Humble Contributions to the Peoples' History

Sailing the Coast of Maine on a Windjammer, 2014

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“Sailing, Sailing over the Bounding Main”

220px-Poster_for_Mutiny_on_the_Bounty

Poster, Wikipedia

The movie, Mutiny on the Bounty, captivated me when I was a child. The adventure on the high seas and the magnificent fully-rigged sailing ship left me awestruck. I even bought a model kit of the Bounty and went to work painting the hull and threading the many rigging lines. Life’s journey took me far away from imagining a sea voyage in such a vessel until recently, when I have found myself making plans for short trips on any sailing vessel that would come into a nearby port. A trip on the Amistad and a pirate battle on the Mystic Whaler, have rekindled that spark of imagination lost so many years ago.

Tales of sea have influenced my art. In this porcelain piece, the pages of a book come to life, and that’s what I’m doing by seizing this chance to experience a six-day schooner sailing on the Mary Day. Moby Dick4From Portland to Camden: Coastal Towns along the Bus Route

Portland surrounds a harbor sheltered by a number of islands. Today I’m just passing through the city but returning for a few days at the end of my journey, as there are many places to visit.

Portland

Flying into Portland

At the Transportation Center, I board the Concord Bus, which has very comfortable seats, large windows and WiFi. We drive along Route 295 North, catching occasional views of inlets and harbors along the wooded highway. The bus stops very briefly in these towns, each having the quintessential clapboard houses, white church steeples and green town squares.

Brunswick. Arrive in Brunswick through Maine (with an “e”) Street, a wide thoroughfare with many shops lining either side of the street. American flags fly along the street lamps. Brunswick is known for a number of historic districts recognized on the National Register of Historic Places for preserving the shipbuilders’ and sea captains’ mansions built in various architectural styles, including Federal, Greek Revival and Italianate. The famous clothing manufacturer, L. L. Bean is a principal employer in the area. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an anti-slavery novel published in 1852, while she was living in Brunswick while her husband taught at Bowdoin College.

Bath. Little less than half the size of Brunswick lies the town of Bath, with a good harbor formed by the Kennebec River estuary, lined with huge cranes. The city is popular with tourists, many drawn by its 19th century architecture. It is home to the Bath Iron Works and Heritage Days Festival, held annually on the Fourth of July weekend. Abenaki Indians called the area Sagadahoc, meaning “mouth of big river.” It was a reference to the Kennebec River, which Samuel de Champlain explored in 1605. Logically, travelers from Bath, England settled the town. Sagadahoc Bridge takes us over the river on Route 1.

Wiscasset. Wiscasset is another town known for its early architecture and for Red’s Eats, a small takeout restaurant located by the Donald E. Davey Bridge on Route 1. The restaurant has been featured in more than 20 magazines and newspapers, including USA Today and National Geographic. The restaurant has been accused of causing “the biggest traffic jam in Maine.” Sure enough, as we passed by the restaurant, a line of people form around the corner, waiting to place their order.

Damariscotta. A popular tourist resort area, the towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle, known as the “Twin Villages,” are linked by the Main Street bridge over the Damariscotta River, The name Damariscotta is an Indian name meaning “river of little fish.” Small salty fish called alewives spawn in the nearby lake. Many examples of the architectural styles give this town particular charm with the backdrop of expansive green lawns.

Waldoboro. 

Pirates of Maine

Pirates!

Where’s Waldo . . . boro, you ask? Just a few miles north of Damarisotta, at the head of the Medomak River. Shipyards line both sides of the river. In the mid-1800s, only Boston claimed more tonnage. In 1900, the Waldoboro yards came to life with the building of six five-masted schooners. Evidently, the schooner legacy is strong in Waldoboro for pirates walked the streets and the jolly roger flew on many of the storefronts.

Rockland. Our bus pulls into the Maine State Ferry, which provides service to the islands of Penobscot Bay. The railroad, which came into town in 1871 brought an influx of tourists, and inns were built to accommodate them.

