Thursday, August 17, 2017


How does one find inspiration . . . Is inspiration necessary . . . Is inspiration or the search for it an excuse for not doing the work? I find myself contemplating these questions while Carrie Rose swings on her anchor just offshore of an inspirational friend’s home island, North Haven.

The sun rose behind Pulpit Harbor’s inner harbor, and I was, as usual, awake to witness it. Several of the larger lobster boats left for a days work as the sun cleared the horizon. I suppose for lack of dock space on land, much of the lobster fishing gear resides on piers anchored to the harbors bottom.

I saw a similar thing on Tangiers Island in Chesapeake Bay, though those were more like man caves complete with electricity to keep the bay’s water flowing over molting crabs which had been handpicked to spend their final days becoming soft shell crabs.

Here I watched unique lobster boats with backward slanting pilothouse windshields tie up to the floating pier and shovel small silvery bait fish from barrels into receptacles on their decks. Most of the lobster boats in Pulpit Harbor are of the smaller variety, half the size of the boats we saw miles offshore when first entering Maine.

These boats have to contend with Penobscot Bay and not the North Atlantic, so that may have something to do with it. Or maybe it is the lack of capital available to folk coming from such tiny islands.

At the islands only grocery there were two 8 1/2 by 11 sheets listing phone numbers, one blue and the other yellow. The former listed the full time residents and businesses; the latter consisted of summer residents only. A hand full of surnames filled the roster of the full timer’s roster.

Once the sun was 45 degrees above the horizon, the solar panels begin to replace the electricity used to keep the refrigerator and the anchor light functioning at night. Each morning since crossing into Maine, the propane cabin heater has been put to good use taking the cool damp air out of the saloon and out of our bones.

Now that the lobster boats have departed, the sailboats began to stir. Sleepy figures appear on their decks coiling lines, taking sail covers off and warming up engines. Despite all the activity around us, Carrie Rose is going nowhere. She will witness the comings and goings as the tide rises and falls ten feet every 6.25 hours. In the meantime, inspiration may come . . . or not.

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