Saturday, 2 July 2016

Our last stop before the border

Cobscook Bay, ME

2 July - 7 July 2016

Sunset on the b

For once I remembered to book our campground for a major holiday as we would be here on the 4th of July, American Independence Day. When we were looking there were only a couple of sites left for us and none were flat. So we rang the park and he assured us that site 21 was pretty flat. He was right. What a pearler of a place. This would have to be one of the nicest places to camp that we have ever been. Our site as large, grassed, private, and protected from the wind and the weather was perfect.

Lindsay has had a bit more experience at photographing these and it shows

I tried photographing these flying dots, these are a lot smaller than the ones in the USA

We often ask what wildlife there is when we arrive in a new area. Some white tailed deer and raccoons we were told. There was a lady who dialed 911 the other day as there was a raccoon in her tent. Not what 911 is really for. They rang the campground and got them to sort it out. I would love to photograph a raccoon but unfortunately they are nocturnal, along with mosquitoes, so I didn’t go looking for them.

Quaint town of Lubec, Maine

Lubec Channel Light

Lubec is the most north-easterly town in the US. A quaint little fishing village that still survives on fishing. There is a light here to aid navigation at the harbour’s western entrance. Costing $20,000 to build in 1890, it was automated in 1939. It is one of three surviving “sparkplug” style cast-iron lighthouses in Maine.

Lubec Channel Light

West Quaddy Head Light

The first lighthouse was built here in 1808, but this one was built in 1858 and automated 130 years later. It has striking red and white candy stripes and stands on the most eastern point on the mainland of the USA.

West Quaddy Head Light

Campobello Island, Canada

Canada is only a bridge away from Lubec, the Island is called Campobello. 

A Presidential Summer House

It was touted as a place for well to do families from America and Canada to set up summer homes or cottages as they called them. Franklin Roosevelt’s parents bought land here and built a house. Franklin was actually born there and had dual citizenship. No different from the residents of Campobello being born in the US because there is no hospital on the island. Franklin’s parents bought him a house when he got married which has now been turned into the first and only International museum. It’s on Canadian land but owned by the US government. This was where Franklin also contacted polio. He spent a number of months bedridden until they could move him back to the US. He never did walk again unaided. It’s a large house with lots of rooms, about 18 bedrooms. The style is not very ornate. Wallpaper adorns the walls, nearly all the furniture is theirs, even though another family owned it in between, but they tried to make a museum out of it, but failed. People will visit here but not if they have to pay for it, I suspect. Nothing had been updated; the kitchen and butler’s kitchen were from an era well gone. The bathroom amenities were thick, large and cumbersome, probably cast iron underneath the white enamel. It looked to me, just like a summer house should be. The summer houses were built between 1884 & 1902. They had oil lamps and candles for lighting. A butcher’s cart delivered meat three times a week and a dairyman delivered milk, cream, butter and eggs. All other food had to come from Eastport in the US.

FDR's summer house - there was a crane in front of it, so this is the side
While we were there, the weather turned and it was freezing. Rain is coming tomorrow the guide in the house said. Looks like it was getting all ready.

There is a lighthouse at the far end of the island that you can only cross to it if it’s low tide. Even though we went there before going to the house, we got there too late. In the few minutes we were there the tide covered the rocks that had been sticking out of the water. It changes by 7 metres every day. To come back at low tide at 7:30pm wasn’t quite the right time for sunset and I think the rocks would have been a bit treacherous for crossing in dim light. It also would have been a nearly two hour round trip plus we would have had to go through two border crossings again – no thank you. So I decided to keep my chips in store for something I really wanted to photograph. Head Harbour Lightstation is the oldest surviving lighthouse in New Brunswick and the one of the oldest in Canada.

Back at our campsite at Cobscook Bay, it was sunny and warm again. Nor did it rain the next day, we had perfect weather.

Someone must have had a bird feeder here before us sometime as a hummingbird came around looking for one. So we got ours out. We tried to photograph them but gave up. Even my bird app calls them “tiny” and they are so fast their wings sound like a drone.

On the 4th of July we drove up to Eastport about 40 minutes up the road to see the fireworks. We found a verandah outside the local newspaper which they didn’t mind letting us set up our tripod on. We were a bit close, it might have been better if we had used the wide lens, we wouldn’t have chopped some of the ends off. I tried to take a few, but am a complete novice, holding the shutter open way too long. Lindsay seems to have it down pat and he got some good shots.

Champagne anyone?



  1. You are obviously skilled at capturing fast moving things like hummingbirds and fireworks! So funny, I don't think of raccoons and white-tailed deer as being "real" wildlife—they're more like pesky backyard critters at our home in Oregon. :-)

    1. I can understand that, Lindsay doesn't think of those things as wildlife either, I think he was hoping for bears! Fast moving things are difficult to photograph, I still have a bit of learning to do. Lindsay has got it covered.