Midcoast Maine

Friendship

Friendship is a small lobstering town in the heart of coastal Maine.

Friendship lies at the end of a ten-mile peninsula that juts into Muscongus Bay, a spectacular island-speckled coastal seaway that may be the last remaining unspoiled Maine mega-estuary. This is  where Captain George Weymouth first made American landfall on May 17, 1605 (15 years before Plymouth was founded), leaving a cross on Allen Island before sailing further down the coast to Cape Cod.

Muscongus Bay is prime Maine lobstering territory. Being well protected and geographically isolated by neighboring peninsulas from Casco and Penobscot Bays, it is off the beaten tourist path despite its proximity to Portland, an hour and a half south.  (Acadia is another two hours north.) Muscongus Bay is home to more than 80 islands, including Monhegan, a year-round lobstering and artist community. It also houses the Audubon Society’s natural history educational center, Hog Island, as well as Audubon’s premier puffin restoration site, Eastern Egg Rock. Muscongus Bay lies in the middle of the famed 375-mile-long Maine Island Trail, awarded the “Best Sea Kayaking Trail in the Nation” by Outside Magazine. Unlike other parts of the Maine coast, lobster boats plying the Bay’s waters vastly outnumber recreational vessels.

Friendship lies in the heart of Muscongus Bay and is a vibrant fishing village that was settled in 1750. Its residents are primarily independent lobster fishermen, though the town also is home to painters, sculptors, and musicians. Authors John Cheever and John Gould lived in the village; Maine writer Elisabeth Ogilvie and the Maine Wyeth family lived in Cushing, the neighboring town.

©Kim Newby