Camden. The Concord Bus lets me off at the Camden-Rockville stop, a gas station. When I checked the location on Google maps, I realized I’d have to walk the mile into town along a busy road and without a sidewalk for part of the way. Figuring that I would be sitting most of the day, I actually welcomed a walk, although with suitcase and heavy carry-on, I had some concerns.

Windward House

Woodward House B&B

Getting to the sidewalk is a bit dicey, with traffic zooming by and not much room between the shoulder and the cars and trucks. I am much relieved to get on the sidewalk. The highway leads into the middle of town, which has many restaurants and stores. Just on the other side of town is the Windward House Bed and Breakfast, where tea and cookies await in the dining room. The bedding is soft, and our hosts prepare a delicious breakfast: cheddar and mushroom omelet and a savory sweet potato.

In 1892, fire almost completely destroyed the Camden business district. The fire started in a three-story wooden building on Main Street. In several other posts that I have written on Main Street in America, the problem of wooden buildings almost inevitably led to disastrous fires. One would think that with the scourge of fires that plagued small towns before the turn of the 20th Century that someone would have made some efforts to improve safety. It wasn’t until towns began using brick for building materials that the problem diminished, probably also because of the invention of the electric light. Camden’s idyllic main street and business district are the result of a town deciding to use brick in the reconstruction after the fire of 1892. Camden DT Camden is home to a fleet of tall-masted schooners called “Windjammers.” These were merchant sailing ships used in the 19th to 20th century, with characteristic tall masts and sails. One of these windjammers has brought me to Camden, for a sailing adventure through the islands of Penobscot Bay on the Mary Day, a ship especially built for windjammer vacation cruising.

Goose River Exchange

Goose River Exchange, Bookstore Display

Climbing Mt. Battie

The afternoon is free, and I would like to see the grand view from Mt. Battie in Camden Hills State Park. To walk up the mountain following the road would take about five hours and along busy streets. Kristi, my bed and breakfast host, suggests that I take the wooded trail up the side of the mountain, which would take about an hour one-way. I head out the back door of the house toward the trail head at the end of the street, passing quaint salt-box houses, surrounded by colorful flower gardens.

Rocks are the stepping-stones up the mountain. The trail becomes steeper and the rocks smoother and more vertical. At one place, I have to lay flat on the rock’s surface and pull myself up for a few feet so that I would not fall backwards. Despite my tentative steps, other more experienced climbers practically dance down the rocky trail. The climb up is well worth the expansive views of Penobscot Bay from the top. Being a clear day, I could see all the way to Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.

Looking down the trail up.

Looking down the trail.

Lighthouse CurtisBoarding the Mary Day, June 22

Passengers could board the Mary Day the afternoon before sailing. I had viewed videos of the boat on the Internet, but seeing the schooner up close, it is an impressive vessel! Masts soar 65 feet from the water level. Massive booms hold the sail. Because the boat is made from wood, it almost resembles a piece of furniture and is reminiscent of another era when these schooners provided transportation for both people and freight. The timeless quality of a sailing vessel predates even the schooners, when humans first graduated from paddling to using the wind to propel them from place to place.

Kae Cabin

Single Cabin

Polina, one of the crew, welcomed me on board, giving me the grand tour, starting with my cabin. Not counting the space for the bed, the room is about two feet by four feet, with little overhead above the bed. Cold water squirts into a small bowl-like sink; we can get hot water from a spigot on the main deck. I actually like these sparse accommodations. The simplicity is refreshing. So much of cruising is excessive and overdone, so managing with just the essentials will be part of the experience.

Mary Day (center) in Camden Harbor

Mary Day (center) in Camden Harbor

Lantern and flowerAs evening sets in, the warmth of the afternoon fades. I begin searching the bottom of my suitcase for warm clothing. Folks are sitting on deck, and banjo music filters over from the schooner, Lewis R. French. Rebecca, first mate, lites the oil lanterns and places them around the deck. Chiming the hours, the clock in church steeple is like a beacon in the night sky. The dampness in the night air drives me into my cabin, the glow of the oil lamps warming the galley next to my room. I’m tired from my climb earlier in the day, but I hope to stay awake to view the stars in the darkest part of the night.

