Peter Ralston — Images from Maine #160

Featured, Human Interest, Peter Ralston

I apologize for missing last Sunday’s note. On one hand I could claim that we were dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Lee, but such an excuse would be worse than simply disingenuous. Truth be told, we were in the lee of Lee here in Rockport, in fact by the time Tropical Storm Lee breezed by out in the outer reaches of the Gulf of Maine there was a sense of it all being—thankfully—largely anticlimactic. A good number of boats were hauled out in Rockport but I left Raven in, as did many others who correctly predicted that what wind we were to get would be out of the north and east, from both of which we are very largely protected here. The image above shows Raven on her mooring at high tide at the height of the storm. 

We were without power at home and at the gallery for a day, the single greatest consequence of which was a lovely, candlelit dinner at home.

Of course I was out and about (ashore) with my cameras but didn’t make a single decent image. The harbor was as flat as a pond and even at high tide there was no storm-driven surge. In all…yawn, thank goodness.

But once again, I was reminded of the deep sense—and practice—of community here. In the absence of any interesting images from Lee, here’s an old personal favorite of mine, Holding Ground, and the story I wrote about it some time back.  Once again, I count my blessings in being here, living precisely where I do.

Holding Ground

A three-day nor’easter had kept all boats in all harbors and, at the tail end of the storm, I headed over to Spruce Head to see how they had made out.

With still plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong, there was a modest assembly of trucks with guys just hanging out, smoking and drinking…watching the fleet, covering each others’ backs.

It’s at moments like this that you pray…or something. You hope that all of the attention you’ve paid to your ground tackle will reward you with a boat still there in the morning. Having watched my own boat ride out a number of winter storms has made me, like everyone in a similar situation, intensely aware of the “weakest link” factor.

The title refers to those places where the bottom is good, where one’s boat will be safe and where the anchor or mooring will not drag.  In a wholly secular sense, it speaks directly to the matter of faith and hope, not to mention preparedness and the need to look out for each other…the very stuff from which community is woven.


Ralston Gallery, 23 Central Street, Rockport, ME 04856

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