Matinicus Island is about twenty-three miles from Rockland. It is about two miles long and one mile wide. There are about fifty yearly inhabitants. There are no stores, no restaurants, and no paved roads. But it does have a post office and plenty of old automobiles still in service.
After a couple of hours, the bluffs of Matinicus appeared through the fog. Then we passed the town breakwater, and you were in a small protected harbor with a fleet of lobster boats. Facing the harbor were buildings with lobster buoys of every shape and size.
The boat captain slowed the boat, and we approached a small dock. At the last second, he put the engine in reverse, gave the boat some gas and the wheel a spin, and the boat came to a spot parallel to the dock.
On land, we walked to the cottage. The path to the cottage was lined with orchids. Our cottage overlooked fields and blackberry brambles that stretched to the ocean. The cottage was a one-room camp with a large sleeping loft and a ladder. First, we had to check the pump and generator. Both were all right. Now it was time to get the wheelbarrow and wood from the shed. Both the stove and fireplace needed wood, and their fires took the chill from the air. Next it was time to make beds and sweep floors.
There was no bathroom or running water. Showering was accomplished with a solar-heated shower bag. There was no television and no cell-phone reception. This place was just perfect.
With the work done, it was time to explore. Sandy Beach is close. On the beach, you can turn over rocks to find small crabs. You can gather sand dollars, sea glass, and other ocean “bits and pieces.”
Then you can climb the bluffs and take a path through spruce trees to Southwest Point. Besides orchids, the island’s paths have wild roses, buttercups, and daisies. Also along the path rabbits and raccoons try to hide.
At Southwest Point, on a clear day, you can see the mainland. Here waves break at incredible heights. Southwest Point has a variety of granite boulders in many shapes and sizes. The place is so different. You think you are on another planet.
Walking home, we came to a cemetery. Sadly, there were many children’s graves. But I noticed many people lived into their nineties. These people must have been rugged individuals.
Back at the cottage, each day had a routine. In the morning, we washed up by heating well water in a metal pot. Breakfast always included blackberries picked from out back. Showers were always in the afternoon when the water bags were fully heated. Each evening we went fishing and usually caught mackerel.
Matinicus Island is a dream come true.