Lighthouse DiceMorning has Broken, June 23

It’s 5:30am, waking up to ducks, quacking and paddling just outside the ship. I hear clicking of pans in the kitchen, which is just on the other side of my door. The challenge now is to get dressed without bumping my head on the overhang. I sort my clothes out and manage to get dressed without too much damage. Grabbing my camera, I take a short walk, as working boats slide though the harbor. Morning Reflections Coffee is on when I return. The crew is busy cleaning, detailing all the shiny parts and sorting the various sized ropes. A cheer goes up when Niki, second mate, announces breakfast. The captain, Barry King, gives us a humorous introduction to life aboard ship. On this trip we will have a resident professional photographer, Jim Dugan, who is planning several slide shows and offering to help with any photographic questions. A Maine master naturalist, Erika Carlson-Rhile, is also on board to field questions and share her expertise.

Mary Day does not have a motor, so a yawl, which is a Scandinavian name for “utility boat,” has to pull us through the harbor before the ship can sail. Slowly the schooner begins to move to the open bay, and the crew raises the sails. We have no set itinerary, letting the wind blow us in the right direction between the many offshore islands and inside passages. We pass by the lighthouse at Curtis Island and another at Indian Island.

Ten miles from shore, Cap’n Barry navigates the schooner past Seal Island, one of the many islands that are part of a National Wildlife Refuge. As we float by, we catch glimpses of a colony of Atlantic Puffin, sometimes called sea parrot. The bird is easily identified by its orange feet and thick flat beak outlined in orange. These comical looking birds came close to extinction because of egg hunters and feather collectors. The puffins have increased their number to about 4,000 thanks to the monitoring by Project Puffin. You can “adopt a puffin,” and their website is chocked full of cute pictures of puffins reading books and in other adorable posses. I’ll spare you my photographs of puffins that look like dots in the water.

Folks begin adding layers of clothing as the wind picks up. I pile on four layers, and I’m still freezing cold. The temperature on land is about 70 degrees, but at sea, the wind and dampness offer other factors to consider when standing on deck. We find our anchorage for the night in a snug harbor along the northwest shore of Marshall Island, which lies between the Toothacher and Jericho Bays. We sailed about 51 miles today.

Lighthouse 3Nature Hike at Ed Woodson Preserve, June 24

Maine is famous for its blueberries, so not surprising that one breakfast would include blueberry pancakes. We were not disappointed. The plan for the morning is exploring Marshall Island, which is part of Main Coast Heritage Trust’s Ed Woodsum Preserve. The island has a perimeter of about six miles, and several of us followed Erika for a walk along a coastal trail through a spruce forest and low-growing blueberry bushes. A stand of hay ferns gives off an aromatic scent, which is sometimes so strong, can be detected while sailing past the island. Shells, crab and lobster carapaces lie scattered along the trail. I peek back at our schooner resting majestically on the water.

Erika finds a Monarch Butterfly

Erika finds a Swallowtail Butterfly next to the trail.

The path varies from soft pine needles to the jagged rocks, tossed up along the coastline. In the distance I can see the different colored lobster buoys bobbing up and down in the water. Several buoys had washed up among the rocks sometimes entangled in nylon rope. Erika tells us that a law forbids folks from picking up these lost lobster markers, as they are considered property of the lobstermen, although recently, lawmakers altered the restriction.

Naturalist Erika

Erika and Judy along the trail.

Cari

Cari

I began to think that 70 degrees was actually warm minus the dampness and wind, as the chill from the day before left me. After collecting passengers from the island, the crew unfurls the sails and our schooner departs the protective cove. For lunch, Cari, our cook, serves lentil soup, rich in vegetables, and brown sugar bread. Cari prepares all the food on a wood stove, and the aroma of a wood fire and food preparation always makes the galley a welcoming spot to settle in from the cold. The yeasty aroma of bread baking in the oven permeates the air.

