Stonington, Maine--Revisited

Along the picturesque waterfront, our first day in town we wandered out to the main dock just off Main Street.  A fundraiser for the Deer Isle - Stonington Historical Society, showed off 15 boats representative of Island life, including working lobster boats.  Indoor displays included numerous models built by local hobbyists, and a touch tank for kids of all ages.  One of the boats in the harbor, Uncles UFO, belongs to local legend, Andy Gove.  At 85, Andy has been lobster fishing for 78 years, still fishes the maximum 800 traps, and is not discussing retirement yet.  He also races his lobster boat for fun, and has won numerous awards.

First settled in 1762, Stonington was incorporated in 1897.  Lobstering and fishing are the basis for
Memorial to the granite workers
the economy on Deer Isle, but a growing number of tourists are coming to the area for recreational boating and kayaking, and artists are frequently spotted at their easels around town.  Granite mining started here in the 1800's and still provides jobs in the area, with active mining in Stonington and on the nearby Crotch
Island.  Limited accommodations in the area and the town's  distance from almost anywhere, probably keeps the number of visitors to a manageable number.  

Alan spent a few hours each day painting, but there are numerous activities and a surprising number of entertainment options for a town with a population of around 1100.   The Stonington Opera House offers movies, plays, music events, and book and poetry readings.  This is where we enjoyed the talents of magician, Norman Ng (pronounced ing), with a full house audience.  We also enjoyed the Merry Wives of Windsor, as the local theater group presented a 1980's version of the Shakespeare classic at the venue.  Local galleries offer programs, and we danced along with others as the Flash-in-the-Pan steel drum group played on the pier one evening as a fund raiser for the Island Community Center.  The band consisted of about 20 volunteers, part of the Peninsula Pan non-profit group, which plays music throughout the Blue Hill Peninsula to provide community-based music and raise funds for services thru the area.

Kayaking in the waters off the popular Sand Beach, Alan found some orphaned lobster buoys for decorating our dock back home.  The Island Heritage Trust (I discussed over here.),  the Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Bureau of Public Lands, provide numerous trails and islands for hiking, so there is never a lack of places to explore.  We also discovered Holbrook Sanctuary State Park.  With fox, deer, seals, beavers, bobcats and eagles among the local residents of the park, we were hoping to spot some wildlife, but they weren't cooperative on the day we hiked along Goose Falls trail.

In this town, with over 300 lobster boats working the local waters, there is plenty of lobster to be found.  At the Stonington Lobster Co-op, you walk out on the dock, select your lobster, and a few minutes later you can be steaming the lobster for dinner.  Of course, there are numerous resources in town, and most of the locals have a lobstering friend for getting an inside deal.  Three farmers markets on the isle provided us with fresh, local vegetables, and we discovered a local source for picking wild, native blueberries, which we visited frequently to replenish our inventory.

More exploring to come.

Reflections in the morning calm

Sea cucumber and baby Rock crab in touch tank

Andy Gove on Uncles UFO

Waterfront on a foggy morning

Stonington Lobster Co-op

Ames Pond off Indian Point Dr.

Native blueberries waiting to be picked

One of our favorite kayak spots at low tide

Offshore near Sand Beach

Near Sand Beach

Lobster pound near Moose Island

Main harbor at low tide--Boat name Mission Impossible

Bridge out to Deer Isle

Along Goose Fall trail

No comments:

Post a Comment