The cold hit the Cranberry Isles pretty hard for Valentine’s Day weekend. The Chili Night Cookoff was postponed so it would not be a two chilly event. Because temperatures were in the single digits, accompanied by wind, no boats ran Saturday or Sunday. Wood stoves were gluttonous, constantly demanding more.
The WorkingWaterfront of Feb. 9 has a report by Ben Stevens, a senior at Maine Maritime Academy, on the two-week training cruise in January. The regimental commander reminded the crew to “secure your rooms for sea” – put everything away, keep nothing loose – as they approached rough weather. Alas, some things were out on tables, and Ben’s report is titled “Winter Training Cruise Imparts Laptop Lesson.” Ooops. Ben has written for WorkingWaterfront for several years now, with his articles coming up on the website and in the printed news.
Leaving the island has been a challenge this week with harsh weather demanding that islanders bend to nature’s will. The mail boat did not run Saturday Feb. 20 due to a snowstorm, was stopped by high winds Sunday, then with subzero temperatures, the engines refused to start Monday morning as well. By Monday afternoon, things were finally back on track, and by Tuesday, minus-20 degree wind chills had shifted 60 degrees warmer, but after being through the ringer, Great Cranberry residents were on edge when considering whether or not to leave this Saturday. A wind advisory was in effect, and even though it was blowing in from the south – a good thing for the Cranberry Isles – talk in The General Store Friday revealed many islanders hesitant to leave the island for fear of being unable to return. The boats did end up running for those willing to take the risk, but waves pitched and rolled Sea Queen enough to ring the warning bells and summon a few cursory words from the mouths of those aboard. Writing about the weather sometimes seems cliché, but it dictates so much of island life, it’s a hard subject to avoid, and I’m grateful to be keeping connected to those natural patterns we are so often removed from. Not on Cranberry. Currently, many of us are basking in a euphoria brought on by a touch of spring.
Lindsay Eysnogle, Karen Smallwood and Mary E. Schuch got together with Kaitlyn Duggan for lessons and made winter mittens. Knitting already had been done: they used old sweaters that had given way to moths or too much wear. It’s great to see them on the mail boat for an introductory lesson for those of us who weren’t able to make it to Kaitlyn’s first “Crafternoon” class.
Kaitlyn’s second “Crafternoon” will be on Saturday, March 5. Ann Fernald will host it 1-4 p.m. The original idea of jersey skirts has been changed to Ukrainian egg decorating! It can’t take place at the Islesford Neighborhood House because it includes an open candle flame.
How is it almost March? Don’t forget to say “Rabbit, rabbit” before anything else on March 1!
Question of the week: Why does unscented hand lotion come with a sample of their orange-scented lotion?
Happy belated anniversary to Phil and Karin Whitney on Feb. 21 and a very happy belated birthday to Heather Varnum the same day, Gretel Green on Feb 22 and James Westphal on Feb. 24. Happy birthday to Jasmine Samuel on Feb. 25, Kyleigh Amber Hawes on Feb. 27 and Amanda Smith on March 2.
We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Sally Rowan at [email protected], and for Great Cranberry, email Sarah McCracken at [email protected] or call her at 978-879-5939.