“oldie But Goodie”


After that Dan read the passage from The Wind in the Willows where the Water Rat says, “There is nothing—absolutely nothing —half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” He read “The Wreck of the Hesperus” and a couple of sea poems by John Masefield and two old Maine seafaring verses. He read them all in that gentle Maine inflection that sounds of a piece with the rocky shore and the surf, that sounds almost older than time.

The next morning we started early for our final run home to Camden, and we had our first morning of fog. As we left the cove, I mentioned to no one in particular that I had hoped all along to see some beautiful fog. Dan heard me and said with amusement, “Beautiful fog? Those words mean opposite things.” But as we crossed Penobscot Bay in a cocoon of mist, the French , in a world all its own, yielded up one last ancient treasure—an antique hand-pumped, bellows-operated foghorn in a plain wooden box. I took a turn at blowing it—and the fog looked absolutely perfect to me.

—Frederick Alien TO PLAN A TRIP