Tad teased me with visions of escaping the Seattle grey this winter to bounce around warm sea ports of South Carolina. Florida, and (pinch me), the Bahamas. It was decided, we were heading to Hilton Head!
However, two days into our journey south, Hurricane Dorian reared her fiery head and the squall terror of just a few months past ignited my fears. We made the decision to divert to Camden and decommission Guardian at Lyman-Morse.
With extra time on our hands we eenie meenie miney moed new ports. Arriving first in Rockport, ME when Tad yelled, “Oh my gosh get the binoculars, there are people walking on the water!”
Owning his urgency (did we think they would sink at any moment?) we marveled at the site of eight, maybe 10 people walking upon the water’s surface.
I wish I could say my faith was so strong that I entertained the idea that we were witnessing a miracle, but it wasn’t. I pulled out my phone and googled “walking on water in Rockland” and quickly learned there was a mile-long breakwater that led from the shore to the Rockland lighthouse. At high tide, the breakwater was often covered by the sea. I started to read the article out loud when Tad interrupted, “Let’s hike out there the morning and discover it for ourselves.” I quickly checked the tides (I wasn’t about to get swallowed up in a high tide!) and agreed it would be a great way to start the day!
We headed through town the next morning to reach the breakwater.
Rockland, separated from Camden by Rockport and Owls Head was like Camden's little sister; growing more beautiful in the same way, but still the younger and less mature of the two. We made our way to the Breakwater Walk via the quaint downtown and decided to explore the town in the afternoon. The walk was amazing!
A bit of history
An unsheltered harbor, with its large east-facing opening was in need of fortification from fierce storms and winds. After years of requests for federal support, the Rockland Breakwater was finally built in the 1890s by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Approximately 700,000 tons - yes, tons - of Granite quarried from the nearby sister town of Camden was cut in rough trapezoidal cross-sections and barged in. While walking the wall, it was hard to fathom what it must have been like to put together this puzzle with rocks weighing thousands of pounds.
The breakwater extends south from Jameson Point and reaches almost a full mile in length, 4,365 feet (1,330 m) to be exact. The top is about 43 feet (13 m) wide, and it's underwater base an estimated 175 feet (53 m) wide. The cost to construct the wall in the the 1890s was $750,000, which in todays dollars translates to around $126 million.
The lighthouse standing at its end was added in 1902.
The quaint little town dressed in American pride, allowed for a leisurely saunter. As I browsed inside the shops and chatted with the lovely people manning the wares, I was reminded of home on Bainbridge.
We enjoyed lunch at the Main Street Market, a combined health food store and yummy cafe with the convenience of a grocery store.
And.... there were an amazing amount of galleries! Take a look!
Tad was a charm and walked through the galleries with me and even did a fairly good job at pretending he was intrigued. I discovered an artist named Alan Magee at the Dowling Walsh Gallery whose art pulled me into an instant space of solace although ironically, his exhibition was titled, Art is not a solace. And, for a mere $110,000 - 175,000 I could own one of his beautiful paintings, truer than any photograph? I'm sure Tad was thinking, "Thank goodness we have so many windows in the house, there are no open walls."
And, for our boating friends.....
Note: our Garmin showed them under their previous name "Boat Basin"
Radio: VHF 16
If you like a quieter - away from the music and activity of downtown - stay, this is a better option than the also very nice nearby, Journey's End Marina. Quoted below, directly from Yachting Solutions Boat Basin site, I agree with all they claim.
The Yachting Solutions Boat Basin in Rockland, Maine offers every amenity imaginable for the cruising yachtsman or seasonal guest, supported by our unparalleled service. This private, gated facility provides transient and seasonal dockage in a protected basin for boats up to 250 feet. Amenities like pump-out, internet, laundry and many more services help make your stay unforgettable.
Just steps away via our boardwalk to Main Street, you’ll discover everything this thriving little city has to offer – from nationally renowned art galleries to incredible shops and dozens of fine restaurants. Additionally, the Yachting Solutions Boat Basin is just five minutes’ drive from our regional airport that offers ready access to quick commuter flights to Boston and beyond.
Gas/Diesel: Not in the Marina
Power: 110v/30A 220v/50A, and 100 amp
Pump Out: Not seen
Fresh Water: yes
Wifi: Yes - and a decent connection!
Laundry: - Two FREE washer and dryers!
Restrooms/Showers: The nicest and cleanest we've seen so far. They've thought of everything!
Courtesy Car - they had two new, clean, and nice cars they were happy to share!