ROCKLAND, Maine — As you walk down the nearly mile-long granite breakwater that protrudes into Rockland Harbor, you’ll typically find sweeping views of blue sky, ocean and the iconic lighthouse at the end.
But for the past several weeks, walkers have seen something new near the end of the breakwater: a full-size wooden picnic table in the middle of the stone walkway.
City officials don’t know how it ended up about three-quarters of the way down the breakwater and must now figure out whether to remove it or leave it.
“As far as how it got out there [and] who put it out there, I don’t really know. It’s kind of a mystery. It took some work, I’ll say that,” Rockland Harbor Master Ryan Murry said.
The Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse is one of the city’s top attractions and a popular walking destination for tourists and locals alike.
But navigating the cracks between the granite boulders takes a bit of attention, so it would be difficult to carry a large picnic table nearly a mile to the end.
“I don’t think one person [could] have done it if they walked it out there. I think [there are] other ways they could have done it, depending on how daring they were,” Murry said.
Someone could have potentially gotten a boat up alongside the breakwater to unload the picnic table, if the water level was favorable, he said.
Regardless of how the table got out there, the city now must decide what to do with it.
In the several weeks it’s been out there, Murry said feedback to the harbormaster’s office has been split 50-50 between people who feel the table is in the way and would like it removed and people who think it should stay to provide a place to take a break while walking.
With tourism season set to ramp up soon, Murry said his office will be working with city management and the harbor committee about making a decision on the picnic table’s fate.
If the city does decide to remove the table, it will likely be an easier feat than it was to get it out there.
In a week or two, a seasonal dock is slated to be reinstalled alongside the breakwater, close to where the picnic table is located, which will allow for easy boat access.
“We can walk it to our boat and easily get it off there,” Murry said.