Today Allison and I left Manchester early and headed to Portland Maine. We were shooting for the 11:00am boat out of Portland to Great Diamond Island. Despite the rain we made really good time and were able to get to the 10:00am ferry ride over to the island. The weather was really, really crappy on the way to Portland and my rain-x was non-existent and the windshield wipers were doing a very poor job. We stopped once to get some drinks and snacks and I used one of the rain-x d-fogger wipes on the windshield, this seemed to help a bit but I need to get some more rain-x and treat the windows again. That stuff works great!

The ferry ride over was nice, we were a bit cold and wet but when we arrived at Diamond Cove the weather began to turn around. Upon arriving at the island we saw Elise, Charles and Amy. They picked us up in the family golf cart. On Great Diamond Island the only means of transportation (excluding 2 or 3 cars) is golf carts. We drove up to the house, which used to be the bakery back when the island housed Fort McKinley. Fort McKinley was built during the Spanish American War and was used up through World War II. It was decommissioned in 1945. The houses are now in what used to be many buildings of the original fort.

After unpacking and deciding on a course of action we headed down to the general store to have lunch. On the island there can only be 5 commercial ventures, there is a general store, a spa, a restaurant and I’m not sure what else is commercial. The general store made large sub sandwiches, pizza and sold the essentials. There we picked up tickets to see comedian Bob Marley. Bob was doing a benefit show for the island’s fire station and is doing a tour of many islands to perform other benefits for their fire stations.

After lunch Elise’s mom Thea gave us a tour of the island in the limo, a 6-passenger golf cart. Thea is learning to become a tour guide on the island and we were her first tour. The island has many fascinating structures and a rich history. And a developer in 1980 came in at the right time and at the right price to make a killing selling off the island to people for summer cottages. It seems that the right time is always past and the right price will never be seen again. Yay! Thea told us about much of the island’s history and we explored some great buildings including one that had been a lookout during the war and to prevent extra lights from giving away the location of the tower and people inside they came up with a very ingenious way of lighting the building at night. The ceiling has hundreds of round glass disks that had a light pink tint and when the moon shone down the people in the lookout could read by it. Many of the glass disks are still intact.

After the tour we relaxed by the community pool. Elise, Charles, Amy, Allison and I went to the pool and had a great time. I stayed a little longer and got some reading done. We had a great time playing with the noodles and other toys. Amy and Allison had diving competitions and races. It was all very fun.

Dinner was an excellent lobster roll and some delicious corn on the cob accompanied by a traditional Maine recipe coleslaw. This was the first lobster roll I had ever had and I liked it a lot. I had this mental block on eating cold lobster but luckily I overcame it and enjoyed a terrific summertime meal. We ate on the back porch and the weather was perfect.

After dinner Elise and Charles and Allison and I took the golf cart out to get some sunset pictures and to explore some of the coves and beaches before it got dark. We went to the moon garden, which is a garden right on the water in the small harbor of Diamond Cove. There are two Adirondack chairs set up and it is a perfect viewing place to watch the moon. We headed back tot he house and Allison and I walked over to screening on the green. This was where the neighbors in this community get together, set up a giant screen, DVD player and speakers and show kids movies out on the green. There was even a cotton candy maker and popcorn maker. I of course got popcorn.

We stayed in the living room on a pull out couch that was quite comfortable. I fell asleep while reading the second Kathy Reich’s book Death Du Jour. This one was easier to get into because now I know the characters.

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