Bar Harbor, Maine – September 3, 2013

Our activity for today was a sea kayaking trip.  We took a short shuttle ride to the western side of the island where it is quieter and not so commercialized.  We saw loons and osprey and numerous harbor seals.  We went up close to shore and our guide reached in and pulled out a star fish.  We got to hold it before returning it to the water.  We beached our kayaks and took a short break part way through our trip.  The kayaks we used were tandems.  Deb and I paddled together and Lorraine went in a kayak with the guide.  They have a rudder on the back that you control with foot pedals.  We paddled just over 6 miles.  We did a little shopping afterwards and then went in search of a restaurant for dinner.  We ate at a place called “Cafe This Way” and had steamed lobster.  The meal was not complete until we shared a piece of warm blueberry pie with ice cream.  About the time we were ready to leave the restaurant, it started raining.  Our car was parked a couple of streets away and so we waited for it to slack up a little.  We started out and made it about halfway when it really started pouring again.  We took refuge at the Bar Harbor Fire Department which had its bay doors open.  I triple dog dared Lorraine to put on one of the fireman’s helmets for a photo.  We nearly succeeded but were interrupted when one of the firemen came out of the office.  We spoke to him and learned a little history of the building and how their old alarm system used to work.  The building is 105 years old.  It had an ornate pressed metal ceiling and beautiful brickwork.  They still have the old alarm system that used a ticker tape.  When one of the alarms in town was pulled, the ticker tape printed out the location.  A fireman would put a numbered wheel on the machine that corresponded to the alarm location.   Each wheel caused the siren to sound a specific pattern.   By the siren pattern the firemen knew where to respond to.  He said they still blow the siren daily to test it and that it is what they use to let residents know when school is cancelled in the winter due to snow storms.  Finally the rain seemed to slow a bit and we decided to make it the rest of the way to the car.  Of course it started raining harder after we left.  We ran, splashing through puddles, laughing hysterically.


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