We arrived at Castine in a school bus, the shuttle from Bucksport that off-loaded on the main street after a half-hour ride down the peninsula on country roads. The scene was very like Lambertville on Shad Festival weekend, the vendors, the crowd, except for the signs on the vendor tents proclaiming that ici on parle Francais. I fixed myself up with an ice cream cone and a can of Moxie. Then we went to find a spot to wait for the Great Ship to come in.
It was a long time coming. A fog bank rolled in and rolled out again, rolled in, rolled out. Kayakers gathered in the harbor. Small sailing boats moved here and there, though the air seemed too still to propel them. Dimly in the mist we could see shapes that might have been tall ships appear and disappear. At last it was unmistakable, bigger than any of the boats around it.
Outside the harbor, the frigate fired a twenty-one gun salute.
Then it was joined by a tugboat and came in with the sails furled.
The sailors, all in period costume, worked furiously in the rigging.
The crowd was very pleased to see her tied up at the dock.
To find out all about this remarkable ship and its journey, have a look at the web site: www.hermione2015.com/
© 2015 Kate Gallison