Boat Trip on the Sheepscot River

I’m not a water person, not really. But I do like to look at the water and prefer a house with a water view.  And I go on boats, but quite selectively–on calm waters, with certain friends, not too long in duration, and you get the general idea. Given all of that, I can wholeheartedly recommend the one hour boat trip on the Sheepscot River which leaves from the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay.  First you have to pay to get into the gardens  (or be a member–well worth it and that’s a whole other story!) and then you leave from the new boat dock at the end of the Shoreline Trail.

The boat has an electric motor, seats seven plus the captain and has a canopy which provided some protection from the sun.  Sean Griffith, the captain, is a relaxed and very knowledgeable man who obviously enjoys what he does.  We went out in the afternoon about midway between low and high tides (he thinks low tide is better) and cruised by Sawyer Island, Pratt’s Island and several others on the Sheepscot River which flows up to Wiscasset about 5 miles away by water.  Since the motor is quiet, the captain can speak in a normal tone of voice.  He even cut the motor completely and we just idled every so often.

Bobbing lobster buoy
Bobbing lobster buoy

There were quite a number of seals bobbing their heads up, and we saw a couple of osprey nests, one with two fledglings on it.

These waters are some of the richest in the state for lobsters and besides the colorful lobster buoys, we cruised past the equivalent of a parking lot or garage for empty lobster traps.  A good catch is 500 pounds of lobster a day, a very good and more typical haul for Boothbay lobstermen is 1,000 pounds per day.

There was almost no other boat traffic and so the whole experience was peaceful. Cost of this excursion is $25 per person and well worth it!


The Great War

There is something positively delicious about indulging in a half hour of reading before getting out of bed in the morning.  At home, I treat myself to this on the occasional Saturday or Sunday; here in Maine, it’s a daily occurrence.  Today I finished reading the latest by Jacqueline WinspearThe Care and Management of Lies.  It’s a departure from her Maisie Dobbs series (which I love).

This is a quiet novel with the mostly pastoral setting of a small farm and village in the English countryside. Tom’s educated, somewhat sophisticated wife Kezia discovers a talent for cooking and prides herself on setting a proper table with tasty food. When Tom enlists in the war, Kezia is left to run the farm with only two farmhands and a neighboring girl for kitchen help.

Writing to him at the front, she describes in loving detail the dishes she is creating to serve him.  Her letters are sweet sustenance to him and his comrades in arms. Threaded through the tale of Tom and Kezia’s marriage is her strained friendship with his sister Thea. This is a novel that starts out slowly, but gains in intensity as the war goes on and on and on.

As might be expected, the centenary of  the start of WWI has resulted in a spate of new nonfiction books.  But these war years are also a time period of interest and appeal for mystery, novel and TV writers.  Think about Downton Abbey.  And there are the two engaging series, featuring nurse Bess Crawford and Inspector Ian Rutledge set during the war and post-war years.  The author is the mother son team known as Charles Todd.   And a WWI series of mystery/spy novels by Anne Perry, better known for her Victorian era mysteries.   I’ve not read these, but will add them to my list.


Recent Novels


Good books!

The House Girl by Tara Conklin (2013)–slaves and masters in 1850’s Virginia coupled with a modern day legal case

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova (2012)–an autistic boy and friendship between two women

The Spy Game by Georgina Harding (2009)–1960’s Cold War Britain–was mother a spy?

Above All Things by Tanis Rideout (2013)–George Mallory’s 1924 expedition to Everest and his marriage

Sparta by Roxana Robinson (2013)–college-educated Marine officer returns to Westchester County after 4 years in Iraq, a chilling account of PTSD

Welcome to my world!

Molly's Point
Molly’s Point

As I gaze out at the sparkly Atlantic Ocean here in mid-coast Maine,  I am 95% retired and contemplating the end of work assignments in just two weeks.  It’s an awesome prospect, huge–I can’t ever recall being without a job or contemplating going to a new job.  It’s oddly liberating to think of having so much free time for reading, cooking, travel, friends, and grandchildren!

I am currently reading Roxana Robinson’s beautifully nuanced novel, Sparta, about a young Marine officer just home from Iraq after his four-year tour of duty.  He is irritated by, impatient with, and frequently angered by his family and everyone around him since they can’t understand what his recent life has been.  They are clueless and unaware and seemingly indifferent.

In some small way, I won’t know what it’s like to be retired until I fully am.