Stonington and Blue Hill

Trip Start Aug 05, 2009
Trip End Aug 19, 2009

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Where I stayed
Blue Hill Farm Country Inn

Flag of United States  , Maine
Friday, August 14, 2009

We woke up earlier this morning than we have since we left home. Had a full eight hours of sleep and felt pretty good. I have the lingering effects of a cold but I was determined not to let it get to me. 

Breakfast at the Blue Hill Farm was very good. Simple but delicious. We had fresh fruit (with blueberries, of course!) and then blueberry pancakes and coffee. Yum! 

We had no particular plans but the innkeeper suggested that we drive down to Stonington on the south end of Deer Isle, about 30 minutes from here. So that's what we did. Stonington is a working fishing village and the second largest lobster fleet in the US coming in just behind Portland to the south. When you consider the population difference (64,000 in Portland vs. 1,200 full-time residents in Stonington) you get a sense of how "lobstery" Stonington is!

The town has begun to add galleries, a few cafes and restaurants, and a few hotels and B&Bs to round out their economy and take advantage of the growing interest among travelers in coastal Maine. It really was like being inside of a postcard. We lounged over a couple of lattes and then wandered around the town a bit.

We decided to take a cruise on the Penobscot Bay...through the archipelago that was a one time haunt to some of the most notorious pirates of the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The boat that we went out on is actually the mail boat that carries mail two times a day back and forth between Stonington and Isle au Haut -- a small island with about 35 full time residents, Isle au Haut is the southernmost part of Acadia National Park.

You can really see why this was a place that the buccaneers liked to sneak up to when things got too hot for them down on the Spanish Main! No pirates today, just a plethora of lobstermen and a growing population of artists and crafters of all sorts. 

The archipelago of tiny islands has seen an incredible transition. Many of the islands were once thriving communities of fishermen. They lived out on the islands to save energy getting to their fishing grounds before their were motors in boats. With the advent of motorized vessels, the island communities disappeared and the populations shifted back to the mainland. Some of them were literally abandoned overnight!

Interestingly, as recently as the 1950s you could pick up some of these islands for as little as ten or twenty dollars! Suffice to say, you wouldn't find anything approaching that today, even for a private island with zero amenities!!

We were down in Stonington most of the day and then drove around Deer Isle on the way back to Blue Hill. When we got back here, we stopped for dinner at a spectacular restaurant called Table on Main Street in Blue Hill. We had a fabulous (and really healthy) dinner of grilled sockeye with steamed vegetables. I had a local draft and Stephne had a good French rose. (I'm going to Yelp this place!). We walked for a bit after dinner and then came back to the farm inn for the evening.

Our little country inn is a bit more rustica than we have grown accustomed to but we're making do... No real plans tomorrow -- we're thinking of really laying low; doing some reading and writing and possibly a little painting if we find the inspiration!

Kevin & Stephne
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