The Working Waterfront

Island-bound on a rainy day, not a bad fate

Bake, read, listen, watch… sliding into island mode

Test Journo
Posted 2019-08-22
Last Modified 2019-08-22

By Larry McIntosh

I wonder if the old adage, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute, it’ll change,” works the other way too. If you do like the weather, will it also change?

Unfortunately, it did.

Even though the forecast was for partly to mostly cloudy, and 60 percent chance of rain, the morning dawned sunny, warm, calm, and partly cloudy. Mid-tide was fast approaching, as the cove drained through the reversing falls; perfect for a kayak launch, giving me six-plus hours to do an exploration of Seal Bay, and the islands at the entrance to Winter Harbor, and still get back through the falls, on an incoming tide.

By the time I had a quick breakfast, assembled all the paddling gear by the door and dressed properly, the rain started. Sure enough—sadly, it works the other way, too.

Leaving the gear by the door (never lose hope), I changed to the rain-day schedule, in no particular order:

Read: the book I’m into: Wild Horses of the Sun, by Tory Bilski .

Bake: I always have a box of cornbread and gingerbread on hand.

Watch: the last season of  A Place to Call Home.

Listen: Maine Public Radio, and/or the CDs I brought out. 

Organize: my stuff scattered all about, and needs to be put in order.

Write: cards, letters and notes to self, that I’ve been procrastinating.

Relax: into island mode, and just do what comes naturally.

With music playing in the background, gingerbread smells coming from the oven, and rain sounds on the uninsulated roof, I decided to read through my July issue of The Working Waterfront. Luckily, I always have two copies. When I finish, one copy looks like the remnants of a first grade, cut-out project: a skeleton of its former self. 

While simultaneously observing the tides change, the falls reverse, seals and cormorants fish from the sea, and bald eagles and osprey fish from the sky, I cut out articles that interest me, and others that might be of interest to folks in my circle of friends and family. No shortage of cutouts.

“Home sweet home…” goes to my son-in-law, the builder in New Hampshire. “Beyond Acadia…” goes to a friend, who I’ll meet in Cutler, later this summer. “Acadia National Park…” goes to my son in Yellowstone. “Putting the light back…” I’ll save, since I want to stop in Belfast, and see the work being done. “Rock Bound”…since I’m interested in Samuel de Champlain. “Reflections”…always delighted by the Island Fellows project.

All of page 10: about the Maine Maritime Museum, Maritime Music and “If you go.” Just cause. “Fathoming,” on page 17, about geography and relationships, gets cut out. No cutting necessary for the “whaling” article, just needed to pull out pages 18 and 19. I’ve been into whaling for years. 

Still raining, or raining again. Haven’t noticed, but the tide has turned, and the falls is going the other way. Gingerbread is perfect (best warm, and sometimes with apple sauce or yogurt), and still no water in the house; surprising, given the age. 

As I have a history with Castine, all of page 21 is saved. Lucky for me, the other side of that page is the “Journal of an Island Kitchen” and “Saltwater Cure,” both worth keeping: “Who says there’s nothing to do.” You gotta love it. Courtney is right on!

Rob Snyder’s article on Scotland, and a time for a national islands act (page 24) is of keen interest, since I’ve been on many of Scotland’s islands also. Good chance for collaboration, and benefits all around. Phil Crossman (“Observer,” on page 25) is an old salt, and always provides a window into island living.  

OK. Guess I left out one item on the rain-day schedule: Work off-line. No internet access here, and very limited cell service. The way life should be; a rainy day on a Maine Island. 

I’ll send this off from the library, next time I’m in town.

Larry McIntosh is a Vermonter, sailor, paddler, and long time summer resident of Vinalhaven and Catnip Island. (Prize to the first person who identifies Catnip Island.) He’s at: