Damariscotta (pronounced DAM-ruskotta) sits at the upper reaches of the river by the same name. Twelve nautical miles under engine power, dodging lobstah pots all the way, and we took a mooring ball arranged by my long lost Colby roomie, Jeffrey McKeen, within sight of town.
Jeffrey, a.k.a., Smokey of the Old Grey Goose Down East Band and the Pemaquid Oyster Co., and I had not seen each other since college graduation. It took an intervention by John Allan, another Colby buddy, to make sure we didn’t miss each other again.
A month or so ago, JA (as John is known by his friends) emailed me and told me he was arranging for the Windleblo to be escorted up the Damariscotta by the Oyster Girl, the flagship of the Pemaquid Oyster Co. fleet. JA would drive north from Virginia to assume the honorary title of Admiral of the fleet. On JA’s orders, Oyster Girl would rendezvous with Windleblo at the mouth of the river and pilot her north.
The appointed morning dawned bright and clear. Walt Lienhard, yet another Colby friend, had come aboard Windleblo in Portland to crew while Jocelyn traveled back to Colorado. Leaving Boothbay Harbor behind, we sailed into the Damariscotta River. Sure enough, within a mile the Oyster Girl crew appeared. Frenzied hand waving and hailing ensued and we soon settled into to a mellow pace headed north. On the way, we paused at Smokey’s oyster farm to see the oysters growing in their pens. Afterward, we arrived at Damariscotta and a spirited weekend commenced.
The cast included me, Walt, Smokey and his wife Kayli, JA and wife Raji, and Lisa Fink, also a Colby alum, and her husband Kevin who came up from their home in Brunswick, Maine. Highs ranged from great meals shared aboard Windleblo and at Smokey and Kayli’s rustic Maine cabin on the banks of the river to enjoying a Friday evening gig by the Old Grey Goose at the Schooner Bar in town to a round of Molkky at Smokey’s home grounds.
But the highest high was simply enjoying the comfort and magic of each others’ company as if 40 years had not evaporated since our last engagement.
Thanks, JA, for putting it all together.