An Unusual Afternoon at Little Cranberry Island
21 July 2013 | Little Cranberry Island, Maine
We got up early and left Roque Island to go back to the Mount Desert Island area. This time we went through the Thoroughfare – a shortcut that we tried to use on the way there but it was too foggy to chance it. We had gone through there in our dinghy yesterday and knew exactly what it looked like. Above is a picture of Moonraker taking the shortcut. There wasn’t a lot of wind but there was a big swell in the Gulf of Maine and it was a bit uncomfortable. Both Bill and I were feeling a little seasick. We finally got to Little Cranberry Island in the early afternoon and were able to take one of the free moorings. The one we got is actually a memorial to someone who died.
We took the dinghy down and went into town. It’s a small island, thus the name, but they are trying to be a tourist destination. The mail boat ferry comes here and the harbor is relatively busy. There were handmade signs all over pointing you to some touristy business or another. We went to look at the museum but apparently it’s not quite the way it was previously. Over the winter a window blew in and damaged most of the artifacts they had there. Instead they had enlarged some grainy pictures and put passages from a book that kind of went with the pictures, but not really. We moved from the museum to the row of shops attached to the restaurant. There was a pottery shop, a handmade from Maine shop, and an art gallery. All of the stuff was beautiful, expensive, and absolutely nothing we needed.
I had seen a sign for a produce shop – now that was something I needed. It turned out to be a screen tent in front of someone’s house with a refrigerated case in it and a number of things you could buy. I bought a cucumber and a zucchini but I didn’t need any of the other fancy stuff she was selling. Then we started walking toward the cobblestone beach Bill had read about. When we got to this driveway a man on a bike stopped and said to us “You guys tourists? How much time do you have? Go follow those people there and you won’t be sorry, trust me!” The people he was pointing too had pink boas around their hats, and the woman’s hat also had a pink flamingo on it. OK… we followed them. It was a Mad Hatter Party at the incredible wooded estate of a Maine artist/jewelry maker named Sam Shaw. Everyone was dressed quite oddly, there was music, and food and drink. Just to prove that a year of cruising hasn’t really changed me, I was very uncomfortable there. We decided we weren’t really invited, although the guy on the bike said it was an open party, and we didn’t partake of any of the food or drink. We did however wander through the open house and the workshop and marvel over the incredibleness of it all. We decided to leave, and then we kicked ourselves the rest of the afternoon for leaving. Instead we headed to the cobblestone beach, which was also quite cool. I’m sure not many people do what we did but we ended up walking all the rest of the way around the island on the cobblestones followed by the big rocks at the head of the island. We weren’t one hundred percent sure we could go all the way through that way but luckily we could.
Tomorrow we think we are going to check out Southwest Harbor. It’s one of the destinations we want to take our grandkids to and we want to see what it is like.