It is an island that nestles like a suckling against the breast of Maine, but there are many of those. The sheltered darkling water seems to suck up light…To put it plainly, this Isle is like Avalon; it must disappear when you are not there…But it stays with you afterward, and more than that, things you didn’t know you saw come back to you after you have left.
Beautiful words to describe a beautiful place. We wish we could take credit, but they belong to John Steinbeck, who was as charmed as S by the Down East island where she spent her last week. In that time, S’s family barely scratched the surface of what the island has to offer. Even in summer, the weather in Maine is never predictable, which only makes one appreciate the perfect days all the more.
On clear, calm mornings, S went kayaking and tried her hand at paddle-boarding, setting off on the ocean right from the backyard. She had never tried paddle-boarding before, and was happy to remain upright the entire time, thereby avoiding swimming in the chilly northern waters. On overcast and foggy days, the family headed to the nearby farm and went gallery-hopping. The area is home to many artists, and though S did not get to visit the famous Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for a demonstration, artists happily welcomed visitors into their home galleries and storefronts, which sometimes doubled as coffee shops.
The weather was flawless the first day, so the whole family decided to explore another island, which could only be reached by taking the mail boat across the channel. Disembarking amidst all the fishing and lobster boats at the island’s small, traditional village, S’s dad led the way to the beginning of the 4-mile wooded trail to Duck Harbor. Black Dinah Café and Chocolatiers looked to be a sweet-lovers haven, but everyone was so eager to hit the trail that S could only imagine the tasty treats inside. There were few people on the trail, which weaved in and out of sight of the ocean and offered excellent picnicking spots. Waiting for the return boat at Duck Harbor, the family plied Timothee with cookies to keep him content, and he threw shells at his mom in return.
Another day, the family made a quick trip to one of the many nature reserves in the area but retreated to the house after a short walk in the woods when Timothee made it clear that he was teething and unhappy about it. On S’s last full day, her family took a five-hour boat trip to Seal Island. In addition to the harbor seals for which the island is named, it is a popular place to see puffins, great cormorants, sea ducks, gulls, and bald eagles. The puffin season was coming to a close and this was the very last trip of the season. The weather was more suitable for filming an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Mist than for a scenic boat cruise, but the trip was still worthwhile.
After being buffeted by the salty air for most of the day, S enjoyed one last meal with her family at one of the new and highly acclaimed chef-owned restaurants on the island. It was one more pleasant memory of a well-spent week to cherish during the 20+ hours of travel to Romania the next day.