The Mailboat Run

15 Jun

 

20140615_095217_1_1This morning dawned clear and bright after the drizzly rain of the previous day, so we were glad we saved the mailboat run for today.  We had breakfast again at Becky’s Diner and then headed to church at Eastpoint Christian.  We enjoyed the service and its always refreshing to worship with a group of believers in another part of the country.  It does something to encourage your own faith, knowing there are people everywhere that share similar values and beliefs.  Especially touching was the baptism at the end of the service where a young dad baptized his wife and two sons.  Very fitting for father’s day! As soon as the service concluded, we headed back to the wharf area of Portland to buy our tickets for the mailboat run.

The Casco Bay Lines carries mail and parcels for the US Postal service, and in this part of the country, that means mail delivery to the main outlying islands twice a day, seven days a week.  Passengers are welcome to ride along (for a reasonable fee) and watch the packages (and occasional passenger) be off-loaded.  It’s a great way to see a sampling of the islands in the Casco Bay.  There are 365 islands in this area, so they are collectively called the Calendar Islands.  Not all are inhabited, but the mailboat made a number of stops at the larger ones for deliveries. The scenery was beautiful and each docking area was unique.  There would usually be one or two people waiting at the docks, knowing they had a delivery coming in or expecting a family member to arrive on the mailboat.  We saw all sorts of items delivered, including a couch that two women hauled off the dock and into the bed of their waiting pick up truck. The last island on the mailboat delivery route was Cliff Island.  On that island stands the only remaining one-room school house in the state of Maine.  It’s an elementary school for the young students that reside on the island.  This school year, there were a total of 4 students enrolled.  The middle and high school students ride the same mailboat we rode, and leave the island each morning by mailboat at 6:00 am.  They catch the 2:45 pm mailboat out of Portland and return to their island home at 4:00 pm each afternoon.  That makes for a long day, but a beautiful commute!

There were remnants of at least 3 old forts and a few remaining buildings from military installations in places.  The captain of the boat narrated a few points of interest as we traveled, pointing out the remains of a couple of ship wrecks just visible above the water.  The mailboat run took about 3 hours and I would recommend it for anyone wanting a good overview of the Portland Harbor.  Below are just a few of the pictures from the cruise. 20140615_122951_1

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After the boat ride, it was time for lunch!  We stepped off the boat and ate lunch at Gilbert’s Chowder House right at the end of the Casco Bay Line pier.  It was here that we tried our first taste of whole belly clams.  Up until today, we’d only had clam strips.  This area is famous for whole belly clams and though I find the name somewhat disturbing,  they weren’t bad.  I ordered the seafood chowder which was chocked full of shrimp. lobster, crab, and white fish.  It was delicious.  Jimmy went for the scallops and french fries.  The food was good and we really enjoyed the outside seating on the dock on such a beautiful day. 20140615_131756_1

20140615_131803_1After lunch, we headed south to Kennebunkport.  We took back roads all the way and enjoyed the beautiful scenery along the coast.  We checked in to our first true Maine Bed and Breakfast, The Beach House Inn, built in 1890.  We’ve found that family-run inns and bed and breakfasts are primarily predominate here, there are a few chain hotels and motels, but the inns and b & b’s far outnumber the chains.  We were delighted that our room overlooked the ocean and we will be sleeping with all of the windows open tonight!  It’s cool at night and warm and sunny during the day but not hot. 20140615_154551_1

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We dropped off our suitecases and walked across the street to the beach and walked along the beach for a bit.  The water is very cold and though there were a few folks on the beach, we only saw two kids actually brave enough to be in the water.  Later in the afternoon, we decided to drive a ways along the coast to see more of the area.  We came to a nice little park near Walker’s Point (where the Bush family compound is located) and pulled off to explore.  It was the site of a beautiful old stone Episcopal church, Saint Anne’s,  that was built in the mid 1800’s.  The park was right on the ocean and there was an open air altar and pews on the point over-looking the ocean.  The old stone church however, was really the eye-catcher.  All the doors were standing open and inside we read that it was built on that spot to always be a welcome refuge for people.  The Bush family had provided some of the structural improvements and restorations that had been necessary throughout the years 20140615_171511_1

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After driving a while longer, we began to get hungry so we headed back to Kennebunkport and stopped for dinner at Arundel Wharf.  We were seated right away under an umbrella on the dock overlooking the Kennebunk River and enjoyed watching the schooners travel up the river to dock for the night.  I had a wonderful salad and shrimp cocktail.  Jimmy went for the scallops once again.  Can’t wait til tomorrow’s meals…

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2 Responses to “The Mailboat Run”

  1. Pat lewis June 16, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    We are enjoying reliving the mail run and all the wonderful food. Praying we get to do it one more time. When we went someone was getting an old upright piano delivered. Interesting ! Have fun..

  2. Sarah June 16, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    That salad looks good! And I’m pretty sure I have the same navy pants :)

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