Marcia Strykowski

Monhegan Island (part 2)

monhegan-welcomeOK, it’s time. Off we go down the plank! It’s bright and early—7 AM— on a Wednesday morning and we’re off on the Laura B. I took half a motion-sickness tablet and I’ve got my sea-bands firmly in place. The water is somewhat smooth at first as we sail past the Marshall Point Lighthouse. But there’s no beating around the bush, the sea suddenly kicks up and we’re in for the ride of our lives. Since it’s the tail end of the season, we number less than a dozen passengers.

laura-bThe 12 mile trip over should have been about one hour and 15 minutes, but an extra half hour was added on due to dodging waves. We rocked and rolled. The waves completely lifted the boat at times while thoroughly splashing us. Have you seen the movie “The Perfect Storm”? That was us. High winds and a raging sea had come out of nowhere. As we neared the island, sometimes we had to back off again and again. It was just too rough (I think life jackets were under our seats…). At times I wanted to shout at the captain: just fly through the worst of it, get me off of this thing! And no, sorry, I didn’t take any pictures. No seal, porpoise, or puffin sightings either. Let’s just say I was busy focusing on my nausea.

While we were hanging on for dear life, a crew member ran back and forth. He grabbed package after package from the front of the boat and tossed them to more sheltered areas in the back. Islanders receiving goods from Amazon that day have him to thank for their dry purchases.monhegan-roadWhen we finally arrive in the harbor, the crisp air quickly revives us. Monhegan is on our left and the stark island of Manana is just across the way. Manana is famous for being where Ray Phillips, the professed hermit, lived by himself for over 40 years until his death in 1975. monhegan-catIn reality he was very friendly whenever he crossed over to Monhegan to collect his mail or pick out a new stack of books from the library. He was well-educated, had sheep, and a goose named Donald, and kept up with the news by radio. I didn’t come across any geese, but I did notice the scowl on this island cat’s face.

There is lots of activity going on at the pier. Although there are no paved roads or cars on Monhegan, there are plenty of trucks for hauling goods and general construction. From the wharf, it’s up the hill towards the village. Other than that one cat, Monhegan is a friendly island and throughout the day we bump into the same people several times, either islanders or fellow passengers.monhegan-sunflower-copy

First, as promised, I’ll show you the c. 1928 library and the 1847 schoolhouse. (See previous post to learn their fascinating history).monhegan-library-2-copymonhegan-library-4-copymonhegan-childrens-room-copy

monhegan-library-3-copymonhegan-school-house-copymonhegan-flowers-2-copyMost of these pictures are self-explanatory—various views and flowers while wandering the island from one end to the other.monhegan-yellow-flowers-copymonhegan-flowers-copyA non-denominational religious service takes place every Sunday morning in the village church.monhegan-chapelAnd we can’t leave out the all important post office where many of the locals meet daily.monhegan-post-officemonhegan-artist-copyDespite it being just about off-season, I spotted several artists at work, like the one above.  And below, a good ol’ fashioned pumpkin patch. All the vegetables and flowers seemed to have done well, unlike many places in New England still recovering from the drought.monhegan-gardenAfter poking into a few galleries and shops, we made our way up to the 1824 lighthouse where the view is amazing (next post!).monhegan-lupine-gallery-copymonhegan-lighthouse-boatThere is a museum attached to the lighthouse containing all sorts of history and art. We were invited to a function being held that evening for all islanders, but regrettably it was after our scheduled trip back. The event was to take place before sunset outside on the grounds surrounding the lighthouse. As you might notice it was a gray day until the sun burst through around noon (which sent us back up the path to see everything again). Please check in next time to see splendid views in bright sunlit colors, as well as the boat we traveled back on.monhegan-yard-copymonhegan-sculpture

41 Comments

  1. Looks beautiful.I love little islands.x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My daughter lives on a small island off the west coast of BC. These pictures are delightful. Can´t wait for more. I don´t blame you for not taking any pictures on the way over!

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    • Lucky for your daughter! I’m sure any pictures I could have managed would have been a bit blurry anyway, with all that motion.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marcia you have my utmost sympathy! I’m a poor sailor at the best of times so goodness knows how I would have dealt with that. My son on the other hand would have loved it – I can see him sitting with his hands above his head imagining himself on a roller coaster!
    It was obviously worth the trip though as your photos are breathtaking and I will look forward to the next part.
    I’ve got a $1 (from a previous holiday) if you hear of any more islands coming up for sale. 🙂

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    • There was one man like your son onboard. He kept getting up, helping to keep the mail dry, even offered me a ‘special’ bag in case I needed it. 🙂 I’ll keep my eyes open for islands on sale!

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  4. Love this post! And what a lovely place, filled with lots of inspiration for writing! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gorgeous pictures! Wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful – and I love the library!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a delightful post! I felt I had a mini-vacation by looking at your photos. My husband and I would have been at the front of the boat, enjoying every up-and-down inch of the wild ride. We had one like that crossing Long Island Sound.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sounds like you are an excellent sailor, Anne! A few people started out standing at the front of the boat, but when it got rough they were told to come back to the seating area under the roof. Otherwise they would have been sopping wet and in risk of being tossed over the rail.

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  8. So picturesque!! And wow, what a crazy boat ride. =o

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a wild boat ride, I’m very glad I didn’t realize just how rough it would be beforehand or I might have had second thoughts.

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  9. So sorry for the rough waters, but what a delightful destination! Thank you for sharing with the rest of us on dry land.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I could live there as a friendly hermit writer without a problem. I love little island villages and that one is so picturesque. Beautiful 🙂

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    • The ‘hermit’ certainly had the best of both worlds, complete solitude, yet a friendly community a few paddles away.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Monhegan looks so pretty. There’s even a lupine gallery? You visit the loveliest places, Marcia! (Sorry to hear the boat ride took longer.)

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    • The Lupine Gallery has wall after wall of paintings, all connected to the island, past and present. They also sell prints, cards, and art supplies–an interesting place!

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  12. This could not have been more charming Marcia!! Every photo was just beautiful! Fun to see the school house (did your great grandmother actually teach in that building??) and the lovely library! And those dahlias, so fright and colorful!! I’m wishing we were able to be there. And– your description of the trip across the water was harrowing! Beautiful, beautiful post!!

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    • My great grandmother must have taught right there since it was built before her time on the island. I wish I could find out more about her. Thanks for coming along on my adventure! 🙂

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  13. Ashley

    More great pictures, love them all! Pretty even with grey skys!

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  14. I enjoyed reading this post.
    I have posted this travel article in my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MyOfficialDiary/

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  15. I feel like I am reading a delightful book. On to #3!

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  16. Bette Norton

    I so enjoyed looking at all of your wonderful pictures of Monhegan Island. I have always wanted to visit there and now I feel like I have. Every time I visit Port Clyde I stare longingly across the way at Monhegan Island. Now I have a wonderful visual of the little school, the pretty library, the post office, the church and all of the beautiful landscape! I looked forward to part three. A wonderful post! 🙂

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  17. Looks like a great place – love your pictures!

    Like

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