East of Boothbay Harbor, Maine 1

Seguin Island, Maine

Coastline, Ocean Point
Coastline, Ocean Point

East of Boothbay Harbor, Maine I

I know a spot along the coast of Maine, east of Boothbay Harbor, called Ocean Point, once visited by the novelist Thomas Wolfe. It also served as the collecting ground for marine zoologist N.J. Berrill who described it well in his book The Living Tide (1951). For me, Ocean Point was and is a mystical place where bell buoys clang in the distance and where, on foggy days, foghorns can be heard from as far away as Seguin Island (at the head of Casco Bay) with the delightful sound of wee-hump. On clear days, Monhegan and Manana Islands (ten miles off shore) can be seen as well as clipper ships and lobster boats. Always there is the distinct smell of seaweed and salt spray that momentarily frightens away omni-present Herring Gulls.

As a boy I accompanied N.J. Berrill of McGill University to tide pools where we would collect specimens including brittle starfish, sea urchins, sponges, mussels and tiny green crabs trying to scuttle away. Back in his laboratory across Linekin Bay, he would show me the teaming life, viewed from a microscope, in a drop of sea water. He encouraged me to become a marine biologist which I almost did, but chose, instead, the study of literature including the novels of Thomas Wolfe like Look Homeward Angel (1929) partially written in Ocean Point.

I remember the evenings at my aunt's cottage and a crackling driftwood fire burning with red a blue flames from sea salt in a huge beachstone fireplace. After a seafood dinner, my mother would serve fresh-baked blueberry pie for dessert, and my father (who was reference librarian at Princeton) would light his pipe and start reading a book between bights of blueberry pie. I actually looked forward to going to bed so I could hear the surf on the rocks and see the moon and stars, or, if foggy, hear that distant wee-hump from Seguin.

After breakfast and chores, I enjoyed sitting on the front porch in a rocker and listening to white-throated sparrows who sang A-tee-tee-tee from the depths of the surrounding spruce forest. Somehow I associated Ocean Point with Henry David Thoreau's Walden Pond. It was a ferny, misty place for contemplation and, yes, even writing (something I began doing seriously at age 13). Sixty some years later, I sit in my backyard in far away Denver, Colorado, but I can still sense the strong presence of Ocean Point deep within my inner being.


The Boothbay Harbor region is only three hours by car northeast of Boston. This region is a bit north of Sarah Orne Jewett's Maine classic, Country of Pointed Firs.

Boothbay Harbor

More by this Author

  • East of Boothbay Harbor, Maine 6
    4

    Just before leaving Ocean Point at the end of summer, we sailed out to Monhegan Island ten miles off the coast and discovered by Captain John Smith in 1614. Monhegan has its on art history with artists in residence like...

  • East of Boothbay Harbor, Maine 3
    2

    After a foggy night my parents and I drove the next morning to Rockland where we boarded the Mary A to sail out to Matinicus Island twenty miles at sea. All was not peaceful back in the 1750's. Ebenezar Hall, against a...

  • The Impact of the Dawes Act on Native Americans
    23

    The Dawes Act of 1887 greatly impacted tribal peoples of the United States by essentially breaking up reservations into personally owned lots that became taxable to the individual. Before hand the land was held by the...


Comments 4 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

This was, as always, a wonderful read. Thank you very much.


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado Author

In appreciate it, Hello, hello.


G L Strout profile image

G L Strout 6 years ago from Ohio, USA

I just discovered this series or articles! Wonderful writing and i will go there whin I can.


juneaukid profile image

juneaukid 6 years ago from Denver, Colorado Author

Thank you GLStout, I appreciative your support.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working