maine coast


Stonington Harbor

Early morning light on the lovely little fishing village of Stonington, Maine

Truth be told, this post is more about the trip to Stonington than it is about Stonington itself. Now, don’t get me wrong. Stonington is a lovely little fishing village, but it wasn’t all that it was built up to be. Let me explain.

Part of my research for the trip was accomplished by purchasing a couple of books on the Maine coast and Acadia National Park. The author was spot on in most of his recommendations regarding locations to visit. In fact, he was so reliable that we began to take his word as gospel. That was the case with Stonington. You see, the primary target for our trip was Acadia National Park. We wanted to make sure that we spent enough time there to ensure that we captured all of the sights properly. Everything else was secondary. Based on our dear author’s recommendation, Stonington rose to the top of the list of other sites to photograph on the Maine coast. To read his review Stonington was the be all to end all harbor on the Maine coast. The Camelot of our journey. The shining light on a hill.

Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. We left our hotel just outside of Acadia and began the drive to Stonington. Our plan was to make it to the harbor at daybreak and see the lobster fleet heading out for the day. Sadly, we misjudged the distance to the town and the quality of the roads. What looked to be a 30 to 45 minute trip actually took us two hours. The sunrise was indeed spectacular, but on the particular stretch of road we were on, we simply couldn’t find a vantage point to photograph it. Still, we thought, Stonington is ahead. Everything will be better when we get to Stonington.

Along the way, we saw coffee shops and bakeries that we could have stopped at to assuage our hunger and thirst. No, we can’t stop though. We must make our way to the mythical Stonington. So, on we drove through beautiful countryside and along winding roads. Finally we arrived at Stonington. There was only one problem. The sun had risen. The fleet had made its way out to sea for the day. All that was left was a lovely little village around a nice little harbor. One lonely fishing boat remained in the harbor. Had it broken down? Was its captain sick that day? We’ll never know. Fortunately, the morning light was still soft and lit the boat up nicely. The water was still calm enough that a bit of reflection remained as well. So, I got a lovely photograph for my efforts, but not the target-rich photographic environment that I had anticipated. In fact, I was disappointed. Stonington, though lovely, was not nearly as pretty as Corea or Rockport.

As I said at the beginning, the real story was the road to Stonington, not the village itself. As is frequently the case, it just means that Stonington is on my list of places to visit again in the future. Hopefully, the next visit will yield more results.