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martybraun wrote a great entry to the community today that tickled a comment I've wanted to make for a while now.

My wife and I have been living on the island for about six months now. We came in on the tail-end of the tourist season and got to watch the spectacular exodus of the seasonal residents and we boarded-up, hunkered-down and braced ourselves for life on this island in the depths of winter. I've carried a snow-shovel to Hannigan's on a grocery run, lost a bicycle in the snow and worried my way through snowfall power outages. Most of the locals I run into recognize me on sight and I have almost begun to consider myself a bit of a local.

Almost being the key word.

For all that I've been baptized in the trials and travails and hopes and joys of island living, I've still got one hurdle separating me from full immersion.

I can't catch a ferry to save my immoral soul.

I really just don't understand it! I have atleast a dozen Casco Bay Lines schedules floating around - in my desk, in my backpack, several in my coat pockets - and have most of the departure times memorized. And yet I still can't get to the dock on time. No matter when I leave the house, I either arrive half an hour early, freezing in the shelter as I watch the Machigonne II churn its slow way islandward, or I arrive exactly 25 seconds too late and get to watch the same boat flee from me, apparently MUCH faster on the return trip. Splitting the difference and getting there on time? Does not happen.

I envy catvalente and justbeast, who seem to move in some kind of enchanted time bubble that synchs perfectly with the ferry schedule. Anytime I walk with them, I always find myself bundled and packed, standing by the front door, shouting imprecations for them to HURRY UP! We'll miss the ferry! And they take their time, unnaturally calm and collected, a small smug smile on their faces. And then they stroll to the docks with me practically dancing around them with impatience, checking and re-checking the clock on my cell-phone. But everytime - EVERY BLOODY TIME - we arrive at the dock JUST IN TIME. Not a second too early, not a second too late. The last time I walked with justbeast, my foot came to rest in the boarding queue LITERALLY at the moment that the crew called for boarding. It is EERIE, and completely incomprehensible to me. I feel like a child watching adults go through the esoteric motions that turn groceries into food, or pilots the car from one place to another. It seems so EASY to them, but it's a skill and a knowledge that I simply can't grasp.

Of course, it might simply be a personal curse. My first experience with Peaks Island was missing a ferry. After fifteen hours of hard driving and a few emergencies with the tarps on the truck, T. and I arrived at the Casco Bay docks with MINUTES to spare for the last car ferry of the day. We got in line, rushed in and bought our ticket and minutes later... were turned away as the thirteenth vehicle in line for a ferry that could accomodate 12. We parked the truck in the garage, all of our worldly possessions bungeed on the back and ripe for the stealing, while we waited an hour to catch the next passenger ferry to our new home. It was an inauspicious start to our life on Peaks, and it still haunts me.

Either way, as curses go, it's not so bad. Here on the island side, I can usually sit and enjoy a cup of coffee at the Cafe while I keep an eye out for the boat. And on the mainland, there's RiRa and Flatbread as convenient perches to wait. Worst case scenario, the CBL atleast has a heated lobby with relatively comfy benches.

If I can't get on or off the island on time - and I can't, it seems - atleast I can console myself with coffee and beer and good company.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 3rd, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
I don't know what to tell ya--it's an inate skill. I've missed one ferry the whole time we've lived here. D misses much more, because he has this ferry schedule in his head that has nothing to do with the real one.
Feb. 4th, 2010 01:36 pm (UTC)
missing ferries
Want to know my secret? I set my watch six minutes AHEAD of the time when the ferry blows it's one-minute warning whistle. Then I get that "whoops look what time it is" moment with a little bit to spare. When people ask me what time it is, I have to evaluate whether or not they are islanders, look at my watch, and do a little math. It works wonders for me.
Feb. 4th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)
Re: missing ferries
I know that strategy well. Back in college, I kept my alarm clock roughly one hour ahead (never EXACTLY one hour, as that's too easy to correct in my head) and let the panic of being late give me a jolt of adrenaline to wake me up.

Unfortunately, these days the only time piece I keep is my phone, whose time is set by the cellular network. If I start wearing a watch again, I'll have to remember that one, though. :-D
Feb. 4th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
Re: missing ferries
Ah, revolt! Don't live your life by a timepiece controlled by a corporate giant! Go for being a slave to the local, debt-ridden ferry's timepiece instead!
Feb. 5th, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
ferry wait time
How about ferry fear?

My in-laws, from MA, were crazy nervous to miss the boat-- one time they left my house so early that they caught the boat before the one they meant to take. :)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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