The ship is well underway, and the chill comes back in the air. As my thin jacket is no match for the piercing wind, I’m happy to step back into the galley to write my blog drafts. Jim has been experimenting with a watercolor technique with photographs. Even sitting in front of a computer can look like a painting.

The informal rule on board is to plug out of all electronic devices, especially cell phones, although service is spotty at best. My rationale for using the computer is that I’m writing, rather than playing games or surfing the Internet. I still do much of the journaling on notepaper, or I’d be asking the Cap’n to charge up my computer much too often to be polite. After dinner, we relax on deck at Sawyer’s Cove, on the west side of Mt. Desert Island.

Lighthouse4Sailing to WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, June 25

A historian once wrote,

Never in these United State has the brain of man conceived or the hand of man fashioned so perfect a thing as a clipper ship.

Sailing on a schooner is amazing, as power comes from the wind, without using oil or gas or leaving behind a stream of smoke. The ship is working with this force of nature. Our speed ranges from 2 to 8 miles per hour, and when the ship is plowing through the water, it is truly thrilling to see the ship cut through the waves. I learned that sailing is all about vectors. Oh, no, this is beginning to sound like a 7th grade math problem. A vector is just a force with direction; a vector is created between low and high pressure on the sails. The keel, which is that fin on the hull, cancels the side force, which allows the other force to push the ship forward. Ok, end of the math lesson.

We set sail mid-morning with a chilly wind. I had mentioned before that we have a small washbowl in our rooms; passengers can take a shower in the lavatory or on deck. Whatever possibility I thought existed to take a shower under those conditions, the cold breeze eliminated all chances of a shower. Others are much braver, but I try not to think about hot showers, which is fine. For now pouring warm water in a bucket will do.

Cap’n Barry

You’re very, very good, And be it understood,
I command a right good crew.
Though related to a peer,
I can hand, reef, and steer,
And ship a selvagee;
I am never known to quail At the fury of a gale,
And I’m never, never sick at sea!
–Gilbert & Sullivan, HMS Pinafore

Before meeting Barry, about all I knew of sea captains is in the verse above from the operetta. Cap’n certainly commands a right good crew, although I cannot attest to his lack of seasickness, as the waters are quite calm on this trip.

Captain Barry

Captain Barry

To use a cliché, Cap’n Barry runs a tight ship. The industrious crew, six altogether, scurries around the ship, always busy with a task; everyone knows what to do and when, as the ship’s operation proceeds seamlessly. Only when the Mary Day changes direction or sails raised or taken down do I hear the captain direct the crew with an order or two.

Rebecca and Hali cleaning with toothbrush and mop.

Rebecca and Hali cleaning with toothbrush and mop.

Passengers pitch in, folding the sails and putting muscle to the rope with a “heave ho” to hoist the sails. Passengers also help with food preparation and cleanup. Nothing is expected or required, all was voluntary help and appreciated.

We anchor late afternoon at the WoodenBoat School wharf. A light rain is falling but the water is silky calm. The yawl provides transport to the shore, and I walk down a dirt road to a pond covered with white water lilies. Along the way, fields filled with yellow buttercups interlaced with purple lupines and wild pink peas and daisies line the roadway. I walk back to the shore to stroll along the beach where snails by the thousands cling to the rocks. I try to be careful about not stepping on them, but I thought it best to get back to dry land to spare them any damage.

Water Lily Pond

Water Lily Pond

It’s 8:30 in the evening and just dark, I stretch myself into the blankets. Rain falls against the window above my bunk. I hear the strains of a guitar from the schooner anchored close by. I’ve been sleeping sounding. I deliberately have to think about problems at home, as sailing seems to blow difficulties and stress away, well, or so I thought. Mindful meditation has taught me to try to live in the moment. I’m just thinking about the aroma of yeast and homemade bread tomorrow morning.

Mary Day at anchor.

Mary Day at anchor.

Lighthouse5Grey Morning, Pouring Rain, June 26

 

Ah! What pleasant visions haunt me
As I gaze upon the sea!
All the old romantic legends,
All my dreams, come back to me.
–The Secret of the Sea, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (from Seaside and Fireside, 1850)

Larry's Dad?

