Portland Maine is a lovely city, and we really enjoyed our day there. In a departure from the norm, we spent most of it not doing very much at all – wandering in and out of cute and quirky shops, sampling some of the many gluten free and dairy free treats available (I would get so fat if we lived here!), and generally having a relaxing time.
Probably my favourite part of the day was going out into Casco Bay on the Diamond Island ferry. The Casco Bay Lines company runs a series of boats which take both people and post out to the various islands around the bay.
As well as being working ferries they also take on passengers for leisure cruises, and so a crew member provided a light commentary on the islands, settlements, lighthouses and former military outposts that we passed.
We looked enviously at holidaymakers on various small and idyllic-looking islands, and passed a variety of craft out on the water.
Most unexpectedly interesting was the part of the journey which took us through the former anchorage for the North Atlantic Fleet in WW2 – I forget the exact details but this is clearly a secluded, defensible and sheltered stretch of deep water, with space for a lot of ships! They also apparently blasted huge holes in Long Island (ME!) for fuel storage tanks. These days it seems mainly populated by pleasure craft and lobsters.