakes. If renters would like to take the canoe or kayak on their vehicle, Canoe King will provide a car-top carrier. Some of those who rent are experienced boaters, but many are
new to boating. No license is required to rent canoes or kayaks, but Canoe King insists that renters be strong swimmers. The company does not rent to those under 18 years of age. (All rentals come with life jackets and paddles.) For further information, call 603-323-7442. Goodhue Hawkins on Sewall Road in Wolfeboro rents Cobalt Bow Riders (20 - 26 ft.) and Pontoon boats in 18 and 25-foot sizes. The good news for those who wish to rent a boat or pontoon is that, when renting boats under 25 horsepower engines, no boating license is needed in New Hampshire. For anything at 25 hp or above, a boating license is required. Should potential renters not have a boating license, they can take a test right at Goodhue Hawkins (and other marinas) and obtain a temporary boating safety certificate that will allow them to rent the boat they have been dreaming of taking out on the lake. Says Steve Durgan, general manager at Goodhue Hawkins, “We have been renting boats since about 1984. The most popular boats we rent are 21-foot Cobalts. All our rental boats are new this year and we get very busy in the summer months.” Rentals are by the day or week and Steve suggests that those wishing to rent a boat book well in advance. “Families vacationing at cottages in the area book their boat rentals early. We also offer a discount of 50 percent for those renting a boat prior to June 15 and also after Labor Day.” Goodhue Hawkins gives all boat and pontoon renters a lake chart
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…If You Don’t Own a Boat to help them acclimate to Winnipesaukee. Boat renters can keep the boat at the Goodhue dock or at a dock where they are vacationing. Call 603-569-2371 for rental details. Irwin Marine, located at 958 Union Avenue in Laconia, is a bustling place. Parts rental manager Shawn Minor explains that Irwin welcomes those who wish to rent a boat. The marina offers rentals of runabouts, pontoons, and Bowriders. “The most popular boat we rent is the 21-foot Bowrider and the 23-foot-long pontoon boat,” says Shawn. Most rentals take place between Memorial Day and Labor Day with all kinds of people coming in to rent a boat in order to enjoy the lake. Irwin will deliver the rental to the docks where the renter is vacationing, which offers an added convenience. “For example,” says Shawn, “last summer we had a family that rented a runabout for a half-week and a pontoon for the other half of the week and we delivered to their vacation site.” Irwin rents by the half-day, day, or a five-day rental from their Union Avenue location, which is where renters can pick up the boat for a day (or longer) of fun on the water. “The five-day rental seems to be a popular option,” adds Shawn. The most popular boats in Irwin’s rental fleet are the Sea Ray 205 Sports, seating up to eight people. All boats in the fleet are 2011 or newer, making for smooth riding on the water. Concerning the boat license rules, Shawn says, “Most boat rental
places are allowed by the state of New Hampshire to administer the test to obtain a temporary boating license. If you pass the test, you can use it to operate a boat for up to two weeks, once annually.” Shawn mentions a family from another state that rents a boat from Irwin each year. They are happy to take the boating test each year in order to rent and operate a boat to make their vacation experience in the Lakes Region perfect. It fits their needs to operate a boat while on vacation without the hassles and responsibilities of owning a boat. Call Irwin Marine for boat rental information at 603-524-6661. At Fay’s Boat Yard, located at 71 Varney Point Road in Gilford, vacationers can rent by the half-day, day, and week. Fay’s has canoes, kayaks, sailboats, fishing boats, sport boats, and pontoon boats in their rental fleet. “We have been booking already [as of early April],” says store manager Kelly. She adds that, as soon as there is some water on the lake after ice-out, they begin to rent boats, although most rentals occur during the busy summer months. “We have a diverse group of people that rent boats from Fay’s,” she adds. “Some are families, some fishermen and others. We offer a temporary, 14-day boating license that renters can get after taking the small boating test for operating anything over 25 horsepower.” Call 603-293-8000 for further details. Those who are in the Alton Bay area can stop by Andrew’s Ma-
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rine Service to rent a boat. The marina has BowRiders and pontoon boats and has been renting to the public for many years. “Most of those we rent to are vacationing families,” says Debbie, office manager at Andrew’s. “People can rent by the day or week.” As with many boat rental businesses, Andrew’s includes a navigational chart and life jackets with every boat they rent. Rentals are offered from the Minge Cove Alton Bay location, where BowRiders from 19 to 24 feet are available, as well as pontoon boats. Andrew’s also offers rentals from Wolfeboro Corinthian Yacht Club in Wolfeboro, with 19- to 21-foot BowRiders available. Call 603-875-0654 for information. Meredith Marina, located off Route 3 in downtown Meredith, has been renting boats for about 20 years. According to sales manager Chris Templeton, many of those renting boats are families on vacation who want the experience and fun of getting out on the lake but
do not have their own boat. “We also have some island renters,” he adds. Those who rent a boat at Meredith Marina can leave their car on the property while they are out on the lake. All rentals are handled from the Meredith location and boats are rented by the day, week, or month, depending upon the needs of the customer. Most rentals take place during the busy summer months, although Chris says leaf-peepers will rent boats to get a lake view of the area’s gorgeous fall foliage. Meredith Marina offers Hurricane Deck Boats, Sting Ray BowRiders, and Sweetwater Pontoon boats. Most boats are 18 to 23 feet. Call 603-279-7921 for rental information. At Shep Brown’s Boat Basin on Lovejoy Sands Road in Meredith, boats can be rented by the day or week(s); there is a discount if renting for seven days or more. Rentals are for Lake Winnipesaukee
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and those who rent a boat can park their cars on the marina’s property and take the boat from the Shep Brown dock. The Monterey Bowriders are popular rental options at Shep Brown’s because many people like to tow skis or tubes for water fun. The Bowriders come in 19 to 23 feet. Other options are pontoons (brand new) or a Boston Whaler or aluminum fishing boat. Call Shep Brown’s Boat Basin at 603-279-4573 for rental information. At Channel Marine, located on Channel Lane in Weirs Beach, coowner Vin Mullarkey says they rent three types of boats: pontoon, fiberglass runabouts, and personal watercraft. “We have Bennington Pontoon Boats and they are very popular,” said Vin. Boaters can do many things with the popular pontoons, from anchoring at a favorite sandbar and enjoying a day in the water with a group to water tubing. Pontoons have become a floating living room for many. Channel Marine rents boats by the half-day, day, or longer, with a five-day or longer special. For information on renting, call 603366-4801. Melvin Village is a pretty community that remains tranquil throughout the year. In the summer months, those who wish to rent a boat in the area come to Melvin Village Marina. According to Matt Galvin, sales, many people who rent boats love tubing and/ or water skiing. The Harris FloteBote Pontoon Boats are great for tubing and the marina’s three tube pontoons are very popular with boat renters. “We also have 19- and 21-foot Four Winns Runabouts and an 18foot pontoon — boaters do not need a boating certificate to operate the 18-foot pontoon,” says Matt. Melvin Village Marina adds new boats to the rental fleet each year and boats are 2012 or newer. “We rent by the day or week or for
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longer. Last year, we had a vacationing family that rented a boat for a few three-week blocks,” said Matt. What is the most popular boat that Melvin Village Marina rents? Matt says, “The Four Winns 21-footer because it has the power. Winnipesaukee is a big lake and the Four Winns can easily get boaters where they want to go.” The marina will deliver boats to renters on other nearby lakes for an additional fee. Call 603-544-3583 for information. Thurston’s Marina has been a Weirs Beach/Lakes Region fixture for many years and, if anyone knows boats, it is Don Thurston, owner/partner at the marina. Don oversees boat rentals at the busy marina and says many families on vacation stop by to rent a boat to make their stay even more enjoyable. “We get a lot of repeat renters,” he said. “They build their vacation around getting their boat rental and they often book a year in advance.” The Thurston’s Marina rental fleet includes deck boats and pontoons (Don says among these is a 23-foot pontoon with triple pontoons.) “All our rental boats are brand new and high-quality and we have a large fleet,” he adds. Thurston’s offers dock space on site for those who need a place to tie up their boat if renting multiple days. There is a huge car parking lot so boaters can simply park on-site, rent a boat, and get out on the lake. Rentals are for days, multiple days, or weeks. “Pontoons are very popular to rent because people can tube behind a pontoon. Others want a power boat so they can waterski all day,” adds Don. Although renting a boat is an expense, Don says renters know it is a great, less-expensive option for those who want to enjoy the lake but do not want the hassle or greater expense of owning a boat. For boat rental information at Thurston’s Marina, call 603-366-4811.
Anchor Marine, located at the Winnipesaukee Pier at Weirs Beach, is in the heart of the vacation boating action. They have many boats available to suit a variety of boating needs. Rentals are for two-, four-, or eight-hour periods, with special weekly rates. Gift certificates offer a unique and wonderful gift for someone planning a Lakes Region vacation. In the fleet of rental boats are pontoons, Bowriders, and deck boats in a variety of sizes. Call 603366-4311 for information. Lakeside Boat Rentals, located at the Bay Side Inn on Route 11D in Alton Bay, offers a variety of boats to the public for rental. Says Stephen Rogers, co-owner, “All our watercraft are brand new and we offer pontoons, deck, and Bowriders, and we also rent jet skis by the hour.” Boat rentals are for a day, week, or longer; and there is a special: Rent a boat for five days and get the sixth day free. “We start getting very busy with boat rentals around Bike Week in mid-June and it stays busy until at least Labor Day,” Stephen said. His opinion is that the lake is still beautiful, with great weather, right into September and boats are still available for rental well after Labor Day. Lakeside Boat Rentals also offers rentals of tubes and waterskis for those that do not own their own equipment. Stephen knows the lake very well and spends a good amount of time with each renter to go over the boat, explaining all about the lake and great places boat renters might wish to visit. Families and couples often rent from Lakeside Boat Rentals and Stephen can administer the temporary New Hampshire boating license test right at the Bay Side Inn, should boat renters not have a boating license for the Granite State. For further information, call 603-875-5005.
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www.LakesRegionLuxury.com 15 Railroad Avenue • Wolfeboro, NH 03894 • 800-726-0480 18 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
Dining on the Lake By Thomas P. Caldwell
While spending a day relaxing on the water, it’s not uncommon to pack snacks or prepare a meal in the galley; but sometimes it’s nicer to go to shore for food. Whether for light fare and drinks during a break or to mark the end of a beautiful summer’s day with a full meal, there are plenty of places to dine that are convenient to the water, many of them with lakeside docks for convenience. And what better way to show off your boat than to dine on the shore and compare the vessels docked there? There is an opportunity to share stories and tips with strangers, or to pick up ideas for your next excursion or next purchase. A favorite spot for boaters in Alton Bay is Shibley’s at the Pier; or they may want to go to the nearby town docks to enjoy casual dining at Shibley’s for lunch and dinner. Call 603-875-3636. Conveniently across the street from the Pier is Shibley’s Soft and Hard Ice Cream, also offering burgers and seafood. Also a short walk from the town docks, and directly across the street from Shibley’s Ice Cream, is the Olde Bay Diner, serving hearty breakfasts and lunches. Call ahead for hours at 875-3700. Limited boat docking is available at Sandy Point Restaurant at 186 Mount Major Highway, Alton Bay. Specializing in lobster, Sandy Point serves lunch, and dinner during the summer months. Call 875-6001. Pop’s Clam Shell Restaurant on Route 11, Alton Bay, serves