Larry’s Dad?

Lobstering supports a significant part of the economy of coastal Maine, so if I had my way, I’d be destroying the economic viability of the state, I guess. This day has been touted as the beach picnic, with an all you can eat lobster fest. Last evening we met one of the victims, taking pictures of the little guy, who happened to host two barnacles, who had made their home on top of his head. I’m just not comfortable boiling these creatures alive, as I’m not convinced that the animal “doesn’t feel anything.” We really don’t know for sure. So the problem is what to do with myself during the cookout as I don’t want to watch the process of seeing lobsters and accompanying barnacles sent to the fire. And I’m fairly certain none of the other passengers want to hear anything I have to say about the subject. I make a plan to go exploring during this time.

I had left the window over my bed open and water from the deck dripped down onto the edge of the bunk. The pale grey sky let loose a deluge and the decks glistened as the water splashed down over the side through the scuppers. Yes, I had to ask Rebecca what those little holes off the deck were called. The crew, donned in their rain gear, are still cleaning the surfaces of the ship, a hopeless task given the heavy rain, which still proves no deterrent to the never-ending detailing activity. I collect a cup of coffee on deck and seek refuge back in the galley. Warmed with coffee and a hot breakfast, rather than going ashore in the pouring rain, I climb back under the woolen blanket on my bunk, my fingers icy cold.

As I lay in bed trying to stay warm, I hear the passengers laughing. They are engaged in a photographic scavenger hunt, looking for a series of things to photograph aboard ship. Rain hits against the window, and I pull the covers up. I hear a crew member splitting wood with a mallet. I had a series of nightmares last night, despite all my mindful practice to let go of problems. I woke up with a migraine.

I finally crawl out of bed, feeling a little better, the migraine medication kicking in. I could hear the chatter outside the window about the Deer Island Bridge coming up soon. I didn’t want to miss seeing the bridge and the lowering of the masts, as they are too tall to fit under the bridge.

Deer Island Bridge

Deer Island Bridge

A Picnic on PickeringIsland Walk

The crew rows passengers to the island, which looks like all the other islands, covered with evergreens, a rocky coastline and a few sandy beaches. Folks immediately began combing the beach for shells and sea glass, while some of us take the path through the forest to an adjacent beach. As I brush against the low growing shrubs, the pungent aroma of spruce fills the air. I breath deeply and think of Christmas. I wish I could just stay there except for those pesky mosquitoes and whatever else is flying around my head.

Sea Urchin

Sea Urchin

I walked to other side of the island with the hope that roasting of the lobsters would be over by the time I returned. Dinner was well underway when I arrived on the beach, and Cari greeted me with, “Just in time, your portobello just went over the fire.” Jim hands me a vegetable pack of potatoes, onions and corn, roasted and ready for butter and seasoning. All is delicious, best portobello mushroom I’ve ever had.

Photo Credit: Ethan Rhile

Pickering Island. Photo Credit: Ethan Rhile

I join the others in beach combing and come across an odd-shaped rock, with one edge precisely straight, as if cut by human hands. On the rock, two thin white lines cross each other, and Jon, one of the passengers, says that some believe such a rock brings good luck. I’m a very logical person, who usually refuses to accept any superstitions, and yet holding my rock, I’m convinced that, given the past couple years of sadness and struggle, I believe my luck will change.

Reluctant to leave the island, I hold back taking one of the last boats returning to the Mary Day. Hot coffee and a mixed berry crisp waits for us onboard. The crew starts a fire in the galley wood stove, making the cabin warm and cozy. The wind dies down, and a colorful sunset of yellow and pink decorates the horizon. Evening Yellow Sky

Lighthouse6Jolly Jellies and Larry the Lobster, June 27

Friday morning brings three more guests to the Mary Day. Becca scooped up a bucket of seawater, where she captured two species of jellyfish and a lobster larva, no bigger than a speck. Erika identifies one of the jellies as an eight-ribbed hydromedusa. I watch the tiny bell-like creäture propel himself up and down in a glass. Yellow lines falling down the sides delineate each of the chambers in perfect geometric precision, like a biological kaleidoscope. The lobster larvae looks remarkably like his parent with an orange body but with huge eyes and displaying a lot of personality for a crustacean species. He could be a character from an animated movie. Jim even calls him “Larry,” and all who met him refer to him by name. No one would ever eat a lobster with a name, right?

