CRANBERRY ISLES — After a few foggy days, brilliant sun greeted the crew gathered at high tide at Sand Beach on Little Cranberry Island Saturday morning for Islesford Boatworks’ second annual “Row-a-thon” fundraiser.
The flotilla of about a dozen kayaks and rowboats circumnavigated Little Cranberry, with a rest and water stop partway at Bunker’s Cove. A couple of powerboats escorted the group for safety. Rowers raised more than $6,000 for the nonprofit, board member Peyton Eggleston said.
“This fundraiser has helped us a lot,” Boatworks Director Tony Archino told the group before they headed out, “but even more importantly, it gets more people involved with and connected to what we do.”
One of the boats, rowed by Gretchen Blank, was outfitted with a special camera recording footage for a virtual reality project, a collaborative effort of the Island Institute, the Camden International Film Festival and Big Room Studios.
The rowathon ended with a celebration back at Sand Beach. Boatbuilding instructor Allison Yanover and her husband, Mike, prepared a traditional South Carolina “low country boil” of potatoes, corn, shrimp, sausage and (for a Maine touch) a few lobsters.
The shop at Islesford Boatworks is a barn built in 2001 by the Ravenhill family. Since 2006, it has held a summer community boatbuilding program for kids and teens. Summer programs are in full swing now, with this year’s boat launch, pinewood regatta and pirate party set for Aug. 6.
Beginning this year, they are working on two boats every summer, starting one from scratch and finishing another begun the previous summer.
Pinewood Market and Atlantic Brewing Company donated food and beer for the celebration. Boatworks also is supported by the Maine Community Foundation, the Nichols Foundation and the Ferguson Foundation.
See more photos in a gallery here.