Growing up I spent my summers on an island off the coast of Maine. To a twelve year old kid it was the most magical place. Diamond Cove is located on Great Diamond Island and can only be accessed by boat or ferry. It was an old military fort named Fort McKinley which was the largest of five military forts built in Portland Harbor in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After years of neglect, the fort was saved and fixed up into homes and condos. My family was one of the first families to buy out there so the first few summers we pretty much had the island to ourselves. The few kids that were there ruled the island and would constantly explore in the woods and check out all the old abandoned bunkers. There were few cars, most people got around by foot, bike or golf cart so we had the run of the island and so much freedom to explore.
I met some amazing characters in the 20+ years we were there, but the one person that I will never forget was an a security guard named Tom Leddy. He was a former Merchant Marine, had a flattop haircut, smoked the best smelling pipe, had a dog named Baxter and told the best stories. I would spend hours listening to him talk. I can still hear his voice and every time I smell a specific pipe tobacco I think of him.
As the years went on, more and more people started coming to the island and I always looked forward to heading up to the cove for the summer to see who was going to be there and who I was going to meet. From the beginning I had various odd jobs there, from cleaning the pool to working a snack bar to working at the general store and finally waiting tables at the restaurant. When I wasn't working you'd most likely find me down at the dock greeting the ferry and watching the people get on and off the boat....eventually marrying one of the former boat captains :) My family no longer has our house there and it has been a few years since I've been back, but this past weekend we took our son on his first ferry ride out to Diamond Cove and it made me so happy to be able to share a bit of this special place with him - even if it was just for a short time. Now I am looking forward to finding out what Charlie's version of Diamond Cove will be and can't wait to share those new memories with him.
If you are in Southern Maine I highly recommend catching the Casco Baylines Ferry to Diamond Cove and if you are looking for a special place to stay they recently opened the Inn at Diamond Cove. Check them out!
Casco Baylines Ferry Terminal
Waiting for the ferry
Checking out the wheelhouse
For some reason every kid loves running back and forth on these planks
The Diamond Cove dock
Getting ice cream at the General Store
I was so happy to see this sign!
Until next time Diamond Cove