Blossoming on the Greenbelt Walkway in South Portland

I used to live within walking distance of the South Portland Greenebelt in the 1990s and spent many days here staying ahead of my anxieties one step at a time. I was young, single, had a dream job that had been created just for me in the Old Port (with parking!) and a cute little house. Yet serenity then was still elusive. Walking here always helped me feel more calm and centered. It had been years since I was here last so I decided to revisit it today despite it being cool and cloudy.
Continue reading “Blossoming on the Greenbelt Walkway in South Portland”

Tiny Home Off-Grid Living: Life on a Maine Sailboat in South Portland

 

One of Wayne’s colleagues in the marine industry lives on a sailboat year-round. When he first mentioned she lives on a boat I assumed he meant a houseboat. Nope. Skye and her husband Matt graciously accepted my request to see their home and find out what it’s like to live on a sailboat in Maine where the winters get interesting.

 

You can’t tell from the photo, but this incline is super STEEP because it’s low tide. I had to hold onto the railing (and Wayne) on my way down. Immediately I flashed back to the 1998 ice storm when I was forced to sit to slide my way down a small hill; otherwise I would have wiped out. (Now that I think of it I want to write about that experience here at some point.) I was trying to imagine going up and down this walkway in January.

 

 

The water was calm and reflected the winterized boats parked on the pavement across the way.

 

 

The white plastic is shrink-wrapped around the boats similar to the way some Mainers, in an attempt to keep out the drafts, will lay clear plastic film over their windows and then shrink it with a hair dryer. Wayne explained that in the case with boats a large propane-powered heat gun is used. Although these boats above are housed here they aren’t housing people like the boats still on the water.

 

The front entrance.

Our shadows strolling in the little neighborhood towards Skye and Matt’s.

 

Some of the friendly neighbors, one of whom was leaning over to get a closer look at us.

 

Here they are! (I love their moccasins. I forgot to ask where they bought them.)

 

 

Cool! It’s like a bubble boat shrink-wrapped in clear plastic to allow in the daylight and sunshine.

 

 

Discussing boats.

 

How’s THAT for a “backyard”?

 

Low tide exposes things like the white marker and the earth beneath the water.

 

Home Sweet POLYNYA!

Come on in!

Inside! Yes, those are Christmas lights!

Wayne is very much at home on boats.

 

This is Farley, their Maine Coon cat who is only six months and lives on the boat with them. I’m generally not a “cat person” but he won my heart during our visit.

 

Wayne is definitely a cat guy. Awwww.

 

Let’s take a look inside their living quarters. Watch your head as we step down the ladder.

 

 

Whoa! Look at those beautiful wood floors!

 

Yes, this is a cute and functional kitchen (“galley”) with more impressive woodwork.

 

Dishes are kept in this clever drop-down cabint.

More hiding places.

Spice cupboard!

 

The sitting/dining room next to the kitchen looks like the inside of a groovy 70s camper which makes sense since the sailboat was built in the 1970s.

 

This cat.

Some more of the many wooden built-ins for storage.

 

The bathroom (“the head”) has original mid-century fiberglass shades and light fixtures!

 

 

Pretty chill place to hang out. I asked Skye about the winter ice and she said that she does sometimes have to slide down that walkway and wears cleats. The docks also get icy which can be scary when they are moving with the water! Yikes!

 

 

Handrails for when the water is less than calm reminded me of those on the NYC subway only these are nautical chic.

 

The adorable master bedroom.

Bedroom storage.

The shower is in this little room next to the bedroom.

 

This is the entrance to the underbelly–the engine. Skye and Matt enjoy sailing after the winter thaw.

 

“Stay Afloat” and other necessities.

Farley takes advantage of the many nooks in which he can “hide.”
 

 

After an hour visit the sun was setting…at four o’clock, people! That’s northern New England November living.

 

Watching the sun set as we walked back.

Taxi!

To see more of Skye and Matt’s adventures with sailboat living, especially the technical aspects, check out Matt’s blog “A Life Aboard.”

I’ll be back sometime before Thanksgiving, but will be busy ’til then. I hope you enjoyed today’s “field trip!”

A Peek at Peaks

Portland, Maine, in particular the Old Port is the place to be if you like the water! Wayne and I took a round-trip ferry ride to Peaks Island. Ready for the ride?

Looking out at South Portland as we head away from the terminal.

Wayne loves boats. He built yachts and designed yacht systems for almost two decades!

It was a hot day so the cool breeze felt great. The cute little lighthouse is Breakwater Lighthouse also known as “Bug Light.”

Pretty sails!

Casco bay is filled with not just sailboats but yachts, paddlers and speed boats.

This sail boat is very impressive!
Oopsie. Someone needed a tow.

Approaching Peaks Island…

Close-up of a couple of kids having fun. They dove into the water as we passed them.

See that crowd waiting to get on the ferry back to Portland? To the left is a bar that has a “Reggae Sunday.” It’s popular with literally boatloads of college kids. We stayed on the ferry because we were just on it for the ride.

The other passengers seemed to enjoy the views and breeze on the way back.

Back on land, gulls were playing in a parking lot puddle even though there’s an entire bay feet away. 

Speaking of gulls, when docking I witnessed a gull gulp down a large flopping fish! I wish I had caught it on camera but it happened so quickly.

After the ride we had the memories. And boat hair.