Coincidence met culture in Great Cove this week: Two very different historic vessels – both named Little Bear -- moored there. One was this sleekly spare wooden launch, which is a resident vessel owned by neighbors Cynthia Stroud and Susan Shaw:


It was designed by the renowned Maine naval architect and miniaturist Murray G. Peterson and was built in 1965 at the Hodgdon Bros. Yard in Boothbay, Maine. She reportedly is 22 ½ feet long overall with a 7 ½-foot beam and a 40 horsepower Westerbeke engine.

The other, much larger Little Bear is neither sleek nor spare, but she’s certainly fascinating:


She’s reportedly out of Rockport, Maine, but we’re having trouble getting more information on her. She appears to be a restored “sardine carrier.” In days of yore, such motor-and-sail vessels seined herring and mackerel and/or were “carryaway” boats that ferried fish from vessels at sea to coastal canneries. Many of these canneries packed sardines, the young herring apparently named after Sardinia in the Mediterranean, where the fish were once abundant. (Brooklin, Maine)