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Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 19
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burgers, fries, and seafood and it’s just across the street from the water. Pop’s offers indoor and rooftop dining with great views of the bay, allowing boaters to dine there or do carry-out and take their food back to their boats. Call 875-6363. A quick walk from the Alton Bay Town Docks is J.P. China Restaurant, at 403 Main St., serving Chinese cuisine on the premises or for take-out. Call 875-8899. Amilyne’s Corner Market, Bakery & Deli in Alton Bay has fresh take-outs, including sandwiches and soups. The bakery can provide pastries or cakes for your boat party. Call 875-8888. To get to the River Run Deli, boaters will need a car, but the River Run, just off the traffic circle on Route 28, Alton, offers wraps, pasta, potato salads, and desserts — as well as renting kayaks. Soft-serve ice cream is on the menu during the summer, and River Run offers special party platters for large groups. Call 875-1000. On Main Street in downtown Alton, Fiddlehead Farms (8552006) offers gourmet groceries; while Alton Village Pizza (8757333) offers pizza to go; and Ackerly’s Grill & Galley (875-3383) offers fresh New England Seafood, and hand-cut steaks for lunch and dinner. A convenient place for those boating to Wolfeboro is the Bayside Grill & Tavern at 51 Mill St. Offering private dock space just outside, the restaurant also has a waterfront patio and a main dining room that can accommodate up to 60 people. If the private dock is full, the Bayside is within walking distance of the Wolfeboro Town Docks. Serving lunch and dinner, the atmosphere is casually elegant. Call 515-1002 for more information. Also close to docking is Nolan’s Brick Oven Bistro, at 39 North Main Street. Featuring hand-tossed brick oven pizza and italian dishes 515-1028. Another place to dock and stay is the Wolfeboro Inn at 90 N. Main St. The inn has docking for its guests on a first-come, first-served basis. There is outside dining with lake views and the inn offers breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in Wolfe’s Tavern. Call 569-3016. Boat docking also is available at the Wolfetrap Grill and Raw Bar, 19 Bay St., Wolfeboro. Specializing in seafood, the restaurant has inside and outside seating. Call 569-1047. For great waterfront dining at lunch and dinner, Garwood’s Restaurant and Pub at 6 North Main St., Wolfeboro, also offers docking. There are great lake views from the waterfront lounge. Call 569-7788. The Wolfeboro Dockside Grille offers seafood, sandwiches, and desserts, including ice cream, at the town docks where, during the summer, one can take in outdoor concerts and fireworks. Call the Dockside Grille at 569-1910. Those who tie up at the Wolfeboro Town Docks are likely to come across Hot Dog Bob with his little cart, offering sausages, hot dogs, and drinks during the summer. Even if not offering on-site docking, there are number of restaurants within walking distance of the docks, including The Restaurant 03894 at 37 N. Main St., Wolfeboro, serving casual lunch and dinner. Call 569-3000. A short walk from the the town docks is El Centenario Mexican Restaurant 14 Union st. Serving authenic Mexican food the house special is tableside guacamole 569-3445. Also serving breakfast and lunch daily is the Strawberry Patch Restaurant at 50 N. Main St., Wolfeboro. Call 569-5523. Jo Green’s Garden Café at 27 South Main St., Wolfeboro, has indoor and outdoor dining with everything from pizza to seafood to pasta and salads. The full bar also is famous for its frozen drinks. Upstairs, the Upper Deck Pub and Game Rooms are open for lunch and dinner, offering relaxed dining with views
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20 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
of the lake. There is even an opportunity for pool or a game of darts. Call 569-8668. The Full Belli Deli, located not far from the town docks at 15 Mill St., serves lunch daily. Call 569-1955. The Downtown Grille Café, at 33 South Main St., offers breakfast and lunch. Call 569-4504. In the Gilford/West Alton area, boaters can dock at the Ames Farm Inn on Route 11, although they are encouraged to call ahead at 2934321 to check out dock availability. The Ames Farm Inn offers homemade breakfasts and lunches from June through Labor Day. Just a few steps from the Glendale Town Docks is the Lyon’s Den Restaurant and Tavern, serving lunch and dinner yearround. Call 293-8833. With boat docking on the Weirs Channel, Donna Jean’s Diner at 1208 Weirs Blvd., Weirs Beach, offers breakfast and lunch with all items available for take-out. Call 366-5996. The Naswa Resort in Weirs Beach has dock facilities and outdoor dining at the Naz-Bar and Grill, as well as casual indoor dining, with drinks, sandwiches, and appetizers available. The restaurant and outdoor bar are open Memorial Day through October. When the weather turns chilly, the Naswa fires up the outdoor heaters so the fun can continue into the fall at the waterfront bar. A giant tent protects the Naz-Bar and Grill customers on rainy days. Call 366-4341. A short walk from the Weirs Beach town docks opens up a world of dining opportunities ranging from pizza on the boardwalk to Mexican plates at the Crazy Gringo on the Boulevard.
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Tower Hill Tavern on Lakeside Avenue in Weirs Beach offers pizza, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. Call 366-9100. The Weirs Beach Lobster Pound serves lunch and dinner, with deck dining in the warmer months. The Weathervane Seafood Restaurant on Lakeside Avenue features a “lobster in the rough” menu from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with sandwiches, dinners, and appetizers. Call 3669101. Liliuokalani’s Ice Cream at 956 Weirs Boulevard serves all kinds of ice cream and desserts, along with hot dogs, clams, and other food, with tables in a picnic grove and a patio bar. There is limited docking space there, so calling ahead is advisable: 366-9323.
