We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“lovely ride but lacking the WOW factor”

Old Quarry Ocean Adventures
Ranked #2 of 14 things to do in Stonington
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: We welcome you to visit one of the most extraordinary places on the coast of Maine. The Deer Isle-Stonington archipelago in Penobscot Bay is a unique and breathtaking area, home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 States, and over 60 uninhabited islands. It is well known to be the destination of choice for kayakers, sailors, campers, and any nature enthusiast. People from all over the world come to this place because of the quiet, un-spoiled and awe-inspiring environment. They come to Old Quarry because we provide the perfect access to this magical body of water, where seals and porpoises thrive and sea birds are abundant, where historic windjammers sail, and lighthouses stand stalwartly on rocky cliffs as sentinels of the night.
Reviewed 6 October 2013

Three of us spent a fine afternoon on Captain Bill's renovated lobster boat. I felt we were in good hands here, based on his years of experience, and after seeing the quality of his boat and learning about his brand new engine. He seemed plenty willing to share and answered all our questions. The view of Stonington from the water is breathtaking. On our tour we saw a lighthouse and stopped at a small island where we got off the boat and took a short walk to an old granite quarry. As much as I enjoyed myself and the company, there wasn't any particular "wow" moment to the trip.

4  Thank Susan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (74)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
All reviews
"deer isle"
in 10 reviews
"isle au haut"
in 10 reviews
"lobster dinner"
in 4 reviews
"bath house"
in 3 reviews
"granite quarry"
in 3 reviews
"next year"
in 4 reviews
"small boat"
in 2 reviews
"sunset cruise"
in 2 reviews
"eco tour"
in 2 reviews
"duck"
in 5 reviews
"short walk"
in 3 reviews
"lobster fishing"
in 3 reviews
"boat ride"
in 3 reviews
"bunkhouse"
in 6 reviews
"captain"
in 25 reviews
"tent"
in 4 reviews
"island"
in 24 reviews
Filter

46 - 50 of 74 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2013

I'm torn here. I think this guy runs a fine business. He clearly is doing very, very well for himself and is pretty much the only game in town. That does not, however, give one the right to relax on simple good-business practices. Organization. Respect. Value. Clarity. These are things that are grossly lacking here.

That being said, on arrival it is immediately clear that he does a lot of repeat business. Other "campers" are frequently found hanging around the shop chatting with Captain Bill. I'm left wondering what it is that brings these people back for second, third or fourth visits. Frankly, I couldn't wait to get through with my first.

I made reservations for an "overflow" camping site for two nights. It was described as a spot big enough to pitch a tent, no fire ring, no table. OK, fair enough. I was planning to be out doing stuff anyway.

On arrival I was directed to a parking space in the parking lot that had gravel laid out a few feet more in front of it than the rest. Yes, it was a parking space essentially and from the bumper of the car parked IN IT to the woods was MAYBE five feet. I reluctantly started to set up my tent and soon realized there was no way it was going to fit.

Back to the office I went and was told that one night in the bunkhouse was available and so was the next night in an actual camping spot complete with fire pit and adequate tenting site. OK, maybe a little redemption here...but read on.

Bunkhouse night went OK. Next came the trip to Isle au Haut. On their website it's titled "Hike & Bike Isle au Haut" and specifically states: "The [boat] will drop you off with a map at the Isle au Haut town landing in the morning." OK, no map was offered (it would have been REALLY, REALLY helpful) and as the boat was pulling away half of the group was left asking "did they say what time to be back?"

Isle au Haut is not worth the trip IMHO. Especially not for the money you'll spend at the Old Quarry to get there with bikes ($120 for 2). I would have bought the map at their well-equipped camp store were it not explicitly stated on their website that one would be given to us. But after walking around seeing price tags/solicitations on everything I should not have been surprised that one wasn't.

Back to camp that night I'm exhausted from my Bataan Death Peddle around IAH and looking forward to having a real tent site ON GRASS or at the very least soft ground (isn't that where most people camp anyway?). Into the office to confirm the details of what we had discussed thrice the evening before and guess what? The site was given away during the day to someone he calls by first name - I assume a friend. I'm walked down the lane to another gravel spot along the road. Here it is that I spent my last uncomfortable night in Stonington.

I had actually planned to stay all day and rent kayaks to go out and do some paddling but at 0530hrs when cars started driving by and people walking by talking woke me from my gravel bed I had had enough. I packed up and left. Left the whole GD state of Maine. Vacation over.

Bottom line: I'm not going back. A lot of people do and I have no idea why. If you're ready to spend a lot of money and have the agreeable demeanor of a perpetually stoned love child then by all means check this place out and roll iwth whatever comes your way. Bring an air mattress though for your own sake.

6  Thank USMC076
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Great trip! Saw a total of 7 light houses plus one that was not scheduled on the normal trip. The two ladies running it were very informative as to what we were seeing. Trip was unstructured and very laid back. Stopped at North Haven, ME for lunch with the Captain and a great chance to visit with her.

2  Thank Rolland C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 September 2013

Never felt so cheated by a dishonest businessman. I confirmed face to face with him what we would do an “Eco cruise” trip like described on his website. We got on the boat and as they were untying the boat the woman informed us that we would not be doing the standard Eco cruise but going to another island but if we wanted to go to the quarry that she would drop us off but then we would not see the seals (last mention of the seals). The mission of the boat was to deliver food to some campers on the island not to provide the trip we paid for. (and we left the island and several minutes after had to turn around to go back and get their trash which they captain forgot).

Of the three hours she did spend 5-10 minutes pulling 3 lobster traps which the kids enjoyed. Otherwise they were bored stiff.

3  Thank Chris M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptainBill-Maine, Owner at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2014

Very sorry for your poor experience. That was a bad day for the eco-tour boat trip. Two things: I messed up trying to keep the multi night kayaking trip people on Marshall happy and supplied and keep the eco boat trip going. I should not have combined the two things. Bad choice. Won't do it again. Second thing; that captain is no longer with us!

Capt Bill -Owner

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
See more reviews
Reviewed 29 August 2013

We booked the afternoon "Eco cruise" for our family of 5 during our stay on deer isle...there were two ladies guiding the trip. During the course of the 3 hrs, there was almost no narrative (one lady showed us a map briefly) and no wildlife to be seen. We briefly landed on Marshall Island for a 45 min hike; we were totally not prepared for the attack of the Mosquitos. We hadn't thought to bring bug spray on the boat ride, and the boat driver had forgotten to bring hers. There were so many, we couldn't enjoy our hike. Afterwards, we picked up trash from some kayakers, checked a few lobster traps (actually the highlight of the trip, it was interesting and informative) and returned. Definitely not worth $150.

Note to other travelers going on this particular attraction... Bring bug spray, snacks & warm clothes for the boat ride and a book. You may be rather bored.

2  Thank Carrie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CaptainBill-Maine, Owner at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures, responded to this reviewResponded 10 February 2014

Sorry for this bad eco-tour experience. It is the same trip as the "Never Again" review.
As I said, it will never happen again. My mistake to try to do two things on one boat at the same time. And as I said the captain is no longer with us!

Captain Bill- Owner

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Old Quarry Ocean Adventures also viewed

 

Been to Old Quarry Ocean Adventures? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing