Wenches, Scallawags and Ribbon Fries

A full schedule of exciting Pirate adventures filled the poster of the Pirate Festival in Eastport Maine. I was hooked.

The dance performance was a small dance school recital, and anywhere else would have had me looking for a book to read or a magazine to thumb. But ten 5-7 year old girls in tap shoes and glittery red sweaters over black tights bumping into each other, or gamely concentrating on getting the routine right was touching against the backdrop of tall masts in the harbor, and buildings looking a bit down at heel.
Eastport is a city on the edge. In 1900 the population was 5,311. In 2000 it was 1,640 and today is 1,556. But the spirit at this festival was optimistic, and the community spirit was so permeated with love for neighbor that I was ready to pack my bags and head north.
Pirates were everywhere. Kids, grandmother’s and pets were pirated up, and some pretty grand costumes there were. And the pirates didn’t just look like pirates, they jeered swaggered and threatened. I couldn’t wait to don my pirate garb and atrocious Irish pirate accent, and join the crowd. I proclaimed perhaps a few too many times Anne Bonnie’s last words to her spouse awaiting the gallows, “If ye’d a fought like a man, ye needn’t die like a dog!” But no one ran me through.
Looking for a light bite before dinner we saw the sign Ribbon Fries. I don’t usually eat fries, but pirates really like them, so we ordered. While we were waiting a huge platter of greasy potato chips, piled precariously high and shimmering in the heat, was handed to the fellow in front of us. Incredulous, I asked if those were the fries. Indeed yes, and no, too late to change our order. We wandered on, munching a few, and I looked wistfully at the nearby truck selling smoked salmon on a stick. Next time.

The canon boomed, there was an attack by ship from the city across the harbor, and we had the best crab cake ever at the Chowder House Restaurant. Danced all night, and even Lee Southard’s rendition of Y-M-C-A (Ayuh, A-Y-A-H) was perfect for this boisterous evening.

Inches of wet hemlock needles make a wonderful cushioned path.

Nature Log Torrential rains during the night. We hiked Shackford Point in the morning, splashing through the trail. A seal near the fish weirs, moss was soaked, drips sounding loud in the quiet woods. Roads washed out, erosion in places on the way home.

We decided not to take this road by the river.


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