Christmas Island Steak House, at 644 Weirs Blvd., Laconia, has limited boat docking; call ahead at 366-4664. Christmas Island serves dinner nightly, specializing in prime rib, steak, seafood, and lobster. Meredith offers many opportunities to pick up meals by boat, with the Common Man family of restaurants including the Town Dock Restaurant at 289 Daniel Webster Hwy., and the Lakehouse at Church Landing on Route 3. The Lakeside Deli offers specialty sandwiches, salads, homemade soups, and daily specials, with dine-in and take-out options. Serving lunch and dinner, the restaurant also offers dockside delivery to the public docks in Meredith. Call
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22 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
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24 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
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677-7132. The Town Dock Restaurant offers outdoor seating, free tieups for those who come by boat, and a sandy outdoor Tiki Bar. The restaurant serves seafood, burgers, hot dogs, salads, and ice cream. Call 279-3445. The Lakehouse serves continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a sumptuous Sunday brunch. Drinks are served in the Lakehouse lounge. Call 279-5221. A short distance from the Meredith Town Docks, Lago on Meredith Bay features a lounge, waterfront seating, and patio dining during warm weather. Call 279-2253. Across the street from the Meredith Town Docks, Camp restaurant is located inside the Chase House at Mill Falls. Call 2793003. Giuseppe’s Showtime Pizzeria (279-3313), located inside Mill Falls Markeplace, offers great pizza, while the Waterfall Café (677-8631), also at the Marketplace, serves breakfast and lunch. Or, for ice cream, stop in at Ben and Jerry’s (279-2200). Continuing up to Main Street, Meredith, there is no shortage of places to eat. Sunshine and Pa’s (279-5280) offers breakfast and lunch; Plum Crazy Pizza (279-0002) has established a reputation for its gourmet pizza; Taylor’s Country Style Restaurant (279-8175) offers both new and traditional American food, including hot dogs, burgers, pizza, seafood, and sandwiches; Frog Rock Tavern (677-7625) serves burgers, sandwiches, and dishes ranging from meatloaf to fettucini; Phu Jee (279-1129) features Chinese food; and Kara’s Café & Cakery (279-8822) offers coffee, baked goods, and lunches with a comfortable lounge area with fireplace and easy chairs. George’s Diner (279--8723) on Plymouth Street is known for homemade baked goods, burgers, sandwiches, and dinners;
while Mame’s Restaurant (279-4631), located in a historic, restored brick home on Plymouth Street, offers tasty dinners and casual lunches. Flurries, at 41 Route 25, Meredith, offers everything from homemade ice cream to fish, lobster rolls, and burgers. Call 279-5554. Boaters craving a hearty breakast in Center Harbor can park at the town docks and take a five-minute walk to the Center Harbor Diner on Route 25. The diner is open year-round for breakfast and lunch. Call 253-9881. Lavinia’s on Route 25, Center Harbor, has an extensive dinner menu that includes steak, seafood, and specialty dishes. Call 253-8617. Canoe A Restaurant and Tavern on Route 25 serves lunch and dinner indoors and on the porch and patio. There is a complimentary shuttle service between the restaurant and the town docks, making it convenient for boaters; and the restaurant offers meal delivery to the docks; call 253-4762. Winnipesaukee Bay Gulls, located across Route 25 from the town docks in Center Harbor, serves breakfast and lunch yearround. Call 253-3177. The Bay at 25 Main St., Center Harbor, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Call 677-7141. Dewey’s Ice Cream and Café, on Plymouth Street, Center Harbor, across from the town library, also serves ice cream with an extensive menu of treats as well as sandwiches and salads. Call 253-4009. This is just a sampling of the restaurants on or near boat docking. Always call ahead to the restaurant of your choice for updated information.
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Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 25
PWC Operating Rules • Wear a personal floatation device (PFD). All riders must wear a Coast Guardapproved PFD that is suitable for PWC use. • Wear protective clothing. Severe internal injuries can occur if water is forced into body cavities as a result of falling into the water or being near the jet thrust nozzle. All riders must wear a wet suit bottom or clothing that provides equivalent protection (see Owner’s Manual). Footwear, gloves, and goggles/glasses are recommended. • Know boating laws. In New Hampshire a PWC operator must be 16 years of age or older. • Attach engine shut-off cord (lanyard) to wrist and keep it free from the handlebars so that the engine stops if the operator falls off. After riding, remove cord from PWC to avoid unauthorized use by children or others. • Ride within your limits and avoid aggressive maneuvers to reduce the risk of loss of control, ejection, and collision. A PWC is a high performance boat – not a toy. Sharp turns or jumping wakes or waves can increase the risk of back/spinal injury (paralysis), facial injuries, and broken legs, ankles, and other bones. Do not jump wakes or waves. • Do not apply throttle when anyone is at rear of PWC—turn the engine off. Water and/or debris exiting jet thrust nozzle can cause severe injury. • Keep away from intake grate while engine is on. Items such as long hair, loose clothing, or PFD straps can become entangled in moving parts resulting in severe injury or drowning. • Never ride after consuming drugs or alcohol.
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• Right of way. Follow basic boating rules. Sailboats (under sail), large commercial vessels, and fishing vessels always have the right of way. Stay to the right when approaching an oncoming craft, so that it passes on your left side. When overtaking another boat, pass on the right or left, but stay clear. If you’re about to cross paths with another boat, the craft on the right has the right of way. Slow down to let the boat continue its course, then pass behind it. Even when you are sure you have the right of way, a good safety rule is to never insist on it. Always ride defensively. • Wake crossing. If your course takes you across the wake of another boat, make sure your visibility is not obstructed by that boat. Stay far enough behind it so that you can see if other traffic is coming your way. • Operating speed. Follow local regulations regarding speed limits, whether posted or not. In congested areas, lower your speed. • Passengers and guests. Never carry more than the maximum passenger load specified for your craft. If you loan your craft to a friend, make sure he or she is of legal age, knows how to operate your craft, and is fully aware of these responsible boating rules. You are responsible when you loan out your PWC. • Riding position. Passengers should hold on to the person in front of them or the handhold while keeping both feet on the deck for balance during operation or they can lose balance and be injured. Never allow a passenger to ride in front of the operator. • Maintenance. Check your craft internally and externally before you get on the water. Make sure the throttle and all switches are working properly, that fuel and battery lines are properly connected, that no fuel is leaking, and that cables and steering are functioning.
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26 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
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Love Boats? The NH Boat Museum in Wolfeboro is open for the 2014 season from Memorial Day Weekend through Columbus Day Weekend, featuring a new exhibit and many new and exciting events. Highlights of the season include an exhibit that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race which takes place each May. The race launches from Albee Beach on Lake Wentworth and ends at the Town Docks in Wolfeboro. The exhibit will trace the history of the fun and competitive race. On display will be historic canoes, photographs, race memorabilia, and video footage. On July 21 - 25, the NH Boat Museum will offer a new, one-week day camp experience for young people to help them get interested in boating. Carpenter School teacher Alicia Wingard has organized and will lead the camp, Lake Discovery! The hands-on adventure will help children discover how the lakes, rivers, and streams of Wolfeboro connect the town’s past with its future. Each day will provide enriching and fun lessons with topics covering the science and ecology of water and aquatic life, local history, arts and crafts, and children’s literature relating to the region’s waterways. The NH Boat Museum will offer several other programs for children as well, including the always-popular Youth Boat Building Program on Aug. 4-15 and the Family Boat Building Program on July 12-20. Both programs have scholarships
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available for youths and families that might not otherwise participate due to financial need. New this year will be the option of building an Optimist Sailing Dinghy during the class. The museum also will offer sailing lessons for youths, beginning June 23.
