Little Piece of Heaven

Going to Maine is like my favorite fleece: the people and the memories just wrap me up in warmth and it feels like home.

I’m not sure from where I copied those words, but they sum up my feelings about returning to Maine.  Perhaps I wouldn’t love it so much if I were here all the time, but for  five plus months it is my little piece of heaven where all the stresses and concerns of life are diminished. 

So, what is it that makes Maine so special?  Well, there are a lot of things, but here are a few of my favorites. 

lobster rollLobster rolls

Walking on the dirt road

Tini time on the porch

Pipe DreamsExcursions on Pipe Dreams

MusselsFinding mussel heaven

lobster boatLobster boats

Rockport HarborRockport Harbor

fall/sunsetSunsets

There’s all this and so much more, and during the next few months I invite you to share Maine with me.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

One More Time

With the end of summer comes the end of boating for us, and that always makes me a little sad.  I love cruising the Maine islands noting and appreciating their differences.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll have rocky shores, some craggy,

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some with stones worn smooth by years of the sea smashing against them.

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Others are forests of green

flag/maine/North Havenor lichen covered

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAor bare but for a lighthouse standing guard.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAImages of all are etched in my heart, especially those of my favorite, Brimstone, where one end is rocks of all sizes and shapes

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand the other is layers of stone with one lone stubby tree

cimg1722and grasses swaying in soft wind.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat makes this island special to me are the rocks, dark and shiny in the water

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand on a beautiful sunny day warm enough for a hot stone massage.

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A path leads to the top of Brimstone and standing there looking across the sea, one can imagine Europe’s coast in the far distance.

It is exploring the islands on days kissed by the sun and gentle seas that remind me Maine is the way life should be.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Let Summer Begin!

Pipe DreamsUntil Pipe Dreams is back at the dock and we’ve had our first boat outing, summer hasn’t begun.  Thanks to blustery seas, it’s taken a few days to get that first trip underway.

Rockport Pano 6X18Leaving Rockport Harbor behind I begin to see all the familiar sights that are so dear.  

Indian Island Indian Island with its lighthouse still stands guard at the mouth of the harbor, and in the distance a schooner loaded with visitors is powered by a gentle breeze.

islandFarther out are the islands  that separate us from the Atlantic Ocean and make this part of the Maine coast the absolute best for boating.

North Haven/llobster buoysLobster buoys dot the water,

lobster boatsand the lobster guys are out doing their thing which reminds me I haven’t yet had a lobster!

cloudsHigh above are clouds floating in a clear blue sky, and I wonder how life could be any more perfect than at this moment.   I close my eyes in gratitude for the privilege of being in this beautiful place.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Brimstone: A Little Piece of Heaven

rockport harborWith Pipe Dreams put away for the winter, it looks a little lonely down at the dock.

BrimstoneBefore shutting the boating season down though, we had a final outing to one of our most favorite Maine islands, Brimstone.  It sits well out to sea, and from its summit one can see far in every direction.   Looking out across the Atlantic, it is possible to imagine Europe in the distance.

BrimstoneThere are strong currents around Brimstone making it very important to choose the right time to go, otherwise securing a firm anchorage can be a real challenge.  If the anchor line spools out too quickly and gets a kink in it, anchoring can be even more exciting. Ask me how I know that!

BrimstoneA dinghy is a must for going ashore, and the climb from the beach is steeper than it looks.  It is made a bit more difficult by the rocks that slip and slide beneath your feet as waves roll in and out.  Once on the island, however, all thoughts of the challenges disappear.

BrimstoneBrimstone is known for its piles of black stones as smooth as the inside of your arm.  They come in all shapes and sizes, and I can wander for hours, head down, always looking for the perfect rock.

BrimstoneThe island is void of trees, but one end is covered with grasses and wildflowers.  If you get there at the right time, it’s possible to find wild strawberries, raspberries or clumps of spearmint.

BrimstoneHiking through the grasses to the summit has its rewards as on a clear day it is possible to see Isle au Haut, Cadillac Mountain, Vinalhaven, the Camden Hills and lots of small islands the names of which are unknown to me.

