Monday, September 5, 2011

"Irene" at Eileen's

In concluding our last Blog we mentioned that Eileen invited us to shelter in her home in Maine and that we did not hesitate to accept her invitation, so on the Friday we drove the 220 Miles to Winthrop and safety. “Irene” did, in fact pass right through the area of New Hampshire where we had been. We arrived in time to help Carl take his boat out of the water and transport Jeremy’s 3 snow mobiles to Eileen and Carl’s home. Parked in front of the house was an RV, a Jeep, an SUV, “Bluebug”, Carl's boat on a trailer, 3 snow skis on a trailer and our tow dolly.  Eileen said she was thinking of putting a "For Sale" sign on everything.

Saturday Eileen served up lobster rolls for lunch; they were yummy and the beginning of a daily dose of lobster for both of us while in Maine. That afternoon Carl drove the 4 of us to Boothbay. On the way we stopped at an RV garage to see if we could have our RV serviced; while Tom was checking on the service Eileen and I decided we would check out the RVs parked around the forecourt. Looking at one I leaned over on the top step of a 5th wheeler to look in side window overbalanced and BANG…over I go, head-over-heels backwards. And…you guessed it – the door was unlocked! Embarrassed and annoyed I sat there in pain trying to assess the damage I had done to myself; I sprained my knee, hit my head on another RV and hurt the index finger on my right hand, all in all very little considering the height of the fall. As there was nothing broken we continued on to Boothbay, a beautiful small town on a hill overlooking the harbor on the coast of Maine, this part of New England reminded us of Cornwall in England. The day before Irene was due to arrive the weather was beautiful, the sky cloudless and blue and the shops were wonderful for us browsing tourists. After dinner my knee was quite swollen and sore so on the way home we bought an Ace knee support.
The rain associated with Irene started in the middle of Saturday night however the Roaring Lion of a hurricane we had anticipated ended up as a Kitty Cat around Winthrop. We had 24 hours of heavy rain, strong winds, with gusts that took down a few trees yet locally no great harm done, we lost electricity for 3 hours but others were not so fortunate. The worst of the storm was in upstate New York, the Adirondacks, Vermont and New Hampshire in particular. Irene ensured, however that I had a very restful day - much needed for my knee.

How many of you know that LA is in Maine? I’ve been there! It’s where we had the RV serviced.  LA for Lewiston/Auburn has a most magnificent river the Androscoggin running through it - at least it was truly awesome the day after the storm.  Auburn is on one side of the river and Lewiston is on the other. We had lunch (lobster rolls, of course) sitting on the balcony of a restaurant overlooking the river and waterfall on what was a hot summers day. Later that afternoon the noise of chain saws was in the air all around the lake near Eileen’s where the men were hard at work cleaning up after the hurricane, what a good excuse to use the chain saw. 

We stayed 4 nights with Carl and Eileen and then headed for the coast and Camden which Carl had discovered was holding its annual “Windjammer Festival” over the weekend. Windjammers are Schooner’s of anything from 46 to 132 feet in length, with 2 to 4 masts 65 to 80 feet tall; originally built as cargo carrying sailing ships, the Maine fleet has been lovingly refurbished by their owners and now offer passengers a great day or several days cruise under sail. Eileen and Carl joined us in Camden for 2 days and we were lucky enough to manage to secure reservation on the Schooner Appledore 11, a traditional 86-foot wooden windjammer (that has circumnavigated the world 4 times) and sailed into Camden port as part of the Windjammers parade. One unique feature of windjammers is that most of them do not have an engine; as you can imagine it’s fascinating to watch a tiny boat with an outboard engine push a 132 foot windjammer into dock.
Our next “port of call” is Bar Harbor on Mount Desert Island, Maine. 

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