We took the early morning mail boat out of Port Clyde to visit Monhegan Island, a small (about one square mile) rocky island which is only accessible by boat. The island has a small village with year round and summer residents, a population of less than 65. It has a church, a library and a school. There are no cars or paved roads on the island.
It’s a very remote place with no pharmacies nor medical facilities, limited fire equipment, and only one public restroom facility.
The mailboat, the WWII era Laura B, has been serving Monhegan Island with cargo and passenger service for over 50 years. With the fore deck piled high with assorted goods and a mix of tourists and locals aboard we made the 70 minute crossing.
Monhegan Island’s wildness and beauty make it a haven for artists and there is an artists’ colony on the island.
We found out just why the artists come here as we hiked out to Whitehead Cliffs. Because we had a limited time, we selected this “easy” hike. It turned out to be a little tricky, as it was a narrow path with many slippery rocks, and tons of poison ivy all over the trail. Hector and I had never seen so much poison ivy in our life, although I must say we’d had fair warning. At times, the choice was to step on a slippery boulder, poison ivy or deep mud.
We also visited the Monhegan Island Lighthouse, established in 1824. The present lighthouse was completed in 1850 and originally had a second-order Fresnel lens. It’s currently an active automated lighthouse.
Unfortunately, the Lighthouse and Museum are not open until the end of June but we did meet a volunteer that was cleaning the lighthouse windows. Hector asked her how often the windows get cleaned and she said “once a year whether they need it or not”. Definitely a laid back place. Strangely cool that we were there on annual window cleaning day.
We had a little extra time left so we continued on to Lobster Cove, on the rocky south coast of Monhegan Island, to see the wreck of the D.T. Sheridan, an old tugboat. It seems that shipwrecks continue to be a theme around here and it was cool to see one so close up.
Although we had a choice of a later boat for our return, we returned on a mid-day one to get back to Angel, so we got some New England chowder right by the dock and headed home. This fascinating place would definitely be worth another visit.