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28 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
The program is a joint offering from the museum and the Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation Department with reservations conducted through Parks and Rec. The Museum also will offer plenty of activities for adults related to boating history, boat building, and sailing. The museum’s lecture series kicks off in June with a lecture on “Angling in the Smile of the Great Spirit” followed by a lecture on “The Steamboat Chateaugay: The Earlier Life of the Mount Washington” in August. The annual Adult Boat Building Program runs July 12-20 with options of building a canoe, kayak, Bevin’s Skiff, paddleboard, or Optimist sailing dinghy. An option for those wanting to get out on our lake in a “small-scale” way is to join the Back Bay Skippers each Tuesday when they race their model yacht sailboats on Back Bay.
The Back Bay Skippers are always looking for new recruits who might find sailing and competing with radio-controlled boats a great way to enjoy sailing. Those who prefer sailing a full-sized sail boat may consider purchasing a seasonal “share” in the museum’s J24 Keel Boat. Sharing the boat is a perfect way to sail this season without the hassle of boat maintenance, insurance, or docking. To learn more about purchasing a share, visit the Town of Wolfeboro’s website at www.wolfeboronh.us. Like to get out on the water for kayaking or sailing? The museum is offering two new programs this year. On July 24, the museum will offer a guided kayak excursion on Lake Wentworth, open to all kayakers 12 and older. On Aug. 2, the museum is helping to organize a Lake Wentworth Sailing Regatta. Check out the museum website at www.nhbm.org
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to learn more about both events. The museum’s three major events for the 2014 season include the Vintage Boat Auction on July 12 during which attendees may purchase the boat of their dreams or decorative items for their home; the Aug. 9 Alton Bay Boat Show with spectacular “woodies” on display; and the Aug. 14 Boat House Tour that allows participants to tour some of the unique boat houses on the lake in a vintage motor boat. To learn more or sign up to attend, visit the museum website at www.nhbm.org under Program and Events. In addition to on-site programs and exhibits, the NH Boat Museum offers 45-minute narrated tours of Lake Winnipesaukee aboard its Millie B vintage Hacker-Craft. Launching from the Wolfeboro Town Docks, the Millie B gives hourly tours on weekends during the shoulder seasons (May - June and
September - October) and daily in July and August. The Millie B also is available for charters, for weddings, anniversaries, or other special occasions. To learn more, visit the museum website at www.nhbm.org under the Millie B section. The NH Boat Museum is open to the public for the 2014 season from Saturday, May 24, through Monday, Oct. 13. The hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and Sundays, noon - 4 p.m. The not-for-profit museum is located at 399 Center Street, Wolfeboro Falls, two miles from downtown Wolfeboro in the former Allen “A” Resort dance hall/theater building. For further information on any of these programs, contact the Museum at 603-569-4554, via email at email@example.com, via the web at www.nhbm.org, or via Facebook.
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Going Ashore... May
Great Smith River Canoe and Kayak Race, 10am – 12:45pm registration, 1:15pm Start, Albee Beach Route 28, Wolfeboro. Call 569-5454
Independence Day Fireworks. Dusk, Over Alton Bay. Call 875-0109. www.alton.nh.org
16 & 17
32nd Annual Winni Derby, Sponsored at the Laconia Rotary Club. www.winniderby.com
July 4, Fourth of July Parade, 10am, Starts at Lakeview Terrace, Wolfeboro. Call 569-2200. www.wolfeborochamber.com
17 & 18
Royal Wedding, 8 pm Sat, 2pm Sun, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. See and hear classic movies on the big screen. Call 569-9656. www.village-players.com
Fireworks, Center Harbor, Dusk, Over Center Harbor, Meredith Dusk, over Meredith Bay, Wolfeboro 9:30 p.m., Wolfeboro Bay.
24 & 26
23rd Annual Memorial Day Weekend Craft Festival, 10am-7pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun, 10-4 Mon. Mill Falls Marketplace, 312 Daniel Webster Highway, Meredith. www.castleberryfairs.com
Annie & The Orphans, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Dusk, Foss Field (Soccer filed by Back Bay) Wolfeboro. Free. www.wolfeboronh.us.
Walking Tour of Wolfeboro, 2pm, Tour starts downtown at the Chamber of Commerece (Old Train Station) Call 569-1683
On the Green 1 Arts & Crafts Festival, 10am-5pm Sat, 10am-4pm, Brewster Academy, 80 Acedemy Drive, Rt. 28 Wolfeboro. www.joycescraftshow.com
12 & 13
25th Annual Craft Fair at the Bay, 10am-5pm. Community House, 24 Mt. Major Highway, Alton Bay. www.castleberryfairs.com
July 12, Mary Maguire Band, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, Town Docks. A five piece group that weave American roots of Swing, Weastern Swing, Folk and County in the performance. Call 569-2200.
64th Annual Curly-Drew Fishing Derby, 10am, Whitten Pond on Route 109A, Tuftonboro. Call 569-9817.
ACBS Lyman Boat Show, 9am- 3pm, Town Docks, Wolfeboro. An informal, non-judged show of Lyman Boats. All other lapstrake boats are welcome. Advance registration requested. People’s Choice Awards. For more information email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annual Sasquatch Footy Regatta, 10am, Back Bay/Bridge Falls Path, Wolfeboro, Sponsored by the New Hampshire Boat Museum. Call 5694554. www.nhbm.org.
Laconia Motorcycle Week, Weirs Beach, Laconia. Rally Headquarters, Weirs Beach Boardwalk. Call 356-2000. www.laconiamcweek.com
20 Wolfeboro. Rain date Saturday. Free. www.wolfeboronh.us.
June 20, The Princess Bride, Dusk, Foss Field (Soccer filed by Back Bay)
21 & 22
Back to the Future, 8 pm Sat, 2pm Sun, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. See and hear classic movies on the big screen. Call 569-9656. www.village-players.com
27 & Fantastic Bargains. Call 569-2200. www.wolfeborochamber.com
Moonlight Madness, 5-8pm, Downtown Wolfeboro, Free Entertainment
18 boro. Rain date Saturday. Free. www.wolfeboronh.us.
Return of the Jedi, Dusk, Foss Field (Soccer filed by Back Bay) Wolfe-
Mile Band, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, 19 Country Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
19 & 20
Jaws, 8 pm Sat, 2pm Sun, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. See and hear classic movies on the big screen. Call 569-9656. www.village-players.com
25 & 26
Caught in the Net, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. Call 569-9656. www.village-players.com
26 stand, Cate Park, Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
July 26, Windham Concert Band, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Band-
26 of Commerece (Old Train Station) Call 569-1683
Walking Tour of Wolfeboro, 2pm, Tour starts downtown at the Chamber
32 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
29 of Commerce (Old Train Station) Call 569-1683
Walking Tour of Wolfeboro, 2pm, Tour starts downtown at the Chamber
Sidewalk Sale Days, 9am-6pm, Wolfeboro. Lots of Specials and entertainment. Plenty of free parking. Call 569-2200. www.wolfeborochamber.com
1 thru 3
Caught in the Net, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. Murder Mystery Comedy Call 569-9656. www.village-players.com
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Dusk, Foss Field (Soccer filed by Back Bay) Wolfeboro. Rain date Saturday. Free. www.wolfeboronh.us.
30 Cate Park, Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
Jimmy Jo & the Jumbol’Ayuhs, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
LakeFest 2014, TBA, Lake Winnipesaukee, Guinness Rematch as paddlers once again try to capture a Guinniess World Record for the largest free floating raft of canoes and kayaks. Call 369-7889. www.nhlakefest.org
8 thru 10
Aug. 8-10, On the Green II Arts & Crafts Festival, 10am-5pm Fri & Sat, 10am-4pm Sun. Brewster Academy, Rt. 28 Wolfeboro. Rain or Shine. www.joycescraftshow.com
Bedford Big Band, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
38th Annual Alton Bay Boat Show, 9am-Noon, Alton Town Docks, Alton Bay. The NHBM will present an informal, non-judged vintage boat show. All “Woodies” welcome. Call 569-4554. www.nhbm.org.
Annual Boathouse Tour, 9am and 1pm, Wolfeboro Corinthian Yacht Club or Saw Mill Marina, in Wolfeboro. Advance ticket purchase required Land tours available, by your own vehicle or antique car. Call 569-4554. www. nhbm.org Lion King, Dusk, Foss Field (Soccer filed by Back Bay) Wolfeboro. Rain
15 date Saturday. Free. www.wolfeboronh.us. 16
Southern Rail, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, Town Docks. Call 569-2200.
16 & 17
American Graffiti, 8 pm Sat, 2pm Sun, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. See and hear classic movies on the big screen. Call 569-9656. www.village-players.com
The Bel Airs, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand, Cate Park, Town Docks. Doo Wop vocal group singing best songs from the best of times. Call 569-2200.
Region 1 Footy Championship, 10am, Lily Pond, Gilford. Call 569-4554.
29 boro. Rain date Saturday. Free. www.wolfeboronh.us.
Cinderella Man, Dusk, Foss Field (Soccer filed by Back Bay) Wolfe-
The Carolyn Ramsey Band, 7pm, Wolfeboro Community Bandstand,
30 & 31
& Sept 1, 25th Annual Labor Day Weekend Craft Fair at the Bay, 10am6pm Sat, 10am-5pm Sun, 10-4 Mon. Community House, 24 Mt. Major Highway, Alton Bay. www.castleberryfairs.com
Sept. 5-14, Lee Mills Steamboat Meet, Lee’s Mills road, Moultonborough. 42nd annual, 10-day meeting of steamboats. Call 476-2224
Ongoing Cate Park Summer Band Concert, Wednesdays at 8pm, Main St., Wolfeboro. Free concert 569-2200. Sept. 20at&the 21, bandstand. Some Like Call It Hot, 8 pm Sat, 2pm Sun, Village Players Theater, 51 Glendon St. Wolfeboro. See and hear classic movies on the big screen. Call 5699656. Museum, Tuesday-Saturday 10-4, Sunday 12-4 June-Mid-September, WinLibby www.village-players.com ter Harbor, Wolfeboro. Natural history museum with representation of New England wildlife and unique items from around world. Call 569-1035. Loon Center, Monday-Saturday 9-5 year-round, Sunday 9-5 July 1- Columbus Day, Lee’s Mills Rd., Moultonboro. Offering exhibits and trails in Markus Wildlife Sanctuary. Call 476-5666. Model Yacht Sailing on Back Bay, Tuesday 1-4pm weather permitting through November, Wolfeboro. Sponsored by NH Boat Museum, weekly radio-controlled sailing sessions are open to public for participation or viewing. Boats available for visitors to try. www.nhbm.org Nightly Entertainment, Giuseppe’s Ristorante, Mill Falls Marketplace, Rte. 3, Meredith. Call 279-3313. Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, daily 9:30am-4:30pm, Now through Nov. 1, Rte. 113, Holderness. Hiking trails, live animal exhibits, displays on nature, self-guided games and activities, plus nature talks. Call 968-7194. • Calendar of Events listings are as of 4/09/2014. Dates and times subject to change. For a complete and up-to-date calendar listing, visit thelaker.com/calendar. Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 33
Delivering the Mail on the Sophie C Day Tripping By Water
Story and Photos by Kathi Caldwell-Hopper
ail delivery has been around a long time and it has meant unusual methods at times to get letters and packages to far-away locations. From Pony Express in the western United States to the iconic image of an intrepid postal worker slogging through sleet and snow on his appointed rounds, the mail always gets delivered. When it comes to getting your mail in the Lakes Region, it becomes a bit of an issue if you happen to vacation or live on a Winnipesauke island during the summer. Luckily, mail service to the islands is handled with a smooth system. For those who love boating and want a different way to spend a summer’s day, you can ride along while the mail is delivered via boat. It isn’t often I take a floating post office ride to satiate my daytripping wanderlust. That is, however, exactly what I did on a brilliantly sunny and warm summer’s day. I did not so much as stumble upon the US Mail Boat Sophie C, which docks at Weirs Beach, as make the decision ahead of time to take a ride on the boat. I am a believer in re-exploring attractions that cater to the tourism market; I live in the Lakes Region year-round and occasionally I like to see it through the eyes of a summer/ seasonal vacationer/boat lover. I wrote about the Sophie C many years ago for The Laker and I was hankering for a return ride to see the lake from this unique mode of transport. My college-age daughter, Megan, happened to be home for a few weeks and I invited her to go along. “That’s the
