Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Sunset Cruise

Portland shimmers in the distance as you relax in the twilight of a perfect Maine day. Enjoy evening breezes as we navigate our way through Casco Bay.

Shimmers. Twilight. Evening Breezes. Ahh... I read these words on an advertisement for the Casco Bay Lines' Sunset Cruise and wanted to go. It took me a few days to get there, a few very hot days of being trapped at home either because of others' schedules or because we were short one car, but tonight we did it.

I was excited. I quickly got dressed and my husband and I told the kids we were going on a sunset cruise. "Tonight?" they asked. "Yes! Tonight! That's when the sun sets! Get ready!" we said. Of course I wasn't quite sure how this worked, whether or not the tickets would still be available or whether we should have bought them sooner but we took off and sure enough, we were able to go. As we waited at the dock gate, I took in the scene. There were numerous people with coolers and picnic baskets, a few men with the most handsome dogs (my family tells me I SUCH a dog person and it's true, I don't hesitate to strike up a conversation with dog owners!), and several others with groceries and other provisions bought on the mainland.

Within five minutes of setting sail, the group of people at the front of the boat were pouring wine and breaking out the platters of meats and cheeses, chips and dip, and other such foods. Emma and Paul were suddenly in the midst of a cocktail party so after hanging with them for a while, I went to explore the other side of the boat. Finding a much calmer set of folks, I had everyone join me there. It was then that we all began to enjoy the beauty of the trip we were on.

On our sunset cruise we made several stops--at Big Diamond Island, Long Island, Cheabeague Island, with return trips to Long Island again and finally Little Diamond Island. At each dock I laughed at those who waited for the ferry to leave so they could jump into the tumultuous waves of the boat departing. It looked to be a nightly ritual for the teens and adults who after jumping would wave to us on board. The stops gave me a glimpse of what it'd be like to be "an island girl" and as I watched residents unloading everything from a bag of groceries to a brand new grill, it was fun to think about living on one while also weighing the challenges or obvious difficulties.

As the sun set, I was quick to take many pictures, knowing that sunset shots are always my favorite, especially when I am on the water. I began to think of how in just a few short weeks I'll be watching the sunsets at my favorite spot, able to kayak each evening under the careful watch of the mountain.

The two and a half hour cruise was soon over and the four of us went out to dinner at The Flatbread Company right next door to the Ferry Station. As we munched on our delicious flatbread pizzas (which completely hit the spot!), I felt completely relaxed and happy to be there with my family, still close to the ocean, still thinking of how beautiful our cruise had been.

The wait had been worth it. To have this all in my backyard is such a blessing. I need to get out on the water more often. It was glorious. It was indeed a night of evening breezes and twilight shimmering on Casco Bay. It was in fact, a perfect Maine day.

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