Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lubec .. Campobello .. Beals Island ..A Bit of Maine and More...

And back to our Downeast Maine trip....
In my post of August 8th I delved into the charms of Eastport. Well I'm happy to say that there are lots of other "charming" spots on the Downeast coast of Maine. Charming may not be the term to describe those areas if you're a resident and trying to scratch out a living but to most of us who are traveling thru the word accurately describes Lubec  and Beals Island.   I don't know if Campobello Island fits into the same "trying to scratch out a living" category as the other two but it definitely fits into the charming category.
I've lived in Maine my entire life but up until 3 weeks ago have never visited these areas even though Campobello has always been on my bucket list.  And since I married into the Bailey family with their roots firmly entrenched into the hardscrabble Calais soil, I have been joyfully exploring Downeast Maine with my wife and her two brothers expertly guiding me through this "other Maine".
On our way back home to Belfast, we turned off Rt. 1 and soon found ourselves dodging all the traffic in downtown Lubec.
It's charm is evident in it's architecture and waterfront buildings
which harken back to better days of fishing and boat building. However even now it has it's draws,  such as West Quoddy Head and being  the gateway to Campobello. There are of course fishermen in the town who I'm guessing bring to market a good amount of lobster.
Living in Belfast, I've always been amazed at the power and influences of the tides particularly the difference between high and low in our area of the mid-coast. But our tides don't stack up at all to those in the Eastport - Lubec areas.  I'm not sure if the photo above was taken at the low water mark or not but it will surely give you an indication of what their tides are like. They would definitely take some getting used to.

After our tour of Lubec we crossed the International Bridge onto Campobello Island and my first visit to the Roosevelt International Park. Simply awe inspiring..
So much history of a fascinating family and era..
Cottage and grounds..
Beach and wharf..
View of Lubec from the island...
Moving on we next took a quick tour of Beals Island
a lobster fishing enclave if I ever saw one..
And one thing , among many, that struck me was that there were so few recreational boats. Spending most of my time in salt water of Belfast , Searsport and Camden I am used to seeing harbors jammed up with all sorts of boats dedicated to fun and tourists.  Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right spots but Eastport , Lubec and Jonesport Beals salt water dedication seems to me to be  directed toward making a living and not frivolity.  It was nice to see that part of Maine's heritage still exists.
Maine Matters will definitely return to the Washington County's portion of The Bold Coast to explore and report..until then..

Friday, August 14, 2015

It's a Harbor Happening..

In order to kick off this years Belfast Harbor Fest, the town received some visitors, who it seems to me,  puts us on the yachting world map.

The tide was low but spirits high as we strolled past the boat ramp..

With pennants flying against a beautiful blue sky,

The New York Yacht Club had arrived..

A good contingency had tied up or moored in Belfast Bay, consequently making the Public Landing a very busy spot to be..

A happening...

Motor yachts, sailboats, dories and dinghies, all contributed to the hustle and bustle of a very busy waterfront...

What a change from the "Smaltz Port" notoriety that was Belfast's reputation years ago when the bay was used for convenient disposal of raw sewerage and chicken offal.

But those days are long gone and now Belfast has become A Destination for cruise ships, boats and yachts of all shapes and sizes..

And it is so very nice to see..

Monday, August 10, 2015

Lovin' Eastport..

Last weekend my family and I traveled Downeast to Eastport for a memorial of a family friend. 

Eastport has been down trodden for a lot of years and I remember it to be a town of plywood covered windows, with the atmosphere of a dying community.  But I am extremely happy to report that on our visit those images and feelings no longer seem to apply. We happened to be there during the dedication and festivities of the bronze sculpture of a mermaid which adorns the lovely harbor walk.

The next day on an early Sunday morning I took a stroll around the still sleepy town, just after a beautiful downeast  sunrise.

The breakwater which partially collapsed last December is being rebuilt and to me symbolizes the "rebuilding" of the town itself.


As well as the fishing fleet there are of course a few anchor businesses in town that have seen it all.  Including The Waco Diner. Established in 1924 and a staple of downtown , and some say the oldest diner in Maine, 
Looking down (or up)...

 or up (or down)..I guess it depends if you are an uptown person or a downtown person..

or from the water,
you can see and sense the pride and love that it's citizens have for their community reflected by the storefronts and it's upbeat atmosphere. 
It truly is a gem of a Maine place to visit and we are sure to be back. You should too.
Good going Eastport!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Moving On..without Ray

THE day that all pet lovers dread arrived at our home in June.

The decision had to be made to let our loving, kindhearted, sweet boy Ray move on. And even though that day was some six weeks ago, I sit here still stunned and heart broken but eternally grateful for the 11 plus years that we were blessed with him in our lives.

Ray was a once in a lifetime dog, as my wife Pat often said, "A one in a million dog." I've never known a dog with such a kind heart and loving soul, and I've had many dogs in my life. Although I have loved them all,  there was something very exceptional about Ray, a combination of intelligence, a total willingness to please and most importantly to emanate love. 

He touched everyone he met.

There will be other dogs..Andre and Kiwi are with us now. Andre is a Guiding Eyes For The Blind program puppy and will be going on to "college" in 4 or 5 months and we will miss him.  Kiwi is our new, forever pup, a medical release from GEB and a very sweet girl and is integrating nicely into our family life.  We are so happy to have them here with us but there will never be another Ray.

This picture of him blissing out in the summer sun on Penobscot Bay, taken by Pat, so sums up Ray. 


"He spoke through tears of 15 years how his dog and him traveled about The dog up and died, he up and died And after 20 years he still grieves" -Mr Bojangles by Jerry Jeff Walker 

We are going to miss him so very much...