To the Editor: Park, pond and motorsports 

To the Editor: 

Last week, a motorboat collided with a kayak on Long Pond.  

I am a 30-year resident of Southwest Harbor and a regular user of the park, particularly Long Pond. Like most of the thousands of people who recreate on and around the pond, I come to boat, swim, hike and enjoy the quietude and natural beauty of the Quietside. There is nothing more relaxing than kayaking or canoeing on the pond, with its spectacular views of Mansell and Beech Mountains.  

But whether you are hiking the Perpendicular Trail, enjoying a quiet paddle, or a cool swim or picnic at Mile Rock, a single motorboat speeding down the pond will impact every other user with its sound, which can be heard for miles. Its wake, which persists for many hundreds of yards, is an obstacle to be dealt with by swimmers and canoers.  

I frequently row my bay scull on the pond. It’s an antique boat from the 1930s, about the size of a canoe, with 10-foot-long oars. Motorboats towing water skiers and tubers regularly zoom by me, literally rocking my boat and shattering the peacefulness of the lake. They are usually younger drivers who either do not know the rules of boat safety or do not care.  

Permitting the use of speedboats on Long Pond, particularly the southern end, should be reconsidered by the town and the park. The fact that the enjoyment of a very few motorboaters so greatly impinges upon the enjoyment of virtually every other user of the area should lead to an easy conclusion. 

Bowen Swersey 

Southwest Harbor 

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