Yes, Brimstone is a little piece of heaven, and during the winter months when Maine seems so far away, it’s one of the things that makes me anxious to return.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Metamorphosis Monday

WPC: Happy Place

Pipe DreamsDifferent times, different places make for much that is happy, but if I have to choose one happy place, it is being on Pipe Dreams anchored in a quiet harbor or  overlooking one of Maine’s islands.

cloudsLooking up at the patterns of the clouds, listening to the rhythm of the water against the hull, enjoying the uninterrupted quiet is all it takes for me to be immersed in a happy place.

Joining

Weekly Photo Challenge

Exploring New Places

Damariscotta RiverIt’s possible we will never explore all that the coast of Maine has to offer, but we do give it a good try.  This time out, we ventured south to the Damariscotta River .  Getting there was a bumpy ride thanks to southwest winds, but once we reached the river we were in calm water with houses on both sides nestled in heavy woods.  Have I ever mentioned that Maine has a LOT of trees?

Damariscotta RiverI hadn’t expected to see lobster pots in the river, but though fewer, there they were and the holiday didn’t keep lobstermen from checking their traps.

As we went upriver, we noticed a difference in the type of boats.  No sailboats and though there were a couple of sizeable power boats,

Damariscotta River more common were smaller recreational craft.

DamariscottaAt the river’s head is the lovely little town of Damariscotta

Damariscottaour destination for oysters on the deck at Schooner Landing.

Maine facesIt seems a number of others had the same idea as there was no place for another boat to tie up.  We were saved by a friendly boater who allowed us to raft up to his vessel.  Talk about a Maine accent, this guy had it!

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About oysters,  Damariscotta has long been known for them, but these days the natural grown ones are gone thanks to overfishing.  Common now on the river are sights like this where oysters mature after having been seeded.  If you can believe it, 60-70 million oysters are harvested annually from the river, and they are delicious.  In late September, Damariscotta hosts an oyster festival where one can eat oysters prepared in a variety of ways to his heart’s content.

lobster trapsAfter lunch, we made way to Christmas Cove, our destination for the night, passing through what is called The Gut which separates Rutherford Island from the mainland at South Bristol.  This is an active lobsterman’s harbor as evidenced by platforms stacked with their paraphernalia

lobster boatand the fact that lobster boats far outnumber pleasure craft.  Old Glory qualifies as the most unique one I have seen and makes me think its owner has a real sense of pride and, perhaps, humor.

Christmas CoveIn minutes, we arrived at Christmas Cove where Captain John Smith dropped anchor on Christmas 1614.  It is said to have been a favorite spot for sailors ever since, and with its serene surroundings it is easy to see why.

Pipe DreamsIndeed, it was a peaceful spot where we found ourselves alone at the pier indicating that the summer crowd has lessened which is the beauty of boating in September and October.

MaizyAfter a long day, Maizy is looking to record our adventures.  She will have lots to remember!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Waking to a New Day

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWaking to the touch of sunshine that is coming through the porthole on my face is a glorious way to begin another day.

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I stretch luxuriously beneath the covers before going on deck to greet the morning.

Bucks HarborIt is so calm boats sit still on the water, and we are surrounded by the beauty that is Buck’s Harbor, one of my favorite places to overnight.  The harbor is protected on one side by an island and on the other by the mainland making it a very safe anchorage.

maizyAfter our first cup of coffee, Maizy is waiting for us to dinghy in so she can have her morning walk.

Buck's HarborAshore is South Brooksville, a sleepy village where much of the activity seems to be at the clubhouse that overlooks the harbor.

Buck's HarborThere is also a general store that offers fresh brewed coffee and baked goods in the morning

Buck's Harborand next door is Buck’s, a restaurant that serves up very tasty dinners.

bucks harborMy favorite place to be when we are here on a Sunday morning is the Methodist church where the minister is a feisty woman with a tattoo on an upper arm.

Bucks harbor For some reason, my eyes always get watery here, maybe because it seems such a right place to be or maybe because again and again I am reminded that Maine is a little piece of heaven and I am so grateful to spend part of my life here.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind