Monday, October 6, 2008

Lobster Shack, Corea

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: If there was a culmination to the Olson House workshop, it was a small gathering for farewells at Tillman Crane's house in Camden, Maine, on Friday evening. The house is also his gallery and studio/darkroom. We toured the darkroom and enjoyed the many beautiful original prints on display. Beautifully restored wood floors and trim complement Tillman's carefully printed, monochrome images. Seeing them so displayed was a privilege. The gathering was a warm harbor before heading off into the promised aftermath of Hurricane Hanna which was scheduled to roar up the Maine coast over the weekend. I was headed for Corea, farther north on the coast than I had ever been and out near Schoodic Point. There, the storm was bound to be a jolly mess.

In this, my fourth photo trip to Maine in three years, I'm just getting it. An article given me by a colleague at the workshop explained what I was beginning to understand. If you want to explore what's left of the fishing industry, the secret is visiting the points. It's not for the lighthouses that one seeks the points, though they can be a nice bonus, but because the fishing towns out at the ends of Maine's great mid-coast peninsulas were at the edge; the fishermen could get to the big catch quicker, especially in winter when the catch retreats to deeper waters.

Back inside the great bays, Penobscot, Blue Hill, Frenchman's, are well-sheltered cove towns that big tides never touch where boats can be put safely. There one mostly finds trophy yachts and sport, sailing vessels: cutters, and schooners, and sloops. Route 1 runs through or close to most of these towns; they are an easy reach for tourists, and any further south than Wiscasset commercialization and suburbanization for the tourists is rampant. Without a boat one has to drive far to get out on the edge.

At the end of the first great peninsula above Wiscasset is Port Clyde. I had made a return trip there two days earlier. One sees a good bit of nowhere to get to Port Clyde. I went there to catch sunrise light on the old lighthouse. Well, it mostly missed the lighthouse, and by the time I got into Port Clyde the lobstermen were gone for the day. When I finally wanted to get back to Olson House in Cushing, my GPS told me it was just 3.5 miles away. Wyeth lived in Port Clyde and traveled easily back and forth to Cushing. Unfortunately, by car it is 45 minutes away, put asunder by long, narrow Muscongus Bay.

And so, as I headed up the coast just ahead of Hanna, I was aware I was heading for one of the most remote and exposed spots on coastal Maine. At the end of the next peninsula, above Port Clyde is Stonington. I would get there on my way home a few days later. Next comes the twin headlands of Mt. Dessert Isle. I'd fully explored Bass Harber and Bernard, the point towns there. I would head back there on Monday for a few more days of shooting. Above Mt. Dessert Isle and Frenchman's Bay lies the Schoodic Peninsula, the tip, a severed part of Acadia National Park. Just slightly around the back from Schoodic Point, like a little toe, sits Corea, the end of a winding road, lobster piers clustered around a sheltered harbor out on the edge. It was the farthest off the coastal beaten track I'd been.


Middle Ditch said...

Heading up the coast just ahead of Hannah? Sounds pretty dangerous to me.

What some great names. It conjures up all sorts in my imagination.

Lovely read

Ted Roth said...

Thanks for visiting. I sent the rest of my reply to you via private email. I hope it arrived safely.