Jerri Callahan-Turner continues her story of her recent New England cruise.
We all know, of course, that so much of our early history was played out here in this part of our country, along these eastern shores. I have always loved history and sit wrapped up in listening to what we are being told about the earliest people who came here from so far away. I am surprised to learn that many of the first to make their way and settle were Portuguese. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention in school or had a different history book. Either way, very interesting.
I chose to not go ashore in the morning when we were docked in Rockland, Maine. Three walking tours, including two museums, sounded like tired feet to me, but what I did choose was such fun aboard ship.
The young man I spoke of earlier, Robert – I’m allowed to use his first name – did a wonderful inter-active presentation about the American Revolution and I think we all learned a few more things that we had not picked up in history class. Super!
I enjoy browsing around the ship, checking the “puzzle room. There is always one in “the works,” a large, new and seemingly difficult one each day. I will admit to finding and placing two whole pieces on one of these walks.
I loved going to the uppermost deck with my book and sinking into a big deeply cushioned rocker or grabbing a cooked-to-order burger or salmon sandwich at the “outdoor cafe” on the very back of the ship and watch all the other beautiful ships that are docked there. People coming and going periodically. The tenders are fun to watch too, if we are not able to get close enough to shore for our landing platforms.
I caught one “sailing class” in progress. Teacher out ahead and four single sailors in their small crafts following along, taking their orders by radio, I’m sure. I giggled when I saw one who gee-ed when he should have haw-ed. Oops! He corrected!
This probably sounds like I’m easy to entertain. Truth be told, it doesn’t take much!
We sailed out of Rockland at 6:30 p.m. and docked in Bucksport at 10:30 p.m. Guess who was sleeping again!
Bucksport is a quaint and sleepy town stretching along the shore. I joined a group with a local lady for the historical walking tour. It was a rather steep go, but so lovely, and we took our time, listening to her as she gave us the history of (the original) Fort Knox, which we could see from across the bay, high on the side of the green, green hills. This was established very long ago as protection, but has now been converted to a maritime training center of some sort.
Everything is so clean and well kept. We were the tourists, you know. I couldn’t help but notice one lady in our group, who said not one word during it all, but moved every stone which seemed out of place and carried a small empty plastic bottle she found under a shrub to a waste container, I’m sure, because I never saw what she really did with it.
Later on, in front of a business, there was a small bag of trash set out for pick up. She stood and looked at it for the longest time as though wondering ‘what on earth do I do now?’ She picked it up, carried it about three paces and put it back where it was originally. Meanwhile, I know she was wondering what our guide was drinking from the bottle that she carried in a lovely hand-knitted bag! I was sure it was water!
We all were free to wander back to the ship as we wished and I kept wondering if that very tidy lady slept that night or if she worried about that trash bag in her dreams!
I got back in time for the daily tip given by our cruise director on how to re-arrange all your photos into an album on your cell phone! Clever! Well, at least to me, who will not be telling a falsehood when I say that I am somewhat electronically handicapped!
I truly don’t remember if it was the fourth or fifth night, but during our evening entertainment on this particular night, the Captain took center stage, asked to interrupt for a few minutes and told us he wanted to set our minds at ease, because we had probably been watching TV – I hadn’t since morning – but it seems we were being chased up the coast by Hurricane Elsa!
We were not to worry, because our lovely ship was making a change in course and moving up into the Kenebec river for several miles in order to get out of her path and not be concerned with high winds or very rough seas!
I don’t know how far in we really went. Someone said nine miles and that seemed far enough to me. But it happened while we were sleeping, at least I was, and woke in the morning very tightly harbored along a pretty shore, where we stayed all that day and the next night, leaving the following morning.
It was necessary to skip two of our scheduled stops in order to take our safe “time out.” This, as it happened, was our unexpected “surprise” but in my eyes, not at all unpleasant.
We spent the next day at sea, sailing on to Newport, Rhode Island.
It was only slightly choppy by now, since Elsa had passed by already, so we were entertained on board by the various shipboard activities, if we were so inclined.
It happened that this was Sunday and since Robert was an ordained pastor also (and why should we be surprised?), he provided a short service for anyone who wished to attend, at 7:30 a.m. Well done, Robert. The guy must have some little flaw, but I didn’t spot it!
I will finish this all up with the next column, and assure you that you will know, as I was determined to find out, who ”Martha’s Vineyard” was named for.
You can find Jerri’s first two cruise columns online at ShelbyvilleNews.com.
Jerri Callahan-Turner has been a farm wife her whole life and lived in the same home for 60 years. Her motto is: “You have to keep things going or you rust!”