Thursday, August 7, 2008

Like a Duck to Water

Mom is fitting right into boat life. The 80-year old babe has salt water in her veins. She fearlessly climbs in and out of the dinghy and up and down dock ladders (much braver than her weeney daughter was at first). Vicki was concerned about Mom walking around the boat while we’re underway, but she’s been very sure-footed. Norm was wondering if she was getting tired after a couple mile walk yesterday, but no. All that exercise is paying off – Mom has an exercise room in the house and regularly does the treadmill, cross country ski machine, jump rope, push ups, sit ups, stretching, weights, and a bunch more. The bottom line is that we’ll get fatigued before she will!

Our cruising plans changed yesterday due to changes in the weather forecast. We’ll be staying in the Casco Bay area while Mom’s here rather than taking the 6-hour run up to Boothbay Harbor. Yesterday was a wonderful day. We cruised about an hour from Portland to the northeast side of Great Chebeague Island. Anchored in the harbor.

Took the dinghy ashore. Mom saw the Tee for a water hole on the local 9-hole golf course and stepped over to take a closer look. She transposed herself to Tucson, took her imaginary driver out and took an imaginary swing--perfect "hole-in-one". No wonder she still shoots in the 80's.

We then visited the museum’s fascinating exhibit of the impact of World War II on the island and Casco Bay. The bay became a military zone - it was a staging ground and refueling station for the military ships traveling the North Atlantic. Nets were placed across the entire bay – from island to island to prevent enemy submarines from intruding. The nets had several gate areas to allow vessels to enter and leave. Gun embankments were placed on land, Mines and surface obstructions were placed in some parts to prevent attacks from boats on the surface. An electromagnetic cable was placed out a ways from Cape Elizabeth to Bailey Island allowing any boat that crossed it to be “seen”. The commercial and private craft in Casco Bay could travel in designated channels and had to contact security posts along the way – the maps show large areas marked Forbidden Zone. It was a fascinating, fascinating exhibit.

Mom took us to dinner at the Great Chebeague Island Inn. This is a great place! It’s a large inn overlooking the bay and a 9-hole golf course. Lounging area with many overstuffed chairs and couches in the great room with big fireplace. Wrap-around porch with overstuffed chairs overlooking the bay – we had cocktails there. Dining overlooking the bay. Mom treated us to Vicki’s second birthday dinner. Norm and Mom had lobster dinner – the ‘lazy way’ with the meat served without shell. Must have been pygmy lobsters – the tail meat was little bigger than a golf ball, but it was good. And then there were the flambĂ© for dessert - yum.

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