The friend in question was a former supervisor, in fact. When I was an AB on the steamship New River, the chief mate was one of my favorite people to sail with. He lives in the same vicinity in Downeast Maine where I used to work sometimes as part of my summer job as a roustabout at my University's biological field station. As such, when I was at the end of my first trip to sea, working as an Ordinary Seaman, I heard his accent one day, and realized that we knew some of the same people in his community. After a couple of trips together, he invited me up to his home for the weekend, and I've been coming up there since. I've been visiting the vicinity of Eastport, Maine for almost 20 years now. I used to go up alone and stay for long weekends when I was single, filling my time by hiking and wandering the beaches and forests like any geek with a serious bent for marine biology. In addition, I always had acquaintances to visit, and, unlike when I'm in the more urban setting of my home, when I'm out in the country, I'm in my environment, and, as such, I find it easy to make friends while drinking beer, so I made friends of my own up there anyhow. So, going to Eastport is an exercise in connecting with people for me, too.
All the same, it's the natural beauty of the place that truly draws me- Cobscook bay, on the Bay of Fundy, is a unique complex with an ecology that is different from anywhere else in the world, among the most fertile and dynamic waters on earth, and the ecology is rich with a diversity that is nearly unspoiled. There I can let my inner child out to play in a way that I would never even dream of considering anywhere else. Observing and collecting animals and plants, that sort of thing- beachcombing, taking in the incredible clean air and the smell of where the land and sea meet... that's the good stuff for me. I'm not going to get all poetical here, but I can, and have, certainly been inspired to do so up there. If I hadn't met my wife, I'd be up there now, and let me tell you, I'd like it. Inappropriately Hot Foreign Wife, however, would wither on the vine. She's a city girl, first, and second, is a little, well, dark, up there- there's not a fellow Brazilian for her to speak with for perhaps 150 miles. With me being gone so much, she'd fail to thrive. As such, she only joined me up in my travels in Maine just once, when we were dating. This time she, and my boy, joined me up there. My boy liked it just fine, despite it being 15 degrees outside most of the time.
|This is the view from my friend's kitchen table.|
|Fossil hunting at Reversing Falls, Pembroke, ME|
|Didn't even make it from the dinner table...no wonder my wife was bored.|