New Radar for Sunbeam V

Photo by Captain Michael Johnson

NORTHEAST HARBOR, Me — This is a photo of the Sunbeam V bridge. Our complement of electronic navigation equipment includes the following:

1) A chart plotter which presents a digitized copy of a marine chart into which our GPS location is inputted and plotted.

2) A depth sounder which shows the depth of the water beneath our keel and gives a general contour of bottom characteristics.

3) A primary radar (radar#1) which is a large commercial grade radar that presents surrounding “targets” on a large screen allowing for safe navigation in low visibility conditions such as fog and/or darkness.

4) A second smaller radar (radar#2) which is partially for redundancy and as a short range unit to keep track of “targets” that are difficult to discern on the larger radar.

Radar #2 is the piece of equipment that I am replacing.

It is over 10 years old. Radar technology has improved tremendously. Do you own a flat panel t.v.? Think of how much LCD screen technology has imrpoved.

The resolution of the older radar screen is marginal and can cause distortion of smaller targets such as boats and bouys. A newer unit is much more crisp, with a zoom feature allowing the user to focus on a particular area of interest.

The other big improvement is advancement of what we call “hybrid” units that combine a chart plotter with a radar. This gives the user a feature called overlay that can project the radar image on top of the navigational chart. This can clear up a lot of doubt about radar targets without measuring the distance and range manually to determine if a target is say, a boat or a navigational aid.

Another plus of the new unit is Automatic Identification System (AIS) technology. AIS is essentially the marine equivalent of an airplane transponder which broadcasts ship information for other captains to use. The Sunbeam V’s position will be presented on a screen of other similarly equipped ships, and their information will be presented on our new unit.

Michael Johnson
Captain, Sunbeam V

Sunbeam V in Dry Dock Through Mid-October

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STONINGTON, Me — The Mission’s 74-foot steel-hulled Sunbeam V is hauled in annually to keep ahead of its structural integrity and cosmetics. Think of it as the boat’s annual physical. While in dry dock last year the Sunbeam V had a new bow thruster installed, giving the boat better sideways motion when approach certain harbors and docks.

Generally the dry docked Sunbeam V has its paint — top and bottom — renewed. Any rust developed anywhere since last year is sanded and painted. The overhaul work is done or supervised by Captain Michael Johnson and Engineer Storey King.

Island Health director Sharon Daley, and Island Outreach director Douglas Cornman continue their island community work, traveling on other boats, ferries, and planes.

Birch Bay Retirement Village Group Meets Sunbeam V Crew

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — The Sunbeam and crew took a group from Birch Bay Retirement Village on a cruise along Somes Sound this afternoon. Though it wasn’t the sunniest of days, our guests still had a wonderful time on the water, feasting on Jillian’s goodies. You can see that Captain Mike had a good time too, photo bombing the group’s “end-of-the-cruise” photo.


Douglas Cornman
Director of Island Outreach
Maine Seacoast Mission – Sunbeam V

Sunbeam V Schedule: Island Telemedicine Visits Sept 12-14

Please check the Sunbeam Island Services Schedule Calendar for any schedule changes due to weather conditions or other considerations.

The Sunbeam V is scheduled to visit Frenchboro, Matinicus, and Isle au Haut.

Questions about Island Health Services and Telemedicine? Please contact Director of Island Health Services Sharon Daley, RN.

For other inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman.

The Importance of Maine Island Aging in Place Elder Homes

BAR HARBOR, ME — Mission Director of Island Health Sharon Daley hosts an annual elder care conference in support of the elder care work taking place on 14 different islands. Three of the larger islands have small aging in place elder homes. Soon there will be an elder home on a fourth island.

These homes allow elders to remain on the islands they love, continuing to be and important part of their communities.

Meanwhile, the small islands learn ways to support their elders and caregivers.

These films from the Maine islands of North Haven and Islesboro show the importantance of these aging in place elder homes to island residents, their families, and the community.

