Down East - Late Summer 2011 travel blog


Mt. Battie panorama

Mt. Battie close up

put in your quarter

mountain overlook

distant isles




huge sail boat

light house

We are camped on the side of Mt. Battie, an 800 foot pile of granite which provides great views of Camden town and the sea below. An ambitious member of our group has hiked from town to the mountain top every day at sunrise. Less ambitious folks such as ourselves can get in the car and drive up. Because we are living on site we have taken the drive to the summit at sunrise, sunset and midmorning. The shifting light and changing tides made each viewing unique. Because the hurricane took so much moisture with it, we can see all the way to Acadia National Park and the many tiny islands that help to make Camden harbor a sanctuary for the 75 year old schooner fleet that hails from here. We've been told that Maine has 4,316 islands altogether. We'll need to come back a few more times to view them all.

We took the windjammer Surprise for an afternoon sail around the harbor. This ship was built in 1918 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Surprise is lovingly maintained by an elderly couple who are its seventh owners. During high season they take tourists out for a sail three times a day. They clearly are deeply attached to this part of the world and gave a personal commentary about the places we sailed past as if they were saying it all for the first time. They were especially impressed by a huge sailboat that arrived here yesterday. Its mast is as tall as a football field is long; the Surprise was a speck in comparison. The light house that marks the harbor is occupied by an elderly widow who lives there without running water and electricity. She must be a tough cookie. We passed some amazingly affluent homes; one was owned by the man who established Hertz rental cars. We have taken some sail boat tours where the goal was to get somewhere. The engine throbbed and the sails were never used. Today the sailing experience was the goal and the quiet bobbing and flapping sails left us feeling all quite mellow by the time we docked.

During the non touristic part of the day, we critiqued some of the photos various class members had contributed from our last few photo safaris. This has been my favorite part of the digital photography programs we have attended. It is amazing how 18 of us went to the same place and came away with so many different takes on the spectacular scenery here. We are all mature folks with intact egos so everyone felt free to make suggestions and the photographers were grateful for the constructive remarks.

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