KITTERY — After a nearly two-year stay for maintenance at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, the USS Helena and its crew headed out to sea.

The submarine docked in September 2009. Crew members became involved in community activities such as painting classrooms, visiting veteran centers and speaking to students about the armed services.

The USS Helena, whose motto is “Proud and Fearless,” was led through the channel and out of the bay Friday by tug boats. It’s heading to Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.