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How I discovered a shipwreck

12/17/2012
The fishing boat "Roamer" lies in shallow water just off Highway 1A south of Bangor, Maine

The fishing boat “Roamer” lies in shallow water just off Highway 1A south of Bangor, Maine

I’ve been doing a lot of 12-15 mile bike rides around Bangor this fall. One of my favorite routes follows the Penobscot River south to a small town called Hampden.

When I first started using this route a construction project forced me to detour off the main river road, Highway 1A, and onto a parallel county road. The county road has a series of short, steep hills, bumps up against older suburban homes  and runs past a dairy farm. I use it to get to Hampden, then I turn around, and come back the same way. I kind of like the county road so I stuck with it through the fall.

Last week, on my final ride of the season, I decided to return to Bangor on Highway 1A. I wanted to inspect the now complete road project and get a look at the river road scenery.

Turns out the road crews did a nice job and I discovered a shipwreck.

As I sped down a freshly paved shoulder an odd sight caught my eye: A boat lay on its side maybe 10 yards off the river bank. I took a good, quick look at it through the scrub trees and brush. This was no Sunday afternoon pontoon boat. It looked more than 50 feet long. The boat flashed a rotting hull in miserable condition, had lost its mast and looked like the last fish it caught helped feed soldiers training for war in Vietnam. I saw the name “Roamer” on its bow.

It looked like something you’d see in a “Moby Dick” movie outtake, not in a shallow backwater just a couple of miles away from downtown Bangor.

When I got home I did a Google search on “Roamer” and Penobscot River. Here’s what came up in the Bangor Daily News archive from July, 2011: Efforts to float grounded boat fail.

More than a year later, the boat is still there, welcoming wide-eyed land lubbers like me to the swashbuckling seaport of Bangor, Maine.

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From → Bangor, Biking, Photos

4 Comments
  1. wgolinger permalink

    Forwarded your blog to timmy sinn. For tim, he sounded excited to read it. 

    Sent from my Galaxy S®III

    • Thanks O. It’ll be good to have a reader in Hawaii. Timmy will get the award for Most Distant Reader that’s for sure. How far is Maine from Hawaii?

  2. David Ferrara permalink

    Nice to hear you’re staying active! My first thought was that if they’re struggling to rescue/salvage a vessel of this size, this does not bode well for the Costa Concordia undertaking (did you see the piece on “60 minutes” last Sunday?).

    • My guess is the Contra Costa is going no where. It’ll probably be years for them to move the Roamer.

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