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boat that delivers the mail, right?” she asked, recalling taking the boat with me in the distant past. She remembered the Sophie C as a fun, childhood adventure and immediately said, “Yes, I’d like to go along.” I must advise readers, if taking the boat on a busy summer’s weekend day, to arrive early for parking. There are luckily many parking lots but the traffic is heavy at the Weirs Beach area in the summer and the mail boat must keep to a schedule. The Sophie C docks next to the most recognizable symbol of the Lakes Region, the M/S Mount Washington. You can’t miss the ticket office for the Mount on Weirs Boulevard. Sophie C tickets are sold from the same office, and then it is a brief stroll down to the docks where the vessels are docked. As we approached the Sophie C, the crew was preparing to go for the 2 p.m. mail delivery trek. Passengers were already seated on the open-air rooftop section of Sophie, clearly eager for the boat ride on the sunny, warm day. We opted to start our trip by sitting inside where a fun snack and gift shop area are offered. There was plenty of seating on charming (and comfortable) wooden benches. Windows slid open so passengers could get some cool lake air and be a bit closer to the water. The Sophie C captain for our trip was Bob Reed. From our seats, we could easily watch all that went on as the captain and crew (mail clerk Anne Nix and a deck hand named Tom) prepared to depart. Soon we were underway and the mail boat glided out over the Weirs harbor area and onto the open water. Captain Reed pointed out the islands and points of interest over a loudspeaker; this was very helpful for those who do not know the names and stories of the many Winnipesaukee islands.
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I have heard the narrative in the past, but there is so much unusual “bet-you-didn’t-know-this” current and historical information that I never tire of hearing about the islands and their stories. We were told, first of all, that the M/V (motor vessel) Sophie C is the oldest floating post office in the United States, and is the only U.S. mail boat on an inland waterway. The tradition of delivering mail on the lake dates back to 1892; the current Sophie C was built in 1945. With two mail delivery treks a day, Sophie delivers to Loon Island, Bear Island, 3 Mile Island, and East Bear Island on her morning run and to Camp Lawrence, Birch Island, Sandy Island, Cow Island, and Jolly Island on her afternoon run (this was the tour my daughter and I chose). We passed Stonedam Island and soon arrived at Bear Island, the second-largest island on Continued on page 40
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Fish Species Largemouth bass, Smallmouth bass, pickerel, yellow perch, hornpout Rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, pickerel, hornpout, yellow perch
Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, yellow perch, white perch, hornpout Salmon, lake trout, brook trout, smallmouth bass, pickerel, yellow perch, cusk, hornpout, smelt Rainbow trout, brook trout, brown trout, lake trout, small & largemouth bass, pickerel, white perch, hornpout, blue gill, smelt Largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, pickerel, yellow perch, white perch, hornpout
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23B Main Street • Meredith Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition • 39
Continued from page 36
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Winnipesaukee. Our first mail delivery was to YMCA Camp Lawrence. I noticed Anne Nix was handing over a lot of mail (in mail sacks) to a waiting camp staff member on the dock. Anne later explained to me that each island has a person in charge of getting the mail or it is put in dockside mailboxes. Next on the schedule was Perch Island where a number of islanders were waiting and socializing on the large dock area. We spent a bit of time at this stop and Anne stood on the dock, chatting with islanders. Three friendly island dogs wagged their tails and watched Anne expectantly, hoping for a treat. I was reminded of how close-knit the island families are; they live in a self-imposed, geographically intimate community and everyone knows their fellow islanders. When the Sophie C arrives, it is a chance for the island kids to get an ice cream from the snack bar on the mail boat and for everyone to chat with the Sophie C crew. We were treated to a charming tradition as the Sophie C pulled out from the dock. Two children and a man (islanders) in bathing suits dove from the pier. Sophie C crewmember, Tom, told us it’s a tradition at many of the stops for islanders to do this eye-catching dive for the entertainment of the mail boat passengers. On the Broads area of the lake, it was a bit windy but we moved to sit in outside seats nevertheless. From our open-air seats we got great views of passing boats, beautiful sailboats, and charming tiny islands. At the end of the Broads, we stopped at Sandy Island where a mail representative waited on the dock to fetch the mailbag, which was handed over by Anne. After this stop, we passed Ragged Island, owned by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust. The island is a natural habitat and is used by the
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center for research as well as being a bird sanctuary. At each stop we made, Anne was a definite magnet because she brought the mail. But it was more than that, I observed. Her energy and people-person attitude saw her repeatedly surrounded by children, adults … and even family dogs! As Anne stood on the docks of various islands, chatting with inhabitants, I was reminded of the slow pace of my childhood. Growing up in the country, the mailman might take a few minutes to chat with the people on his delivery route. The narrated tour by our captain included many interesting facts as the mail delivery route proceeded. For instance, Cow Island (once called Guernsey Island) was thus named because the first Guernsey cows brought to America were kept and bred on the Winnipesaukee island. After our stop at Cow Island, Anne took a much-needed break and sat with me to chat about delivering the mail around the lake. “I am a mail clerk hired by Winnipesaukee Flagship Corp. and I’ve been doing this job for about 13 years. My brother is Captain Jim Morash of the Winnipesaukee Flagship Corp. [the company that owns the Mount, Sophie C, and Doris E vessels]. We’ve been on the lake and around boating all our lives,” she explained, excusing herself to resume her mail delivery duties as we prepared for docking at Jolly Island. This last stop was a memorable one. The island has a fascinating history and I had once read that a group of ministers purchased it in the 1870s. Much of the island has been passed down through the families from one generation to the next. Once the mail was delivered and ice cream and postcards were sold to the islanders, Anne resumed her seat and an-
