Autumn on the Island of Vinalhaven (By Author)

We were guided on to the ferry first- our car at the front of the boat as we headed over on the last passage of the day. We had taken advantage of a trip to New York to hop up to Maine and shut down our summer cottage for the season. Although, it was a beautiful autumn scene in the City; now, in Maine, it was blustery and chilly.


I quickly gave up reading my book as the ferry moved out of the harbor into the deep blue-green waters of Penobscot Bay, where the waves began to build. Before long, the toiling sea was breaking over the front of the boat and crashing onto our windshield with startling force. Everything inside the car seemed to be moving at different directions than the world outside.


We arrived on the island under quilted skies, summer now only a memory to this place, the tourist gone, fisherman shuffling along with their lives.  We stopped at the store for some quick supplies and headed down Old Dog Town Road a short ways before turning onto a wooded drive, passing the small abandoned graveyard and arriving at the end of the road where our little house stands on a small hill above the Reach.


We begin moving wicker furniture out to the porch in order to allow room to maneuver inside the small house. The thought of sitting on the porch for a spell in the fresh sea air was quickly banished by the chilled wind, and I stood at the window watching the boats bob at anchor in the harbor.


The next morning was eerily quiet, the usual rush hour of the lobster fleet heading out down the reach at 5am failed to sound the alarm. We lay for a while in our warm sheets until we finally gathered the energy to make some coffee and get the day started. Before we left, I would need to prepare the boats to be hauled, bring the dingy to shore, chop wood and untie the hammock. Then we would begin to tie-down furniture from the heavy hand of winter wind and cover everything left out with well-secured tarps.


It’s a sad ritual that marks every year- the end of the season- a season of friendly cocktail parties, boat rides, kayaking, swimming & hiking and family games at the kitchen table; long days spent with a book on a sun washed porch, or even a well deserved nap. These are things that a fast paced life at home forgets- the slower things. Some would say, the important things.




One Last Sail on Belle


I managed to get one afternoon sail in on Belle under brisk breezes, before buttoning her up and securing her lines. That evening as a brilliant sunset descended, the wood box was full, the bed linens washed, and the wicker had been tucked inside.




An Autumn Sunset

The next morning I walked out for one last breath of fresh sea air and noticed the boats were gone; hauled for the season, on their way to the Mainland to spend the winter in a barn- until next summer.