Cape Porpoise

Having lived and traveled all over New England my entire life, I have no idea how I ever missed the sleepy fishing village of Cape Porpoise in Kennebunkport, Maine.

I've been to Kennebunkport maybe 100 times in my life and somehow never followed the lazy Pier Road out to the point on Bickford Island. But this summer I had the amazing opportunity to meet my friend, Ashleigh B Coleman and her awesome family for a little impromptu photowalk. I loaded up with the Pentax 67 and a couple boxes of Portra 160 NC and FujiPro 400H.

Cape Porpoise isn't heavily advertised as it is just a local commercial fishing port with a couple restaurants off the pier, but this is the quintessential New England icon. If you blink as you travel down scenic Route 9, you'll miss the turnoff to Pier Road, which winds around this picturesque harbor. What an amazing sight to behold when you pull up to the commercial parking lot, packed with rugged pickup trucks emblazoned with "Eat Lobstah" decals and loaded with extra pairs of Grunden bibs, boots and bait coolers. 

The first thing to hit you are the wonderful smells (well, at least to me) of a working fishing port. As you head towards the water, your eyes are presented with a pier slammed with stacks of lobster traps, a harbor dotted with many working boats, and off in the distance, the most gorgeous 1835 Goat Island Lighthouse.

While we were exploring the area, we ran across this lobsterman who was packing it in for the season. He was getting ready to head back to college in Downeast Maine and pulling in his traps for storage until next year. His boat could only carry a couple dozen at a time, so he was going to be busy, but not too busy to talk with us about the lobster season.

He gave Ashleigh and I a quick lessons on the lobster season, including the shedding of shells (hard shell vs soft shell lobster) and how productive this season was, given the warm waters. So amazing to hear these details of the catch. He was pretty sad to have to pull in these traps, as the season was rocking pretty good, averaging 1.5 lobsters per trap.

Taking this all in will fill your morning with the authentic sights and sounds of a working harbor. 

As always, all images scanned and developed by my friends at Richard Photo Lab.