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swered more questions about her life as an islander. Anne’s family has lived on Bear Island for years. The first family cottage was built in 1896 and the family is now in its sixth generation of island property ownership. “I’ve not missed a visit to Lake Winnipesaukee in 60 years. I keep coming back to the lake; it’s in my blood, I guess! I do know a lot of people on the islands.” She explained that the Sophie C is the oldest floating post office in the United States. Aboard the floating, full-service post office, island residents may purchase postal supplies and stamps. “We follow the schedule that the old mail boats followed,” Anne commented when asked why the Sophie C makes two trips per day instead of just one trek. “The mail delivery is an island tradition; there has been a mail boat on Winnipesaukee for years. We think tradition and nostalgia is great and the passengers and islanders love the mail delivery service. Our Sophie C passengers love to get an up-close and personal glimpse into life on the islands.” As well as delivering the mail, Anne and Tom and other staff members are trained to handle the boat in the unlikely event of an emergency. Anne also is a nurse, working in the medical field the rest of the year. “I plan to continue delivering the mail as long as I can. It is physically demanding
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because the mail bags are heavy and I am on my feet all day, but I do love the job and being out on the lake!” All too soon, the mail delivery run was drawing to a close as the Weirs Beach area came into view. Before the boat ride ended, I just had to ask Anne what happened to the elderly lady I remembered waiting on the dock for her mail on one of the islands a number of years ago. The lady arrived at and stayed on her island property all summer, with grandchildren often coming to stay for a week or more. Anne said she knew exactly the islander I was referring to and smiled as she explained the lady was a favorite of the Sophie C crew. Unfortunately, that woman has passed away, but she lives on in the memory of the Sophie C crew and is a bit of a legend among the islanders. Docked once more at Weirs Beach, I really hated to leave the unique floating post office. I reflected that this was certainly a unique day trip, one that involved a boat versus a car. But it would remain in my memory as one of my top favorites of all the roads (and waters) I have explored and unusual places I have to privileged to discover. The M/V Sophie C departs from the Weirs Beach dock from Monday through Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. from midJune to mid-September. Call 603-366-BOAT for ticket information or go to www.cruisenh.com.
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Alton Town Beach, Route 28A, Alton Bay
Sunapee State Beach, Route 103, Newbury
Swim Dock, Route 11, Alton Bay Town Dock
Duncan Lake, Duncan Lake Road off Route 16, Ossipee
Wellington State Park, West Shore Road off Route 3A, Bristol
White Lake State Park, off Route 16, Tamworth
Center Harbor Town Beach, Route 25, Center Harbor
Nineteen Mile Bay Beach, Route 109, Tuftonboro
Gilford Town Beach, Varney Point Access Road
Twenty Mile Bay Beach, Route 109, Tuftonboro
Ellacoya State Park, Route 11, Gilford
Endicott Park, Route 3, Weirs Beach
Sculptured Rocks State Park, Route 3A, Groton
Plummer Ledge Natural Area, off Route 25, Wentworth
Ahern State Park, off Route 106, Laconia
Allen Albee Beach, Route 28 North, Wolfeboro
Bartlett Beach, Winnisquam Avenue, Laconia
Brewster Beach, Clark Road off South Main Street, Wolfeboro
Bond Beach, Bell Street, Laconia
Carry Beach, Forest Road off North Main Street, Wolfeboro
Opechee Park, North Main Street, Route 106, Laconia
Wentworth State Park, Route 109 East, Wolfeboro
Melvin Village Town Beach, Wharf Road off Route 109 Leavitt Park, Veasey Shore Road off Route 25, Meredith Waukewan Beach, Waukewan Street, Meredith State Landing Beach, State Landing Road off Route 109, Moultonboro Long Island Beach, Long Island Road, Moultonboro Neck
44 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
Halfmoon Lake, Alton Bow Lake, Northwood Swain’s Pond, Barrington Duncan Lake, Ossipee Alton Bay Public Boat Ramp, Route 11, Alton Bay * Newfound Lake, Bridgewater Lake Ossipee, Ossipee Downing’s Landing, 382 Main Street, Alton Bay, 875-7307 Newfound Lake, Bristol Bow Lake, Strafford Roberts Cove Basin, Roberts Cove Road off Route 28, Alton, 569-1800 Province Lake, Effingham Lake Sunapee, Sunapee Center Harbor Public Docks, Route 25, Center Harbor * Webster Lake, Franklin Mirror Lake, Tuftonboro Fay’s Boat Yard, Varney Point Road off Route 11, Gilford, 293-8000 Crystal Lake, Gilmanton Lovell Lake, Wakefield Lakeport Landing, 65 Gold Street off Route 3, Laconia, 524-3755 Lake Winnisquam Christmas Island Resort, 630 Weirs Boulevard (Route 3), Laconia, 366-4378 Newfound Lake, Hebron Little Squam, Holderness Winnisquam Shep Brown’s Boat Basin, Lovejoy Sands Road, Meredith, 279-4573 Lake Wentworth, Wolfeboro Squam Lake, Holderness Meredith Town Dock, Lovejoy Sands Road, Meredith * White Oak Pond, Holderness Meredith Town Docks, Route 3, Meredith * Paugus Bay, Laconia Harilla Landing, Long Island Road, Moultonboro Neck Silver Lake, Madison Lees Mills Landing, Lees Mills Road off Route 109, Moultonboro Milton Three Ponds, Milton Nineteen Mile Bay, Route 109, Tuftonboro * (Town Beach and Everett Cove Marina) Melvin Village, Lake Road off Route 109, Tuftonboro * Kanasatka Lake, Moultonboro Goodhue & Hawkins Navy Yard, Sewall Road, Wolfeboro, 569-2371 Merrymeeting Lake, Wolfeboro Public Docks, Main Street (Route 109), Downtown Wolfeboro * * Includes public docking facilities New Durham
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46 • Boating on the Lakes • 2014 Edition
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