We had a marvelous day getting well acquainted with our recently extended family, John and Tilly.
Promptly at 9:00am John arrived via water and rafted his Whaler onto Rode Trip. We welcomed him aboard and were excited to show him the ins and outs of Rode Trip. There was not a dull moment from this point forward as we chatted throughout the day. John fondly recalled his parents' Pearson 27'. He shared with us his either brave or stupid (yet to be determined) trip to Bermuda as a crew member aboard a Pearson 31'. The popular topic of Rode Trip's plumbing arose, which soon led to outhouses that may benefit from an upgrade. We talked about managing moisture within a wild climate and got some good clothing tips from cousin Jake's experience hiking the Appalachian Trail. Hours passed quickly aboard Rode Trip and we had to mind the tide so that John could return home on the Whaler. So, we packed for a day ashore and joined John for a ride farther up Harpswell Sound to Princes Point where John welcomed us to his beautiful, waterfront home. I had the honor of riding in Tilly's chair which was incredibly comfortable and dry! What a thrill to move so quickly on a boat!
At Princes Point we received a jovial welcome from Loki, Blu, and Charlie. John demonstrated how a haul out effortlessly hauls the Whaler to and from shore; finally explaining to Brian and me the purpose of those ropes that we often see along the bottom of shorelines. After a doggy potty break we piled into the Volvo (aka "Grandma") and headed into Brunswick to meet Tilly. We had a tasty lunch at Wild Oats and shared with John and Tilly a glimpse of our previous lives as Social Worker and Chemist. We found common interest in road races and talked about marathon training. Brian elaborated on our, always tentative, sailing itinerary (aka wedding tour 2012).
After lunch we took a walking tour of the best places in downtown Brunswick. All the while Brian took note of what had expanded or what had gone since his days here at Bowdoin College. The Farmers' Market had delicious looking produce, meats, and cheeses. We had a sampling of the goat cheese and sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes. Good thing we had already eaten lunch because our mouths continued to water at Wilbur's of Maine Chocolate Confections. John pointed out a chocolate tool set that might be handy to have on the boat. We reminisced about the 'ol time candies. Then a very interesting stop at Bart and Greg's DVD Explosion. This DVD rental store had every film imaginable, and even some unimaginable! Films were neatly categorized by genre, release year, director, and/or writer. It was yet another unique Bowdoin grad success story.
John drove through the Bowdoin campus on our way back to the house. Brian was able to see the new developments on campus; he showed John and me where he had lived. We saw the sports arena and the track and Brian and John swapped Coach stories. Once at home we stretched our legs on in the yard playing fetch with Blu, only Blu doesn't drop yet so it was more like fetch and attempted release. He is in tall, lanky puppy phase. He is very fast but still improving coordination. Brian and I were impressed with Charlie's coordination and impeccable sense of direction and smell. Charlie is blind and deaf but that doesn't stop him from moving about his environment with ease and sniffing out my Wilbur's chocolates tucked away in my backpack. And Loki watches the commotion hesitantly from afar perched atop the couch. Before retiring to the house, John pointed out the now mud flats at low tide. His footprints were still visible in the mud from digging clams a few days ago. Amazing the mud keeps those imprints for so long, even months!
John gave us a great history lesson, while looking at navigational charts, about Dingley Island. Back in the day Dingley was a leading supplier of ice. The ice would be harvested in the freshwater pond and shipped all along the east coast. Brian had taken a dip in that historic pond at Gene and Christina's wedding. I talked a while with Tilly and showed some photos from our travels.
We ended our marvelous day with a delicious dinner at Cook's Lobster House on Bailey Island. We had a sampling of lobster, shrimp, scallops, and haddock. And the blueberry pie was scrumptious! Brian and John discovered they both have fond memories of Sunfish boats. We let our meal settle during a walk at Lands End. The statue "The Fisherman" that rests at Lands End is one of three. The others are located in Portland, ME and Washington DC. Tilly and I discovered we both have a soft spot in our hearts for Pennsylvania. We all could have talked the night through, but Rode Trip would have been lonesome in the dark without her anchor light on. So we said farewell and set out for home in our kayaks. Our paddle was lit by a shimmer of phosphorescence on the disturbed water.
Thanks very much to John and Tilly for their hospitality! We look forward to seeing them again and sharing our adventures!