When Company Comes

Boy, it’s hard to keep up with blog writing and reading during the summer months when I am in Maine. If you’ve been along with me for a while, you know we do lots of boating, and there’s more that keeps me crazily busy. We have lots of company which means extra meals and some pretty quick turnarounds when it comes to preparing for the next round of guests. I’m not complaining though because we are very lucky to have this special place to share.

So, what do we do when company comes? The first night is simple. We have a lobster dinner which is such an easy one to prepare. The hubby steams or grills the lobster leaving me the simple task of roasting potatoes and corn

blueberry cobblerand making a blueberry cobbler from those yummy wild Maine blueberries. You can be sure no morsel is left.

Perry CreekThe boat makes entertaining simple. We may go to a beautiful cove

lobster rolland have lobster rolls aboard.

IMG_1481One of the nice things about having a power boat is that you can plan an outing and know how long it takes to get to a destination. There are several places that can be reached conveniently for a lunch on the deck.  Luke’s is one of our favorites.

IMG_1484With fresh seafood abundant, most folks go for a delicious haddock sandwich, fish and chips or a clam roll. Oh, and some choose lobster again since there’s no such thing as too much when you are visiting!

wyeth-web-2
Christina Olson painted by Andrew Wyeth

On those occasions when the weather doesn’t cooperate, there are two quite wonderful art museums in nearby Rockland. CMCA has rotating exhibits of contemporary art and the Farnsworth Art Museum has an outstanding permanent collection. In both, all the art is created by artists who have a connection to Maine and that includes such famous names as Winslow Homer, George Bellows, Alex Katz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Louise Nevelson, Andrew Wyeth and many more.

This time of year a favorite place to visit is the Endless Summer dahlia farm where there are 250 varieties of breathtakingly beautiful dahlias.

PA179261 (1).jpgTaking a walk on the dirt road is always a pleasure and a great place to take photos.

Children's ChapelAlong the way a stop at the Children’s Chapel is a delight to the senses. No matter the season, it is a tranquil oasis with  stunning views of Penobscot Bay.

So, do you get a feel for that which keeps me away from the computer for days on end? I so delight in the gift that is the coast of Maine and am always happy to share it with you though there may be gaps between posts.  Speaking of, I better get the beds made before the next friends arrive.

I so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

On the Water

Over the years, the hubby and I have boated in many different places.  While the experience is always pleasant, when it comes to great boating, there is for us no place like the midcoast of Maine.  Why?  Let me count the ways!

Maine islandsThe Islands.  There are some 3500 islands off Maine’s coast.  If all were connected to the mainland, it is said that the coast of Maine would stretch from its northernmost tip to Key West.

islandsMost are uninhabited, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be explored.  

Warren IslandOn some is evidence of lives once lived on the island.

heart rocksShorelines may yield unexpected treasures such as heart rocks or sea glass or sometimes raspberries and blueberries ripe for picking.

Maine islandFor sure every island is different.  All have rocks, some large and smooth,

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some craggy and difficult if not impossible to scale.

BrimstoneStill others have layers of small stones warm and smooth to the touch.

Perry Creek, fogInlets and harbors.  Nothing beats finding a secluded inlet or a protected harbor where you can anchor for a quiet afternoon or, perhaps, spend the night.

Perry CreekThere’s nothing like being on the boat under the night sky and seeing the moon lift from the horizon and climb higher and higher to cast its reflection on the water.

Yarmouth/lighthouseLighthouses.  I’m crazy for lighthouses, and there are many along the Maine coast.  

Most are no longer operative, but that doesn’t mean they don’t continue to stand proud.  

Matinicus RockSome are isolated, and I find myself wondering about the lighthouse keepers who once manned them.  Surely there are stories that could be told.

Fun places to eat.  The coast is dotted with dockside places to eat, and it’s so much fun to stumble upon a new one or return to a favorite.

fried clamsMost menus focus on seafood fresh from the water, and I always have a hard time refusing fried clams though recently I had a lobster grilled cheese that may be my new favorite.

Hey, enough writing.  It’s time to take advantage of a beautiful day and do a little boating!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind

 

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

What A Day!

L 'Hermione

For days we’d been looking forward to sighting the French frigate L’Hermione and following her up the coast to Castine.

Rockport HarborFinally, the big day arrived and what a beauty it was, at least for a little while.

Rockport Harbor/fogThen, as often happens in Maine, the fog set in, thick as pea soup making it a not so good day for boating.  For two cents I’d have stayed home, but fog or no, the hubby was determined to be off so away we went.

We were not the only ones braving the fog to look for the frigate.  Vessels of every kind were on the hunt, and I was very grateful for good radar that spotted them in the distance because we couldn’t see another boat until we were right on top of it.

l'hermione/fogAt last, after more than an hour of circling and searching, here came L’Hermione  out of the fog and looking very much like a ghost ship.   What an incredibly mysterious sight!

l'hermioneThe sheer size of the boat, the majestic sails, the complex rigging all added to the drama of the moment.

l'hermioneSeconds later, as if by magic, the fog gave way to a brilliant blue sunlit sky and L’Hermione was immediately surrounded by boats filled with people trying to get close up shots of this magnificent ship.  

l'hermioneAs you can see, she dwarfed everything  around her.

With a flotilla that exceeded 100 boats, L’Hermione proceeded to Castine Harbor where crowds cheered her arrival.

l'hermioneWith sails trimmed and cannons firing, she made her grand entrance.

Her crew, mostly volunteers I’m told, gathered on deck and across the water could be heard sea chantys and the wail of bagpipes.

l'hermioneSome brave souls rode in on the bowsprit as interested in all the goings on as the spectators.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAInside the harbor, the frigate was met by a tug that assisted her to the dock. 

l'hermioneThere she would rest for a couple of days before venturing on to her final destination, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. While in Castine, visitors would have opportunity to board and explore L’Hermione which is an exact replica of the ship that brought Lafayette to the aid of the colonies in 1780. It is meant to symbolize the long standing ties between the United States and France as well as provide an educational legacy that reminds of history many of us have forgotten.

l'hermioneAt the end of the day, I was so appreciative of the hubby’s determination as it made for  an amazing adventure, the kind that doesn’t come along every day!

i so appreciate your visit and the comments you leave behind