To the Editor:
Our fruit trees at the end of Hancock Street have never produced as much fruit in nearly a decade. Even the dormant pear tree came alive. Compass Harbor and the Town Pier were crystal clear without foamy sludge on the shore break.
For as long as I can remember, my family and neighbors awoke to disruptive loudspeaker messages from cruise ship directors to onboard passengers, overtaking the sounds of lobster boat engines humming through the harbor and the dulcet tones that emanate from the offshore buoy bell. Walking on the shore path, Winter Harbor and island views gave way to mammoth cruise ships.
I’m a third-generation summer resident of Bar Harbor. Starting the beginning of the year, I’ll be a year-round resident with my family on Albert Meadow. My antique shop neighbor was surprised; she made the same amount of money in October without the cruise ships.
This year, everyone, including children, had to diversify to survive the wake of the pandemic. My husband built a greenhouse out of reclaimed windows and installed a photography gallery, stating that if we had cruise ships, people would be lining up around the block to buy his $20 photographs of their eyes.
The amount of foot traffic on Bar Harbor streets was constant, with people shopping and respecting the mask request.
Already, residents and hotel guests made this summer a year we all worked together, with the reward being clean air and clean ocean, views of Porcupine Island with million-dollar yachts. Isn’t this why residents, state and out–of–state tourists come by land and air for multi-generations to visit this jewel of a place called Acadia?
There are alternatives and the pandemic created just enough disruption to make our community reevaluate our ecosystem’s fragility for future generations.
The Bluenose Ferry between Bar Harbor and Nova Scotia will be back in a well-placed location made explicitly for the high–volume traffic.
Bar Harbor’s summer colony is no longer “smaller and thriftier, with a low-suds social style,” as Kathleen Collins wrote on Aug. 23, 1970, in the New York Times.
Katrina Rank Aderhold