So...I wouldn’t describe this summer as a banner one weather wise. It’s been a tad cool and windy. And cool and windy has been happening at the same time - reminding me a lot of winter. But as some year-rounders have rationalized, Maine’s climate builds character.
Once in a while I’ll reminisce about a week I spent on Monhegan Island - it seems to be where I go in my head when I think about a perfect summer day. This particular day the sun was in full bloom, the wind tucked away and the air worth bottling. I ignored most of the reasons artists go out there to paint and kibitzed with the locals at the coffee spot most mornings and afternoons forcing myself to paint in between. When I’m visiting a beautiful island, sitting still just doesn’t work for me, so I walked about the island. This painting is a corner I encountered. We had a lovely visit. Just Around the Corner on Monhegan Island • 8"x 8" acrylic framed to 12"x 12" • $250
We couldn't figure out what was missing. And then Tom got it. Buoys. Usually a seriously challenging obstacle course during the summer cruising months, early spring is fairly clear on Penobscot Bay.
Between a sea of buoys and armada of fishing boats, ferries, and the hoardes of summer yachters like us, the bay can be one big hazzard. It's almost worth freezing our butts off to get out a month early.
Boats and Buoys • 8" x 8" acrylic framed to 12" x 12" • $250
Forgetting again, that it doesn't warm up in Maine for good until the Fourth of July, the idea of sailing off across a 50 degree body of water in a light and finicky 50 degree breeze was not what we had envisioned over the long winter as our shakedown cruise for 2017.
It was Tom who made the first move - he unfastened the sail cover. Guess we're going sailing, I grumbled under my breath pulling on my ski jacket, hat and gloves, already cold, but always a glutton for punishment and never mind that we might be found adrift, frozen in place, both of us with goofy smiles on our faces as if we had lapsed further in to a euphoric insanity split seconds before death finally got a hold of us.
As it turned out, the sea and weather gods decided to humor the captain. The wind and tide, pushed us pleasantly down through the thoroughfare and in to Perry Creek, where we spent a cool quiet moonlit night eating baked beans and playing cribbage, and a long slow sunlit morning marveling at the surrounding beauty that was holding us captive.
Shakedown Sail • 8" x 8" framed to 12" x 12" • $250
We spot the first sail out in the bay, and life as we know it takes off like a caged bird set free. We try to work, but what's the point if our boat is on the hard. We don't bother to brush our teeth until we are forced to leave what feels like a cave now, for food. And who cares what the news says today - the weather is our master now. Something we cannot control we are now a slave to as we watch the skies like a hawk for the sun and a decent breeze. It's a miserable existence - it's spring in the life of a sailor.
Out of necessity we learn to breathe deeply to relax so that we can put things back in to perspective. We realize the need to work and earn money so that we can toss all of it, every cent, to that bottomless whirlpool in the ocean we call our boat. We acknowledge that we have to brush and floss our teeth or it will cost us a new jib. And we have to pay attention to the news and continue to participate or there will be no planet to sail on.
We learn not to be so selfish and get used to patiently waiting by counting our blessings. We remind ourselves that life will, and must, continue to go on regardless of whether or not we are on our boat, in the water, skipping along a flat sea to the sound of our sails filled with a beautiful little summer breeze heading downwind and east. Waiting • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250
It was the spring of 2017 and the yard was hosting a feast of epic proportions. On the table were grubs, just grubs - but millions of them, all for the taking. The uninvited guests came from far and wide - the word was out, the party was on. Skunks silently dug divots while moles tunneled underground during the night as the homefolk slept.
And when the sun threw wisps of light across the morn, and the guests had slid back and down in to an inebriated slumber, then and only then, did the crow come. It swept in, quietly circling, searching for what might have been left behind, then floated lightly to the ground to patrol the small shallow holes and squiggly fat lines that splattered and raced across the landscape like an accidental masterpiece left by drunken artisans. It waited for a mistake.
That's what they do, the crows. They wait for a mistake.
Waiting For a Mistake • 8" X 8" acrylic framed to 12" X 12" • $250