For those of you who may be confused, we are not back in Maine. I was unable to keep up with all the pictures and places as it was happening. I like to tell myself that I was too busy living it, but it had more to do with laziness, procrastination and, yes, over thinking. Here at Shameless Enthusiasm, we’re all about getting over it. I had hoped to stay on top of things more, share things as they happened. But, I didn’t. So what? It’s not about being perfect, it’s about getting better. For me, that means not letting a little detail like being two months behind stop me from forcing you to look at all the great pictures I took.
Our journey re-begins upon departing Somes Harbor and Mount Desert Island. Frenchboro is a village on Long Island, approximately eight miles south of Mount Desert Island. It is accessible only by boat, with limited ferry service and some tour boats. Being so close to the mainland, there are always a couple of visiting boats. Still, the place has a remote feel. Depending on your source, the population is around 50 people, with some seasonal fluctuation. There is a church, a one-room schoolhouse, a museum/library, post office, firehouse and two(!) places where you can get a fresh cooked lobster (more on that later).
It was overcast and damp when we arrived in Frenchboro in the early afternoon. We took a mooring and went ashore for a walk. Much of Long Island is part of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and features 10 miles of hiking trails. We got a map at the Offshore Store and took the closest path out to the rocky shoreline. It seemed promising, so we decided to stay another day to explore more of the island.
Before going back to the boat, we ordered a couple of lobster rolls (and a hot dog for Chloë) at Lunt’s Dockside Deli. As I mentioned in a earlier post, I had become more selective in my choice of lobster meals. During our visit in 2007, I was eating lobster-something everywhere we went. Mark, on the other hand, would rather eat a hot dog than fight with a lobster shell any day.
Wholesale lobster prices this year dropped below $5/pound in many places, although most restaurants were still charging a premium price. So I set out to find an “authentic” lobster experience. My goal was to get direct from the lobsterman, if possible, without having to cook them myself. Throw in some Maine ambiance and that’s an “authentic” lobster experience. The Lunt family has fished locally since the early 1800s and has been in the lobster business since 1951. Sitting on Lunt’s dock, we looked out over the small working harbor, perfect with its stacks of traps and ramshackle piers mixed with the more modern docks. Lobster boats worked continuously in and out; lobsters waited in lobster cars (underwater containers) floating nearby. I’m not sure the lobster roll was any better but, at that moment, even the lingering fog felt just right.
When we arrived at our mooring, Cadillac Mountain could be seen in the narrow gap between the islands, looking just east of north, towards Mount Desert Island. By evening, a fog bank at the harbor’s entrance blocked our view. In the morning, we were completely engulfed. The rumble of unseen lobster boats was our only evidence of the outside world until late morning, when a ghostly apparition of a sailboat passed by.