Letter to the editor: Noise from ships

I am concerned about the noise coming from the large cruise ships in our harbor. I often hear the PA announcements at my house, which is downtown, about a half mile from the shore. The PA announcements are so loud that I can usually tell if the speaker is male or female.

In the late afternoon on Aug. 14, I went for a hike in Acadia, looking forward to relaxing in nature.

I was about halfway up the South Ridge of Dorr Mountain when I started to hear dance music with a lot of bass. As I continued to climb toward the summit, the music grew increasingly louder and I could actually recognize some of the songs. It sounded like an early 90s dance party with songs like “Groove is in the Heart”!

When I reached the summit, I was finally able to see, way off in the distance to the northeast: the town of Bar Harbor, Frenchman Bay and a large cruise ship. The ship had a huge X on the funnel. It was a Celebrity Cruise Lines ship — a division of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

As I stood there, looking out over the eastern part of Acadia National Park, all I could think of was that George B. Dorr, the Father of Acadia, must be rolling over in his grave!

Dorr worked tirelessly to ensure that this magnificent place would be preserved for future generations to enjoy. My negative experience on Aug. 14 was just another reminder of how Acadia, Frenchman Bay and Bar Harbor are threatened by over-tourism.

Thankfully, as I was descending the North Ridge trail of Dorr Mountain, the cruise ship had started to leave Bar Harbor and was heading toward the mouth of Frenchman Bay.

To my relief, as the ship moved out to sea, the music became quieter and quieter until it finally disappeared.

There is absolutely no excuse for cruise ship noise pollution in Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. In many other cruise destinations around the globe, communities have taken steps to protect citizens. They prohibit the use of cruise ship PA systems and loud music while the ships are in port. It is time that the Bar Harbor town officials step up and put an end to this noise pollution.

Katherine Whitney, Bar Harbor

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