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

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

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!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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

Winter

Rockport Harbor/winter Winter, a time of icy cold

Rockport Harbor/winter/sunsetand early evening sunsets looming low beyond leafless trees, opening views to the sea.

Rockport Harbor/winter/lobster boats
Winter, a time when lobster boats are silent

Rockport Harbor/winterand a lonely craft waits for spring.

dirt road winterWinter, a time of sparkling beauty,

wintersnowshoes and cold noses.

What is winter to you?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Wow Us Wednesday

Thursday Favorite Things

A Real Metamorphosis

Rockp[ort HarborAs temperatures drop and leaves begin falling like rain, there is a real metamorphosis occurring on Rockport Harbor.  

Heron, schoonerHeron has taken her last boatload of passengers for a cruise on Penobscot Bay and will soon head south to host cruises in warmer climes.

lobster boat/Rockport HarborThough lobster boats continue to go out, they leave hours later than in summer. Lobstermen are bundled up to protect against the chill wind that is blowing across the bay.   For most who work out of Rockport Harbor, lobstering will cease the end of this month.

lobster boatAs the boats return to the harbor these days,  sterns are stacked with pots that will be put away until late spring.  That is a sure sign the lobster season is winding down.

Rockport HarborDocks, covered with tarps, float in the harbor waiting their turn to be pulled

Rockport Harborand mooring balls are gathered to be cleaned and stored.  This I am very grateful for because when left in the water the lines accumulate kelp, mussels and debris that makes them near impossible to pull from the water.  Since that is my job during boating season, I like for the lines to be clear!  

sailboat/Rockport HarborOne by one sailboat masts are lowered and sails removed making them ready to be motored to the boatyard where they will be hauled and stored until next year.

Rockport HarborYes, there is metamorphosis  on the harbor, and what I notice most is our dock sitting empty but for a couple of lines.  Pipe Dreams is in her winter resting place leaving us with another year of memories exploring the beauty of the coast of Maine.

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Joining

Metamorphosis Monday 

Treasure Box Tuesday

You’re Gonna Love It Tuesday

Eagle Island: A Favorite

One of my favorite islands to visit is Eagle, for us about a 30 minute boat ride from Rockport Harbor.  It is a 263 acre island that once was prosperous and, if memory serves me, was home to a casino. Today, Eagle is owned by and home to one family with a long Eagle history and to vacationers who rent a cottage there for a real get away from it all experience.
Eagle IslandArriving at the dock, we share space with the owner’s lobster boat.
Eagle Island,lobster buoysTraps line the dock, and buoys hang from the shack ready for the next time to be put out.
Eagle IslandWalking along paths to explore the island, there are remnants of times past. Eagle IslandIt’s easier to leave worn out vehicles and farm equipment where they fall than to get them off island.

Eagle IslandEagle IslandEagle IslandEagle IslandIf the island owners are to be found, we can get a key that allows us to visit the old schoolhouse that hasn’t been used since the 1950’s.  I love this building with its old fashioned desks and that was once heated by a pot belly stove.  There are books and magazines there that date back to the early 20th century, and the blackboard is filled with signatures of visitors.

Eagle IslandA real treat is meeting Mr. Quinn who in his dry Maine way can entertain for hours with tales about the history of Eagle and Butter Islands.  If we are really lucky, he  reads us some of the humorous poems written by his grandfather.  My all time favorite of Mr. Quinn’s lines  is when asked how people found out about renting on the island, he answered that his daughter did something online but he didn’t know anything about that.  The only line he knew about was the one attached to a lobster pot!  I still chuckle remembering that response.

Eagle IslandIf a summer visit is timed right, it’s possible to find sun warmed raspberries bursting with flavor growing along a path.  I can assure you they never make it back to the boat!

Eagle IslandViewing the canvases that are sunsets and sunrises off Eagle is reason enough to anchor and spend the night.  When night falls, a velvety sky fills with stars twinkling like diamonds, another of the gifts found in Maine.  Is it any wonder I love this place?

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

Underway!

Pipe DreamsPipe Dreams is fueled and ready.  All necessities are stowed away, so let’s get this adventure underway.

Swan's Island

Swan’s Island

First stop on the journey to Nova Scotia is a 2 hour jaunt to Swan’s Island, one of the 15 or so Maine islands that is inhabited year round.  

Swan's IslandAs you might guess from the lobster boats anchored in the harbor, most residents earn a living fishing, and they are protective of their space both on the water and the shore.  Swan's IslandThe island is also a great escape for those wishing to experience a more tranquil existence.

Swan's IslandThe reason for our going there is to attend the very quirky Sweet Chariot Music Festival that for 26 years has brought together a potpourri of musicians from the East and West Coasts who enjoy getting together to casually entertain an enthusiastic audience.

Swan's IslandHours before the show, the performers cruise the harbor serenading all of us on our boats with sea chanteys.

Swan's IslandA flotilla of small craft ranging from kayaks to dinghies to motor boats accompany them.  I have to say this is one of those events that is totally a Maine thing, and there is such absolute joy in that!

Swan's IslandThe performance is in a very old building slightly more than a mile trek from the harbor, so we get a little exercise thrown in.

Swan's IslandAlong the way, enterprising youngsters sell lemonade and cookies, and they have lots of eager customers who are huffing and puffing up the hill.

Swan's IslandThe concert appears to be something of an opportunity for socializing as the crowd gathers early to gossip and greet friends.

Swan's IslandSwan's IslandSwan's IslandSwan's IslandInside, it is crowded, and the chairs are hard, I mean really hard, but once the show begins all anyone focuses on is having a good time.

There’s more to the Swan’s Island story than I am telling.  That has a lot to do with me trying to pull in a mooring ball that had about 500 pounds of kelp on it without allowing the line to touch the varnish on the trim.  The hubby just didn’t get that that was an impossible feat, so use your imagination to fill in the blanks.  It may be a very good thing that nobody was photoing that part of the experience because it was a comedy of errors.  There’s likely more to come!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind