My pace slows while walking on a level trail back to camp. There are shadows here too. A jeep and two trucks on the thoroughfare. I stand aside and watch them pass. The crunch of boots on ice dutifully cross behind me. A door opens, “Enter,” snap-click, “Your 1400 hours report, Sir.” “At ease.” Laughter from the Mess hall slips lightly through the trees . Was it a winning hand or The Burns and Allen Show on the Radio?
I must sit down. There’s so much here! I know. Today’s exploration is only a minute slice of Jewell Island’s time. But what an exceptional time it was! It’s a far cry from the historical ebb and flow of Casco Bay, except for fighting over land, fishing rights, and the bloodshed of war with the “natives.” Now, that’s a perceptual discovery – sarcasm! The norm is selfishness and unrest. Ponder that, Jude. Hmm. That’s the history of man. Really? I think not. I’ve traveled mile upon mile, sometimes hours, others months long and have yet to meet the dangerous person, not even the one who has the aura, “gotta get out of here!”
The truth of my journeys have the reward of connecting with people who share their abundance (no matter the size), who help in need, and are a pleasure to be around. I think that we all prefer to remember these types of moments. Yes, the outcries over the sensationally divisive and frightening daily news is quite loud. However, what I hear and read about the most are the sacrifices people make on behalf of others, to the point of risking life and perhaps losing it to save a stranger. Someone we do not know. Casco Bay’s is chuck full of heroic acts. Whoa Jude, slow down. Get back on track.
What did I see here, today? I saw my feet walk on steps inside cement buildings with a view, scuffling over the prints of men whose sole duty was that of securing America . They were trained in sighting via the trigonometric process of horizontal triangulation. Some men’s paint scraping boots climbed the stairs to observe or keep watch, hour after hour and day after day, scanning for threats within the visual range from any floor of either tower. Others manned the batteries, be it the 202, the AMTB’s or other weapons of defense. “Honor, Courage, and Commitment” amidst smoking, cussing and swearing. I need to learn more about this and the Island’s history in much more detail. I wish that I had taken the time (what time!) to purchase, read and study “The History of Jewell Island” by Peter W. Benoit before leaving.
Whew! Woozy from musings, I head back to camp for some afternoon relaxation. It is time to let go, to pass thought into rest as nature has with the broken derelicts of wood, tar and metal. Trees, shrub, vines, weeds and the like growing over, in and through what once was but is no more.
Posted on January 25, 2015, in Casco Bay, Jewell Island, Maine, Kayaking, Maine Coast, Military History, Solo Journeys, Twenty One Days at Sea, U.S. Navy and tagged Atlantic Ocean, Forts, Islands, Jewell Island, Sea Kayaking. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.