The Islesford lobster boat Endeavor follows the lead of the Maine Sea Coast Mission’s Sunbeam down icy Somes Sound. MAINE SEA COAST MISSION PHOTO

Sunbeam leads the way for island lobster boat

MOUNT DESERT — Last Thursday, Feb. 19, the Maine Sea Coast Mission’s 74-foot Sunbeam V left its berth in Northeast Harbor and ventured into Somes Sound to break ice so that Islesford lobsterman Richard Howland could take his boat Endeavor home from the Henry R. Abel boatyard near the head of the sound.

Sunbeam Captain Mike Johnson said the ice started getting thick about halfway up the sound, parallel to Acadia Mountain.

“I’d say it was 6 to 8 inches thick,” he said.

“The Sunbeam was designed to break up ice, so this is nothing new for us. Richard needed to move his boat home for its spring refitting and was afraid the sound would get too iced over to budge later. We were happy to help him out.”

The Sunbeam continues its winter schedule to the outer islands to offer health services on board, utilizing its state-of-the-art telemedicine communication with physicians on the mainland. The Mission brings pastoral comfort and community support to numerous coastal islands.

“When islanders hear the Sunbeam’s horn as we enter their harbor, it’s an invitation to breakfast,” Johnson said. “It’s a tradition. Last year we served over 200 pots of coffee.”

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