Maine: Manana Island – Monhegan
Saturday afternoon, as the weather kept me painting under the protection of the Island Inn’s veranda, a man and his wife struck up a conversation with me about my painting. They were from somewhere in Massachusetts and had sailed over to Monhegan on their way north. Although he was probably only in his 40’s, I could tell by his deep tan and enthusiasm for boats of any kind that he was an old salt at heart. Their 38′ sloop was moored in the harbor and they were ashore for lunch and a bit of exploring.
He asked me if I had been over to Manana. Manana is a small island which acts as a barrier for Monhegan’s harbor. It is uninhabited. A Coast Guard station that was once manned is now automated as a fog horn and the building is boarded up. It is visible only from the other side of the island. I told him I had not but I wanted to get over while I was there. He said he could take me in his dinghy but it was not a good time given that there were thunderstorms not far off in the southwest.
“Being that it is 95% granite, it is not an ideal place to be during a thunderstorm.”
“What factor does the granite play?” I asked.
“Iron Oxide is the key word here,” a young woman to my left who had been quietly reading up until now – spoke up, “it is the perfect conductor and being that you would be the tallest object over there, you would be begging to get charred. You definitely want to stay away from wet granite.”
“Are you a sailor as well?” I asked.
“Well sort of – but I was a chemistry major and I know about these things. I race Lasers in my spare time.”
The sailboat couple told me to talk to the Harbor Master – his name, they told me, was Mr, Stanley. He would lend me a boat when the weather calmed down. They told me I could find him on Fish Beach.
They left and another person later plopped down in a chair and looked over to see what I was doing. We talked about a lot of things and transportation to Manana was one of the subjects. He told me to find Rusty on Fish Beach and Rusty would take me over to the island in a motorized dorey.