Aging On An Island – Voices from North Haven, Maine
Boardman Cottage

Lighthouse ‘Friends’ from Isle au Haut, Swan’s Island Become Friends
Lighthouse ‘Friends’ from Isle au Haut, Swan’s Island become friends


The friendships were fostered by the outreach work of the Sunbeam, the Maine Seacoast Mission boat that provides services to remote islands.

Last summer, members of the Friends of Isle au Haut Lighthouse traveled to Swan’s Island, courtesy of the Sunbeam, and last month, it was the Swan’s Island lighthouse group that traveled to Isle au Haut.

Full story

Telehealth Offers a Vital Resource to Maine’s Island Residents

Telehealth Offers a Vital Resource to Maine’s Island Residents
A telemedicine platform and bi-monthly visits from the Sunbeam give the isolated residents of several Downeast Maine islands a lot more than just telehealth.
By Eric Wicklund

August 22, 2017 – The success of telehealth has always been closely tied to the idea of bringing healthcare to those who have problems with access.

To the 700 or so residents of several islands off Maine’s Downeast region, that success is tied to a video link with an onshore clinic and the 75-foot, steel-hulled vessel that makes twice-monthly runs up and down the coast.

It’s all part of a “big jigsaw puzzle” for healthcare, says Sharon Daley, RN, a Missouri native who launched the nonprofit Maine Seacoast Mission’s telehealth program some 17 years ago and now directs the multi-faceted program out of Bar Harbor.

“Going off island is extremely expensive,” she says. “So we have to make do with what we have.”

Daley’s network begins of the Sunbeam. Equipped with a telemedicine lab that includes virtual visit technology, it sails out of Bar Harbor twice a month, each three-day journey tracing a route that might take it to Matinicus – at 21 miles out, it’s the most distant island, and only accessible at high tide, and home to about 75 full-timers – Isle au Haut and/or Frenchboro and a few others islands are visited with less frequency). Appointments are scheduled with island residents in need of medical service, and time is left for walk-ins as well. All of these services are free.

Full Story 

Sunbeam V Schedule: Island Outreach Visits August 24-25

Sunbeam Virtual Tour

Please check the Sunbeam Island Services Schedule Calendar for any schedule changes due to weather conditions or other considerations.

Questions about Island Health Services and Telemedicine? Please contact Director of Island Health Services Sharon Daley, RN.

For other inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman.

Sunbeam V Full of Passengers for Frenchboro Lobster Festival

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NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — The Frenchboro Lobster Dinner festival was wonderful, despite the rainy morning. The event was not as well attended because of the weather, but the church council and other event organizers remained optimistic and ever cheerful that the proceeds will cover the church’s annual expenses.

It goes without saying that the lobster and homemade pies were out-of-this-world!!! The Sunbeam V was comfortably full of passengers and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

I am already looking forward to next year!!

Douglas Cornman
Director of Island Outreach

Sunbeam Island Outreach Brings ‘Painting Islands’ to 15 Outer Islands

BAR HARBOR, ME — Through Island Outreach, I will be taking Howie’s Painting Islands: Uniting Community with Art photos to the fourteen island communities that have, thus far, participated in the project. I will also take the exhibit to Vinalhaven, the fifteenth island, which completes Howie’s effort.

The Sunbeam V can tie-up on six out of the fifteen islands. On these islands, the exhibit hangs in the Sunbeam’s salon. People are welcome on board to view the photos and tour the boat. The exhibit is open between 3:00-6:00 pm on each island, depending on how long we can remain at the island’s dock.

For the other nine islands, I will travel with the exhibit by mail boat or ferry. The exhibit will be displayed somewhere on the island – anywhere large enough to exhibit the collection. I am making arrangements with community centers, churches, parsonages.

I hope to get to each of the fifteen islands by the end of October, so that both year-round and seasonal community members have an opportunity to see Howie’s Painting Islands photos. Each island’s exhibit date and time is communicated through each island’s Facebook page, email, posters and word of mouth.

Those interested in attending the exhibit on their island should look for announcements through any one of these outlets. Or contact me directly by email.

Prints of Howie Motenko’s Painting Islands photos are available for purchase online. All profits from these sales are dedicated to the Maine Seacoast Mission.

Douglas Cornman
Director of Island Outreach