have had the immense pleasure of sailing the coast of
Maine over the last two decades and meeting a variety of
people and boats along the way. One family that stands
out in my memory I met while visiting Jewell Island, on
Casco Bay, many years ago.
There is a sandy cove on the back side of Jewell, nestled
between its rock cliffs and a ledge that juts into the bay.
One day, while taking in the beauty of the cove, I watched
a small wood sloop work her way in and anchor in the
swell not far from the edge of the beach. The skipper
jumped into the water, which was about chest deep, and
a young mother appeared and began handing two small
children and a baby over the side for Dad to carry ashore.
Next came tents, a cooler, and, finally, Mom. I struck up a
conversation with this intrepid family and learned
something about the choices we all make and don’t make
as we chart our own courses through life.
With very modest financial means, the young family
lived simply. He was a carpenter and had built the family
home himself, and they were living inland off the grid.