“The ocean breathes salty, won't you carry it in?
In your head, in your mouth, in your soul.
And maybe we'll get lucky and we'll both grow old.
Well I don't know. I don't know. I don't know. I hope so.”
~Modest Mouse

View of Village of Monhegan from the Lighthouse
About 12 nautical miles off the coast of Maine lies Monhegan Island, known as an “artist haven”. It’s quite the charming place. I grabbed a local ferry this morning at Port Clyde with some fellow photographers from Maine Media Workshops . I’m grateful to have this time up at Maine Media working & listing to some amazing lectures. It’s like an “aha” moment is going off connecting with liked minded kinder creative sprits who have gone threw some of the same stuff as myself to awaken their “inner child” to keep on creating. Well,I figure to take advantage of a wee bit of adventure when it was quite this week & not to miss coming out to this charming island off the Maine Coast. I’ve heard about this place for quite some time especially as a kid, a childhood friend of mine would summer out here with her dad & told my family stories of how she knew the Wyeth’s.  The name Monhegan is derived from Monchiggon, Algonquian meaning “out to sea island.” It’s definitely one of those out to sea places. Many European explores have explored it back in the 1600’s & got its start as a British fishing camping prior to the settlement of the Plymouth Colony. Yes, Maine was once part of Massachusetts many moons ago. There’s a rich history out there! There’s always been something calling me to Monehgan. Perhaps it could be what I heard about from as a kid about the how fabulous this place is & the fact that it’s known as an “artist colony”.
Lobster Trap Line
I will admit that the ferry is a wee bit pricy to get there for a day trip, oh well. I can manage, it’s an adventure, as Helen Keller said, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all.” Getting onto the ocean has been screaming at me for quite some time. The last time I went on a boat was in Florida, but it was never the same as being at sea. The Intercoastal Waterway of the Gulf Side just doesn’t do it for me as the ocean with breathing in the saltiness of the fresh air & gazing out to the horizon. Well, I get my “sea legs” from my Irish grandfather who was a proud captain of an oil tanker & a very proud Maine Maritime Graduate. I heard many sea stories as a kid & not to forget those safety lessons too. There’s just something peaceful with being at sea watching the birds & seeing whales in the distance. The ocean speaks softly if you can closely listen! To get there, I hopped on the Monhegan Boat with a round trip ticket for $35.  Lovely views of islands, some Atlantic Harbor Seals, bird sightings & for a moment it reminded me of getting to remote parts of Southeast Alaska, but I had to remind myself that I was still in Maine.
I had quite the day for sure.  I ended up “bush walking” in a skirt with a couple of Canon Cameras around on trails with flip flops with one of the students from the workshop. I quite enjoyed walking in the forest, gazing at the trees & looking at fairy circles that took me back to Ireland. The island is only like two miles long, but loaded with quite the trail system with heaps of balsam fir, chiefly spruce trees, ferns, wildflowers, tiny new trees & mosses. I enjoyed having a conversation with someone who always felt like they didn’t belong in a traditional cookie cutter corporate job & knew that they had an artist soul. It was so good to chat about past lives, the beauty of the places that I have been & life in general. It was very good to chat about things that I’m into at a much larger scale. I ended up visiting the west side of the island, which was a wee bit rocky with twigs all over the place.  The island has an excellent trail system that you could easily spend an entire day checking out! I would give you plenty of time to hike around the island.
I did check out the lighthouse. It was just like any other lighthouse in Maine. I literary bumped into my old childhood friend who summers out on Monhegan as I was walking down from the lighthouse. It was very good to see her. It felt like yesterday since I last saw her, even tho like fifteen years has passed. Something never change. Meeting an old friend by surprise was my highlight of my day ontop of seeing some seals & exploring the island with cameras.
View of Monhegan Harbor
Overall it’s been an awesome day! I enjoyed getting out & seeing parts of Maine that I’ve never set foot in. There’s real beauty with being with liked minded people & exploring what the day has. It’s like there’s a greater beauty that shines on rather than the minor thing that may have upset you at the start. Exploring is a beautiful thing!

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