Maine: Almost over but the season is not.

Well, it’s nearly the end of August and Pandora will be heading toward home next week.  As I write this I am in Rockland, counting down the days and not in a good way.

Brenda spent much of yesterday with an artist’s, artist friend who lives in Maine full time and enjoyed her time with her.  Me, I just sat for hours in a coffee shop, wifi and all.

Somehow doing bills, working on some details next steps with Pandora and some Salty Dawg stuff ate up the entire morning.  When Brenda returned after lunch, her response was, “you’re still here?”.  Yup, still here and no blog post to show for myself.

So, it’s another beautiful day here in Rockland.  Last night a cold front came through and instead of the mid 80s humidity that we have endured for days not, today’s high is a more Maine Like mid 60s.  It will be lovely.

Before I go into some of the fun details of what the last two weeks here in Maine have been like, I’ll share yesterday’s sunrise, framed by a huge ketch anchored far out in the harbor.  What a perfect way to begin the day. Those of you that sleep late miss moments like this.  And, speaking of memorable sunrises, when we were in Castine, before hurricane Henri passed up the east coast.  The currents are swift in the river there and the sunrise made for a beautiful moment with the current pulling hard on a channel marker.Castine is the home of the Maine Maritime Academy and it was fun to see the cadets out marching through town.  Lots of “hup, hup” stuff going on and plenty of loud chants by the officers, dutifully repeated by the cadets. They also were out for training on their lifeboats, learning to row in perfect time.  Back and forth across the river they went with the bosun keeping time. Their “boat”, the State of Maine was in town.  At one point the cadets filed one at a time up the gangway to board the ship. It was unclear to me if that’s where they live or if there are dorms.  Castine is a charming little town with loads of history. There are a number of very nice independent book stores, something that seems to be fairly thriving in the small towns in Maine.  Perhaps their trade is driven by tourists that want to curl up with a good book when it’s foggy, cold and rainy.  Melody, an artist herself, saw a tiny kiosk mounted on a sidewalk post outside of one shop where artists can swap out their work.  Put in a piece of art and take one.  I love the idea.  Perhaps we need one in our home town. We also spent time in Buck’s Harbor where we had a lobster bake.  I wanted Chris and Melody to experience eating lobster outside on a picnic table overlooking a quintessential Maine harbor.  While we were there a schooner full of vacationers pulled in and dropped her hook.  There are many schooners in Maine that take out vacationers for week long cruises, stopping in one quaint spot after the next. Buck’s is home to a beautifully maintained Concordia yawl, a well regarded design coveted by those that love wooden classics.  Her owner also has a Pulsifer Hampton, another charming design.  I’ve never seen two of them together and with matching canvas, no less. From Buck’s we headed back up to Castine to wait out the hurricane.  Fortunately, it turned out to be a non-event and we never saw winds much more than a brief period in the high teens.  There were many boats in the harbor tucked down near shore including the 1030s vintage Ranger, one of a number of restored America’s Cup boats making the rounds of the classic racing regattas.  She is an impressive sight and huge at over 130′ long. She draws more than a dozen feet, which she needs to, in order to balance her impossibly tall mast. I was taken by this tug boat converted into a yacht.  I don’t know anything about her but our paths have crossed a number of times this season. It’s not always sunny and to see a schooner drifting by in the fog is an impressive and ageless sight. Sun, threats of hurricanes, fog, rain, the weather is always changing in Maine and is one of the reasons that I love being here.

So, as I finish up this post, we are planning to head to Allen Island, the site of the family summer home for Andrew and Betsy Wyeth, now diseased, the famous artist and his wife.  I’ll have more to say about that perhaps in a few days.  From there we hope to go to Booth Bay where my friend George will meet us and help me bring Pandora to Fall River MA where I am having some work done on her electronics.   Conveniently, Brenda will drive his car back home for him.  Very convenient.

Our time in Maine is nearing a close but I am optimistic that our cruising season is not and that we will soon be back in the Caribbean for a winter of cruising. However, I will say that the details of that are still up in the air due to the lasting threats of Covid-19 and the Delta variant.  Life is never simple, even for the vaccinated.

I’d better sign off as the coffee is ready.

 

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