Yesterday, in celebration of my birthday, DH took myself and the kids on a cruise around Casco Bay. All my life I've lived in the northern part of Casco Bay, the area where the islands pennisula make up the most northern tip. This trip took us to the islands immediately in the bay, the ones serviced by Casco Bay lines on their mailboat route. DH had been to many of these islands over the years as he worked a lobster boat in the area. He was my tour guide for the afternoon sojourn.
Now, I grew up on an island. I can say that much as truth. But, in fact, this island is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Is it a true island? Yes. But even as distant an upbringing that I had, the islands that I saw yesterday were a much truer story of life on an island. My Mom-in-Law is the minister on Long Island and she's taken my daughter out to experience it a time or two. I am a bit envious. My only experience of Long Island is from the ferry. But it looks like a delightful place. It was used as a military installment (as were most of the bay islands) during WWII and there are several old warehouses and one great looking barracks that I would love to get my hands on and run a bed and breakfast out of...(yes, just another dream). Anyway, we say Little Diamond with Pocohontas light, the smallest working lighthouse in the US, Great Diamond (which has a much talked about restaurant on it) and then on to Chebeague and finally Cliff Island. At Cliff Island we had a thirty minute stop and I got to get off the boat. This island is probably the furthest out of the continually habitated islands and when you get off the boat you are met by handwritten signs that point the way to areas of interest o the island. The library, post office, etc. There is a small store with a snack bar at the dock and we indulged in some ice cream while we looked around. They actually have a taxi driven by Chester. Yes, I know it's Chester because I saw his picture on the message board at the center of town. There are golf carts to move people about the island and a few other vehicles. But it seemed like a much more condensed version of my own hometown island. I was enchanted. I wanted to stay, but hubby said no. There are things to be considered when living on an island such as that. For one, there would be very little impulse buying since there are few places to shop and anything that you purchase on the mainland must be carted, wheeled or otherwise toted aboard ship and brought out to the island. There is no such thing as fast food and getting to it isn't a matter of just going down to the dock and getting on board the ferry. Cliff Island has a ferry only three to four times a day and less during the colder months. You would need to plan very carefully what was needed. Whereas when I was growing up we would make the trek to the nearest town as an indulgence of sorts. This is much closer to what life was like when my mom was growing up and the islands (even the ones connected by bridges) were much more remote. But even on Cliff Island they had all sorts of community activities planned. A spaghetti dinner to raise money for the fire department, a talk at the library (I'd love if they asked me) and even an acapella group called The Bretheren that gave us a preview on the ferry.
It was an incredibly wonderful day and one that I won't forget. I just wish to dig my toes into the sand of a few more islands before my time is over.
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