Photo Credits: jimdugan.com

Jim spends the day going through almost every single photograph taken on this trip in preparation for a slide show in the evening. Jim gently critiques each photographer’s collection, giving advice where needed. Jim suggests to most of the photographers to take more than just one picture of a subject. Capturing a subject from many different views and over time provides an opportunity for more success and options. Jim also advises us to consider “value added” to a subject, that the photographer thinks about what approach or technique might be added to what would be just a snapshot or a record of a scene.

Warren Island State Park

The Mary Day slips into a cove at Warren Island State Park where passengers have the option of going onshore. A grassy path follows the shore and circles back toward the middle of the island. At the turn of the 20th Century a “cabin,” but was really much more like a mansion with 29 rooms and taking $75,000 to build at that time, stood at the center of the island but burned to the ground in 1919. Only a few rocks from the foundation remained. Raspberry thickets cover the fields.

I dwell in a lonely house I know
That vanished many a summer ago,

And left no trace but the cellar walls,

And a cellar in which the daylight falls,

And the purple-stemmed wild raspberries grow.
          –Ghost House, Robert Frost

Just before dinner, the Mary Day is under sail again. Cari treats us to a Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. The crew set the tables with candles and patterned tablecloths and a bottle of fine sparkling cider. For dessert: homemade ice cream with the choice of six or seven toppings. There’s no way I could make that ice cream taste better with toppings, nevertheless, I piled on hot fudge and whipped cream.

After anchoring in Crow Cove, passengers and crew gather for the slide show, having a great time reliving our week through the photographs. Folks took a wonderful selection of landscape, still life, and nature pictures. Photographs of both passengers and crew in various posses and expressions, brought the most enthusiasm and positive comments. The slide show is a great ending to a memorable trip, thanks to Jim’s mentoring and time editing the slides.

Jim photo editing.

Jim photo editing.

Lighthouse 7Returning to Port, June 28

The next morning we sail back into Camden. Cap’n Barry maneuvers the Mary Day through the harbor with skill, not an easy task as boats, large and small, crowd around the docks.

I have to catch the bus at 12:30, so Barry drives me to the bus stop. As I stand waiting for the bus, the busy rush of car traffic in and out of the pumping stations catches my attention. We are so dependent on the automobile, and cars bring with them the rush of our modern-day civilization.

City of Portland

I know I have arrived in Portland when the bus passes the B&M Baked Bean plant. B&M Baked Beans claim to fame, “authentic New England taste since 1867.” I just happen to have a couple of cans in the pantry at home.

Morrill Mansion

From the transportation center, I take the Metro bus to nearest stop to the bed and breakfast where I will be staying for two nights. Unfortunately, a steep hill, paved with bricks, lies between my destination and me. I’m wheeling the standard carry-on sized luggage, and carrying a bag with my purse, camera and computer . . . oh, and that rock I picked up at the beach. I’m wondering how lucky I am to have the rock as I struggle up the hill, stopping often to rest. Then I think I might be lost, as I expected to cross Vaughn Street by this time. I ask four people who are passing by if they know where Vaughn Street is, but nobody knows. I check the map again, and turns out, it is just half a block up. I guess Portlanders don’t know their city that well either.

Portland claims to be steeped in history, and the Morrill Mansion Bed and Breakfast, where I made my reservation, is the original home of Charles Morrill, one of the co-founders with George Burnham of the baked bean company, hence, B&M.

B&M Plant, Portalnd

B&M Plant, Portland

I settle into a very comfortable room, and now have the luxury of actually being able to find things in my suitcase, which I could not open all the way in the Mary Day cabin. I spread clothes around the room and look forward to a hot shower.

