(9) Schooner Eleanor and the Bush speedboat encounter
Monday, June 24, 2013
It rained heaily overnight with with frequent thunder and lightning. We both got up at 5:20am. I was prepared to go back to bed because the clock radio showed 4:20am. Eleanor reminded me that the clock radio was an hour behind. According to the Weather Channel the high temperature was supposed to be 90-92 degrees Fahrenheit Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then cool down to about 87 degrees F by Friday. We were still getting used to the long delay in getting warm water for a shower. We soon fell into a daily routine of turning on the shower as soon as I entered the bathroom to brush my teeth. Five minutes later there was enough warm water for a shower.
The Maine Diner is a 6 minute drive south in Wells, Maine. That is where we had breakfast. We arrived at 6:57am just as they were about to open. The skies were clear and sunny with just a few thin clouds. The temperature was already up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Our server was Deb. This place is very popular. There was a steady flow of customers coming in. Eleanor had Almond Encrusted French Toast with strawberries and real maple syrup. I had the Big Breakfast Special (3 eggs, bacon, homefries and toast).
We left the restaurant at 7:55am and arrived in Kennebunkport 19 minutes later. The stores as well as the public parking lot don't open until 9:00am. So the streets were relatively empty. We found a handicapped spot on the street. But it was limited to 30 minutes. Another handicapped 60 minute parking space was open across from the post office. So we left the car there until we could move it to the public lot at 9:00am. In the meantime Eleanor used her scooter to get around town. Finally at 9:06am I moved the car to the public parking lot for a fee of $3.00 per hour.
With the parking situation all settled, we made our way down Ocean Avenue towards Arundel Wharf. Back in July, 2000 we celebrated our 30th anniversary in Kennebunkport. On the day of our anniversary we took a trip on a sailboat called Schooner Eleanor. We toasted to 30 years of marriage on July 11, 2000 with wine we brought on board.
We wondered if Schooner Eleanor was still there. The Arundel Wharf sign confirmed it.
We arrived at 9:30am and took some photos. A family had chartered a private cruise, and was preparing to embark. As they approached the schooner a dog came out and sat on the dock. Once Richard (the skipper) showed up, that dog jumped on board.
Meanwhile Eleanor purchased a Schooner Eleanor cap and t-shirt from Lissa, who also handles reservations. The next cruise scheduled for 11:00am still had some openings. Cost per person was $45. Including us, that would make a total of 11 persons. A good omen. It was a beautiful sunny day. So we signed up for the 11:00am cruise. We asked if we could bring along our own wine. The answer was "Yes." However, our wine was back in our hotel room. So I left at 9:45am, drove back to our room, retrieved a bottle of wine with two wine glasses and was back by 10:19am. I parked in the designated spot reserved for cruise customers.
In view of the bright sun, everyone made sure to put on sunblock. The schooner holds a maximum of 20 passengers. By the time we were ready to embark the total had climbed to 19 people. Eleanor and I were the last to board. A nice couple from San Diego let us have their seats near Richard. As we pulled out through the harbor, Rich pointed out former President George H.W. Bush's two Secret Service inflatable Zodiac boats. President Bush is here May - October. I took a photo for a couple sitting across from us. The wife in turn took a photo of us.
Richard, the skipper of Schooner Eleanor, builds and repairs boats in the off season. He built Schooner Eleanor and named it after his mother. It first sailed in 1999. The dog is his. It is a rescue dog from the pound. Its name is "Hoss" and is a mixture of Irish Setter, Yorkshire Retriever and maybe some Bulldog. That dog goes out on every cruise. He started this all on his own. As we motored out to deeper waters, Rich, gave us the background information on his dog. That dog loves sailing. He first stations himself on deck and enjoys the view. By the time we were ready to set the sails, Hoss had found a shady spot, and pushed his way in under my legs and seat. There he stayed until we were heading back into the harbor.
At 12:35pm, just as we were approaching Kennebunkport, a high powered speedboat came roaring past us. The person in the boat waved. It was former President George H.W. Bush's boat. But there were no Secret Service boats trailing behind. Rather than George, it was his son, Neil, driving the boat. That boat has three huge outboard motors mounted on the back.
Back on dry land in the Schooner Eleanor reservations shed Hoss laid down on the concrete floor and cooled off.
From there we moved the car back to the public parking lot and went into Alisson's Restaurant for lunch. Alisson's is famous for its lobster rolls. Back in 2000 I resisted having a lobster roll because I thought $14.95 was too much to pay for a sandwich. Finally on the last day we both ordered a lobster roll. We loved that sandwich! So our sole reason for going to Alisson's was to have a lobster roll for lunch.
Our server was Lynn. Apparently the waitresses there think that due to the high volume of tourists that frequent this restaurant, they can be lazy and still get a lot of tips. Our waitress was not attentive at all. Eleanor had to get up and leave before Lynn bothered to finally bring our bill. The same thing happened the last time we were here in 2011. The lobster roll we had at the Bar Harbor Inn was $1.00 cheaper and tasted better that what we had at Alisson's. Total cost of the meal came to $58.62 including a much smaller tip.
By now the temperature was a sizzling 94 degrees Fahrenheit. We stopped at a nearby Ben & Jerry's for an ice cream cone. We both had three scoops of butter pecan ice cream in a waffle cone. Total cost for dessert was $11.84.
At 3:18pm I decided to try walking to the B&B we stayed in back in 2000 to see if it was okay for Eleanor to walk. Eleanor sat in the shade by Ben & Jerry's until I returned. It was too far. So at 3:44pm we exited the parking lot and headed for the Hannaford Grocery store at a shopping center on Route 1 in Wells. There was a lot of traffic at that time of day. We finally arrived at 4:10pm. We picked up a a bottle of wine, cheese, bananas, pineapple, strawberries, apples and a French baguette. I noticed the name tag on the young girl bagging our groceries. I said "Shelby, that's a nice name." She said that her father named her after his favorite car. I said "Well, that must mean that you are high class and special." That comment just about made her day.
It wasn't until 4:52pm that we were finally back at our hotel. That's when I realized that my knees and thighs were bright red and sunburned. I had forgot to apply sunblock before the Schooner Eleanor cruise. Now I was paying the price for that oversight. It was too hot to eat outside in the hotel patio. So we refreshed ourselves, washed some sweaty garments, downloaded some memory cards and prepared for the next day. Dinner consisted of the fruit, cheese, wine and the French bread.
At 7:08pm another thunderstorm moved in.
Total distance walked:
Eleanor - 2.10 miles
Bill - 5.18 miles