Monhegan Island

Penobscot  059Penobscot  060Penobscot  061Penobscot  062We took the early morning mail boat out of Port Clyde to visit Monhegan Island, a small (about one square mile) rocky island which is only accessible by boat.  The island has a small village with year round and summer residents, a population of less than 65.  It has a church, a library and a school.  There are no cars or paved roads on the island.

It’s a very remote place with no pharmacies nor medical facilities, limited fire equipment, and only one public restroom facility.

The mailboat, the WWII era Laura B, has been serving Monhegan Island with cargo and passenger service for over 50 years.  With the fore deck piled high with assorted goods and a mix of tourists and locals aboard we made the 70 minute crossing.Penobscot  063Penobscot  069

Penobscot  068Penobscot  056Penobscot  067Penobscot  057Monhegan Island also has 12 miles of trails, some of which lead to the highest ocean cliffs on the Maine coastline.  But camping is not permitted.

Monhegan Island’s wildness and beauty make it a haven for artists and there is an artists’ colony on the island.

Penobscot  066Penobscot  081Penobscot  083We found out just why the artists come here as we hiked out to Whitehead Cliffs.  Because we had a limited time, we selected this “easy” hike.  It turned out to be a little tricky, as it was a narrow path with many slippery rocks, and tons of poison ivy all over the trail.   Hector and I had never seen so much poison ivy in our life, although I must say we’d had fair warning.  At times, the choice was to step on a slippery boulder, poison ivy or deep mud.

But the destination was well worth the effort as there were spectacular cliffs surrounding us.   Even Hector, who wore shorts,  successfully avoided the poison ivy!Penobscot  079Penobscot  080Penobscot  078

Penobscot  077Penobscot  074Penobscot  075We also visited the Monhegan Island Lighthouse, established in 1824.  The present lighthouse was completed in 1850 and originally had a second-order Fresnel lens.  It’s currently an active automated lighthouse.

Unfortunately, the Lighthouse and Museum are not open until the end of June but we did meet a volunteer that was cleaning the lighthouse windows.  Hector asked her how often the windows get cleaned and she said “once a year whether they need it or not”.  Definitely a laid back place.  Strangely cool that we were there on annual window cleaning day.Penobscot  076Penobscot  084

Penobscot  093Penobscot  091We had a little extra time left so we continued on to Lobster Cove, on the rocky south coast of Monhegan Island, to see the wreck of the D.T. Sheridan, an old tugboat.  It seems that shipwrecks continue to be a theme around here and it was cool to see one so close up.Penobscot  085Penobscot  090

Penobscot  087Penobscot  089Penobscot  098Penobscot  086The village is tiny with a few artist studios, some inns, a couple of restaurants, and some beautiful gardens.  Very charming.Penobscot  094

Penobscot  096Penobscot  100Penobscot  099Penobscot  102Penobscot  072Penobscot  097Penobscot  104Penobscot  088Penobscot  092Penobscot  070Penobscot  073Penobscot  071Penobscot  058Penobscot  105Penobscot  103Although we had a choice of a later boat for our return, we returned on a mid-day one to get back to Angel, so we got some New England chowder right by the dock and headed home.  This fascinating place would definitely be worth another visit.

Penobscot  106Penobscot  107Penobscot  108Penobscot  095On the boat ride back, we spotted harbor porpoises, considered the smallest of the whales, an extra bonus after a great day.

~ BrendaPenobscot  109

3 thoughts on “Monhegan Island

  1. What a wonderful journey in life that many miss. Keep on filling those memory banks and sharing them with the rest of us.

    Many Thanks,
    Miami Bob

  2. Another written and visual treat. I’m headed to the farmers market with jimmy and niece Emily. Will be remembering you while there.

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