One of the perks of staying at the Morrill is that they serve goodies and hot tea or coffee in the afternoon. A half-dozen whoopee pies sit under a heavy class dish. I carefully wrap one up in a napkin to take back to my room for a snack later in the evening.

Finding my Way in Portland

As I walk down Congress Avenue, I decide that I really like Portland, which has kept much of its 19th century architecture. Red brick buildings, many of which were factories, have interesting detailing. I’m looking for a place to eat and miraculously find the Local Sprouts Cooperative. How lucky is it to find an establishment that follows one’s own philosophical and political beliefs? Local Sprouts is incorporated as a worked-owned cooperative whose mission is to offer local and organic food and holistic learning. Their coffee is excellent and thoroughly enjoy the veggie-burger.

The next couple hours I explore the quaint Old Port district, stopping in several of the boutiques and gift shops. In one store, I try on a flared skirt in a size I though I would be quite comfortable. All those desserts and delicious breads on the Mary Day had taken their toll. When I return to the B&B, I place the whoopee pie back under the glass dish.

Portland Head LightMore Portland Highlights, Sunday, June 29

To learn more about Portland, I hop on the “Discovery Trolley” for a narrated overview of the city. The driver gives us an animated account of the city, reciting poetry of Longfellow, their famous poet-resident, and quipping about life around town. The driver admits that they have many homeless, but that is because they come to Portland because the city has one of the best social service systems in place. He says with pride, “We take care of our homeless.”

The trolley stops at Portland Head Light in Fort Williams Park.  The lighthouse is the oldest in Maine, finished in 1790, and the most photographed.  A Victorian house, sporting a rust-colored roof and dark green trim against white walls, sit with the lighthouse tower on a rocky precipice.

The rocky ledge runs far out into the sea
And on its outer point, some miles away,
The lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,
A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.
           –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Lighthouse”

After the trolley tour, I get off at the waterfront harbor on Commercial Street. My next destination is the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company & Museum, as I have a fascination with old trains and have written several posts on steam trains. The train runs on a two-foot gauge and follows along Casco Bay. Being a warm day, I enjoy a ride in a shaded open car watching expansive views of the harbor without having to walk in the heat. At the end of the line, children climb into the engine car, thrilled to ring the bell.

With just an hour before closing, I have just enough time to visit to the Portland Museum of Art. I’m most interested in the Winslow Homer collection, which houses about 17 of his works. I stroll through the other galleries, looking for a place to create my own photographic art (which I have done before in art museums), taking a few whimsical shots including a selfie. Selfies are not new, from what I could learn about paintings, artists sometimes include their own likeness in their works.

Kae PMA

One room of the museum features paintings using a collage technique. I’m not sure if it was coincidental or not, but back at the Local Sprout Collective, they displayed their own collages on the wall as mixed media pieces. I thought how wonderful that the collective supports local artists, and artists are encouraged to display their work in the restaurant for all to enjoy.

IMG_7564Home Again

I haven’t had much time to reflect on this trip, as we had scheduled the installation of sump pumps in our basement. Jack hammers jarred the house, scaring the cats under the bed. The final results: pumps installed, bathroom totally destroyed in the process, in addition to other walls being torn down and carted away. Lots of renovation left to do.

Making the video, I returned briefly to the bridge of the Mary Day to sail once more.

I felt something of the spell which even the smallest ship casts over me to this day. For a ship is the noblest of all man’s works—a cunning fabric of wood, and iron, and hemp, wonderfully propelled by wings of canvas, and seeming at times to have the very breath of life.
–C. Nordhoff/J. Hall, Mutiny on the Bounty

Link:

BenBay Pilot, feature story on the Mary Day, by Holly Edwards.

 

Comments on: "Sailing the Coast of Maine on a Windjammer, 2014" (5)

  1. […] Sailing the Coast of Maine on a Windjammer […]

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  2. Joan Gripshover said:

    Lovely! 🙂

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