Cranberry Isles: Fewer boats in the cove

The University of Pennsylvania will be the new home of much of Ashley Bryan’s extensive archive. Ashley was at Penn on Tuesday for a showing of “I Know a Man…Ashley Bryan,” followed by Q&A with Nichols Clark and Daniel Lief of the Ashley Bryan Center. The Ashley Bryan Center, on Islesford, will continue to hold some of his work on the island. Ashley came back to Islesford from Philadelphia thanks to Philadelphia-Bangor direct flights.

Library coffee hour on Tuesday, hosted by Cindy Thomas, included Ann Fernald; Lindsay Eysnogle with Luciana and Marina Pickering; Tom Powell, accompanied by Lewis and Brigid; Serena Spurling; Rick Alley; David Thomas; Malcolm Fernald and Mary E. Schuch. There was a pretty empty hot milk cake pan. As usual, there were people who remembered after the library had closed.

Bea and Xander Amuso continue to have a good time in track competitions. Xander ran the 55-meter dash in 8.89 seconds and Bea ran the 200-meter in 30.96, a new personal record.

Cindy and Dave Thomas went up to Moncton, New Brunswick to visit their daughter Emily and her husband Mike. They chose a weekend with decent weather for travel.

Despite the massive storm on Jan. 20-21, the Cranberry Isles did not lose power! Not only were the islands’ wires safe, but also the lines on MDI that feed them. Thanks to Ol’ Man Winter for being gracious in that regard. Snow fell, but the worst part was the ice that followed and buried it. Joy Sprague stayed on top of it and shoveled as it fell; others would wait for the forecast rain later in the week. Cary Alley was at the transfer station despite the storm and the limitations it provided. Many, many thanks, Cary!

Personal note from Sally Rowan. I have enjoyed writing this column since I took it over at the end of 2010. There have been some wonderful times: school graduations, islander athletes, musicians, artists, and theater performers, births (6 island grandchildren in 2018), and marriages have been fun to write about.

Writing has been harder about sad times: summer Islesfordians stopped coming because of health issues; others — year-round, summer, and extended seasonal — have passed away, this past year being particularly painful for the island. Through the years, new people have arrived, summer people have become full-time residents, those who have arrived through CIRT have been able to move into new homes, leaving the CIRT house for more new people.

Some weeks have been so busy, cutting the writing has been a challenge; other weeks have included reports that General A. Snowe Pyle and Admiral Bloward Wind were here. Altogether, it has been fun, but my schedule has changed and I no longer have the time I would like to put into writing. Thank you for reading, and thank you for the compliments and notes I have received. Thank you to Barbara Caldwell-Pease, who has agreed to become the new Islesford columnist.

It’s a quiet week here in the Islesford birthday party zone. Christine Sandberg’s birthday is Feb. (!) 6. Others are in hiding — come on out!

This year the Cranberry Isles Ladies Aid is combining the annual Valentine card making event with a pizza party. Friday, Feb. 8 at 4:30 card-making supplies will be organized in the dining room as hot pizzas bake in the kitchen. All are welcome. This is a free community event hosted by the Ladies Aid membership. Thank you and we hope to see you at the Aid.

The Cranberry Isles Library is hosting a Winter Book Club with the first book being “Educated” by Tara Westover. Please stop by the library for your copy. The group will meet in a date to be announced in February.

Helen Bertles will be the Island Cook’s chef du jour on Sat, Feb 2. Island Cooks is a group of community volunteers who make a delicious meal every other Saturday for our older residents.

Usually when warm weather arrives on Cranberry Island, the boatyards are abuzz with outdoor activity as boats are launched after a long winter. This year the schedule was upset a bit as the Blue General made a mid-winter return to the Atlantic after Newman & Gray Boatyard had her in for a bit of R&R.

Back in the water, she is ready for duty with Patrick Allen at the helm. The General and the well known Crustacean, which is owned by Wesley Bracy Jr. and Scott Bracy, respectively, are the only boats that make Spurling Cove home through the Maine winters now. They are a comforting sight to the island residents. Many times these two boats and their captains have come to the aid of those who make this small island home. Thank you.

A beautiful barred owl decked out in winter plumage has been seen by many on Cranberry. Barred owls like to get a jump on the breeding season and can lay 2-3 eggs in February or March.

Feb. birthday wishes go out to Gretchen Westphal and Bowden Magee Porcaro on Feb. 5. Happy birthday to Rick Cegalis on Feb. 7 and to Jackson Knox Spangler and Herman Savage on Feb. 9. Nellie Horvath will celebrate on Feb. 12 and Tarnya Sanborn will blow out candles on Feb. 13. Birthday greetings to Liam Carroll Astbury on Feb. 15 and best wishes to birthday girl Candace Corson on Feb. 16.


“The Fringe of the Sea” by A L Hendriks

We do not like to awaken

far from the fringe of the sea,

we who live upon small islands.


We like to rise up early,

quick in the agile mornings

and walk out only little distances

to look down at the water,

to know it is swaying near to us

with songs, arid tides, and endless boat ways,

and undulate patterns and moods.


We want to be able to saunter beside it

slow paced in burning sunlight,

bare-armed, barefoot, bareheaded,


and to stoop down by the shallows

sifting the random water

between assaying fingers

like farmers do with soil,


and to think of turquoise mackerel

turning with consummate grace,

sleek and decorous

and elegant in high blue chambers.


we want to be able to walk out into it,

to work in it

dive and play and swim in it,

to row and sail

and pilot over its sandless highways,

and to hear

its call and murmurs wherever we may be.


All who have lived upon small islands

want to sleep and awaken

close to the fringe of the sea

Arthur Lemière Hendriks (1922 – 1992) was a Jamaican poet, writer, and broadcasting director.

We look forward to reporting all the news. Send items to us by 5 p.m. on Sunday. For Islesford, email Barbara Caldwell-Pease at [email protected] and for Great Cranberry, reach Eileen Richards at 244-5684 or [email protected]


Sally Rowan & Eileen Richards

Sally Rowan & Eileen Richards

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, reach Eileen Richards at 244-5684 or [email protected]
Sally Rowan & Eileen Richards

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