It’s a perfectly wonderful day.


Blue sky, pale against the ocean.

I walk back to camp after saying my fairwells and photographing my rock discoveries. I wonder who will be able to figure out the mystery of the formations on them?

Oh, it’s such a nice day. Warm with a light breeze. I get to leave the island!  I make quick work of dismantling camp and packing Abbie B.   She is ready to go too. So, I release her tether to the tree and stow the rope before turning her around to drag across the sand to the water, which isn’t far.

A gentleman from Cliff Island lands right after Abbie B and me are on the water.  I’m sealed in, gloves on, and paddle ready.  We hold our position as he lands and offer a hello to him.  The man smiles and then comments on how much he misses the buildings that have been destroyed mostly by vandalism and weather.  I feel sorrt for him.  It is difficult for anyone to lose a persoanl connection with history, especially when the time period spans over many year in time.

My attention turns to Abbie B who is patiently waiting.  Okay, lets go and a paddle blade breaks the surface of the sea.  Neither of us are in a hurry to arrive at our next destination, Bangs Island.  We’ve been land-locked for too long and simply want to float upon water and   explore every sight along the way.  The most surprising is a Monarch Butterly flitting across the open water toward Long Island.

You got to be kidding!  I know the Monarch migrates great distances and have seen them by the hundreds while living in South Dakota during this period.  One very windy day grounded the Monarchs during this time.  There was a tree row behind the house I lived in at the time.  What a happy surprise that greeted me during a walk that led through this particular row.  I was surrounded by Monarchs hanging on the leaves of the tree’s branches.  Hundreds of them covering nearly every inch of free space.  Their wings were folded hiding the brilliant orange color that draws many people to see them.

Back to “You got to be kidding!”  It’s one thing to paddle across the open waters of a fair distance between islands, but to be such a small creature in flight.  It looks as if he or she is heading for Long Island.  Wow, so far on wings that seem so fragile.  I’m rethinking my impression of the Monarch right now.  Amazing!  Truly amazing.

I take one last look at the towering rocks on the south side of Cliff Island.  The are magnificient.  I would like to return for a visit to Cliff Island and its people.  I’m intrigued by their lifestyle of being one of the smallest working islands in Casco Bay and the kindness shown to me on the day I seriously needed to tank up on water.  By Cliff Island.  Sigh.

I turn my attention to Hope Island which lies due west of Cliff Island.  I passed just the southern tip of it on my way to Jewell Island.  Seems like weeks ago but only a few days in reality.  I noted some pretty bright red roofs on the island then and paddle up close to the east side of the island to run along its length.  Man, those buildings are red and what in the world are the ones with “normal” colors but bright red roofs too.  We almost need special glasses to dull the shine.  I say we because I feel that Abbie B’s senses are as shocked as mine.  I have no clue as to what is going on with this place and make a mental note to find out when I return home.

I did just that and learned that Hope Island is owned by John and Phyllis Cacoulidis under the shelter of Scorpio Island Corporation.  The couple are millionares form New York City.  Click for Source. I don’t agree with their taste in color but it is their right to decorate their home and buildings as they like, Yuck!  However, I do agree with their complaint regarding taxes.  The huge hikes in tax rates over the past ten years or so are strangling the locals people, who live and worked on these islands for generations.  What I don’t like is how the Cacoulidis’ have gone about a reduction in taxes.  They have worked several schemes but the first and kind of humorous to me is that the tried to succeed from the town they belonged to  CHEBEAGUE, Maine – A year ago, annoyed that property taxes on Hope Island had more than tripled, its sole occupants, a New York millionaire and his wife, sought to escape taxes by seceding from the town. They argued that their remote mansion, boat house, and helicopter pad should constitute its own town, and that therefore they should be able to set their own tax rate click here for source and more info.  I also agree with the Town of Chebeague challenging the Scorpio Island Corporation and Phyllis Cacoulidis in court regarding modifications to the island that are contrary to EPA laws and Codes of Chebeague.  Click here for source and detailed information.

I have no reason to dislike the Cacoulidis’ as people, just the two actions as stated above.  The island belongs to them and they may decorate as they wish, LOL.  I do believe that there will always be bad blood between the Cacoulidis’ and the Town of Chebeague.  I wonder what the stories, yarns and other nonsense will sound like a century or more from now.  Ah, more lore for the history of Casco Bay, Maine.

I only found one free photo on-line, which is below.  However, I did find a site that has aerial views of Hope Island as a product for sale.  Here’s the link for viewing them in lieu of seeing them here.  Hope Island Photos.   (Once there, click on any of the images with Red roofs for a full size view.)  You may also use Google Maps.

Photo credit baslow Foter CC BY-SA



About Just Jude

I grew up on a small farm in Michigan but have always felt the urge to wander and began doing so as a teenager. Since that time, I've hiked, biked and paddled in every season; not for sport, but for the journey.

Posted on April 2, 2015, in Casco Bay, Kayaking, Maine, Maine Coast, Memorable Moments, Solo Journeys, Twenty One Days at Sea and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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