Thursday, November 25, 2010

Down the Coast of Maine

Southwest harbour, about 100 nautical miles from St. Andrew’s was our first stop along the coast of Maine. This is the home of Hinckley Yachts and is thus a small community with a big boatbuilding reputation.  Boatwatching in this bay is a real pleasure.  The community has a lovely friendly coast of Maine feel and there is a great playground in the middle of town where there were always new ’friends’  for the monkeys.   A trip to the Mount Desert Oceanarium brought us to small aquarium with a great touch tank, a real lobsterman who took us through the history of lobstering in Maine and a lobster hatchery that releases 30000 baby lobsters a year. Emma and Macsen were impressed with the thousands of 2cm long perfect mini lobsters flying around in the tanks.  They were both very brave and picked up huge 11-legged sea stars and Emma cuddled a large horseshoe crab.  

Frenchboro is the only community on Long Island,  a small island located just 10 nautical miles from Southwest harbour.  There are 90 residents of which 20 are school age children.  The bay is absolutely stunning with rocky banks surrounding a narrow inlet, lobster pots and lobster boats and houses clinging to the hills.  There are beautiful secluded walking trails through the woods and along the ocean.  There is also a small lobster restaurant/ store open in season (which we arrived outside), a great school with playground and a very well stocked library where we could sign-out books for the monkeys every afternoon.  Tammy and Jay, owners of the Offshore Store, had moved to the island five years previously.  He is an ex-boatbuilder turned lobster fisherman.  They welcomed us warmly with free ice-cream from the store freezer and Emma and Macsen frolicked about with their kids. They had won the lottery to hunt a moose and were heading off to the mainland as a family for the hunt and expected to refill the freezer with moose meat upon their return.  By a nice coincidence, we found that Kees and Mart from the big Pjotter had watched the World Cup finals with them in June.  


Our three-day stop in Freeport included a special surprise.  My mother had driven down to Portland (12 miles away) to drop my father off for a flight to England.  She came and spent the night and a day with us poking about in the outlet shopping Mecca.  It was easier to say goodbye this time as we plan to see her in a couple of weeks at Booh and Jen’s in Rhode Island.   

As we left Maine and headed towards Massachusetts, Seb and I both agreed that Maine has a very special coast with wonderful friendly people and amazing scenery and a really great all around feel.  Much like the Canadian Maritimes.  

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