Yarmouth to the United States Ferry
In 2014, we took a 10 hour ferry from Yarmouth to Portland Maine. Although this particular ferry no longer runs, it was a pleasant journey in spite of the length.
On our 2023 trip, we took a 3.5-hour fast ferry on the catamaran (“The Cat”) ferry from Yarmouth to downtown Bar Harbor.
While one could easily read or work on the WiFi-enabled Cat, the nicely appointed ship, with its three lounges, three cafes, and wrap-around views encouraged us to explore.
The captain provided a guided tour of the ship. He explained how the cat and its sister ship were initially built under a contract for Hawaii. When that deal fell though, the ship was sold to the Navy who used it for humanitarian relief in Haiti before leasing it for its current use.
The notably proud captain explained the four Rolls Royce engines creates a total of 40,000 horsepower. The jets of water that propel the craft pump enough water to fill four Olympic-sized pools in 0.8 seconds. The ship can go from 45 knots to reverse in less than two ship lengths.
He explained how the ship’s radar, infrared, and sonar, can detect and allow the avoidance of a whale. It can ID canoe-sized objects from more than 20 miles away and identify lobster buoys and lines in time to avoid them. He also provided a brief explanation of the roles key crew members play, how they work with harbor pilots, and the advantages and limitations of a ship clad in aluminum that is only 5/8 of an inch thick.
It was a peaceful and educational ferry crossing.