Back to Maine


I did get to spend six days aboard Watermark, Greg and Linda’s 53-foot Huckins motor yacht. 


After four days underway, we docked at the Charleston Municipal Marina.  Our slip was adjacent to an 85-foot motor yacht parked in front of a 172-foot sailing yacht.

172 PeriniNavi


172 PerNaviNight.3


The weather report called for a couple of days of rain and wind, and we determined we could not get to the vessel’s home in the Chesapeake, or even our fall-back destination of Norfolk.  So with the best transportation available in Charleston, the crew jumped ship.  I got a lift from Charleston to Reston, VA with my new friends and shipmates, Bob and Leigh, who got me to the Amtrak station in Alexandria. Unfortunately I was on the run and unable to look in on my DC pals.

Amtrak is a civilized way to travel.  I arrived at the train station a half hour before the scheduled departure.  There was no line; in fact, there were only four of us in the station.  

Alexandria station

I tapped the counter to get the attention of the only ticket seller, who fixed me up with a ticket to Boston and a connection to a bus to Portland.  One look at my seafaring facial crevasses and he applied the 20 percent senior discount without asking.

By 15 minutes before departure, the waiting crowd swelled to eight.  At 3 minutes before train time, three more passengers arrived.

I have two electrical outlets at my seat, WiFi, and a seat equal to a first class airline.  The WiFi sign on page has a map showing the location of the train, which updates as we go.

 I got to do 300 waterway miles, far short of the 800 I was hoping for.  I acquired two new friends and got much better acquainted with two people I’d known before.

It felt good to rustle some navigational charts and strain to be the first to spot some navigational aid.  I was reminded how lovely it is to fall asleep to the sounds of marinas, the waterfront, and shore birds.

And how nice to be heading home and to look forward to resuming my own voyage.


About allevenson

Writer (of stories, journals, email dialogues), Reader (of books written by friends, recommended by friends, and works-in-progress of friends), Hiker (never met a trailhead I didn't like), Biker (more scenery for the buck than hiking) and lately, Blogger (about my Year on the Road at
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9 Responses to Back to Maine

  1. karen wittgraf says:

    If you should happen to see Pat Taub, tell her I am enjoying her book “The Mother of my Invention”. Thanks to you, I was able to get a copy from her. Weather rules us, doesn’t it? But, I have always wanted to try Amtrak , so loved hearing about your pleasant time. Just returned from the Bay area- actually came upon Golden Gate Park on 4/20. Imagine that?

  2. Evelyn W. says:

    Nice pictures.

  3. Claudette Delanoeye says:

    Hi Al…Good to hear of your adventures by sea (isn’t weather the bitch in planning there) and on Amtrak…I take that in Calif down the coast to SD and seems an overlooked resource. Too bad no great options for rails heading way west, or along the forgotten Treasure Coast here. Would love an auto train from Sanford to Denver that’d carry a (small) motorhome to get from Florida to the Rockies without that part of a cross country trek. More interesting seeing the countryside, or even the canyons of grafitti zooming by train thru LA, than a 36000 ft. misty view of cloudtops (and perhaps wondering what the dude behind you may have in his socks). Always thot trains were more social as well. Wish we had some bullet trains (as in Europe…NOT the ones in which I was shot at in Chicago!) as part of the infrastructure and alternate to the sardined UNfriendly skies. Mebbe you’d enjoy touching base with Pat Moss in Maine. At any rate have fun on your mind enriching meanderings. You’re doing what I’d love to be doing, and did in previous decades before beans. Hope someone buys a yacht this month! Fourteen boats anchored outside my window last weekend and all except one were sailboats, jerry jug laden cruisers and one newbie with anchor chain madly wrapped around the plow as he drifted into the mangroves. OOOPS. He was being bird eyeballed by a red bellied woodpecker. But remedied the anchor dragging predicament and putzed off to Georgia. Honk if you’re happy Jolly Swag…Cheers, Swampy

    • allevenson says:


      I have enjoyed your photographic FB postings esp since they you expanded your subject beyond boats to grand scenery and petite flora and fauna.

      • Claudette says:

        Hi Al…Your FB feedback much appreciated! Realize I need to create separate webpage for the (over) bountiful yachts….assume many owners may well appreciate a running or “aerial” view. Prospects have been enthusiastic on presentations I’ve done on my own listings. I get swell lighting, angle to see deck details, and varied backdrops here. Hope to pass word so yachties passing by Fort Pierce can avail themselves of opportunity if choose. I got a DeFever the other day with dolphins in their bow wave, and often get pelicans swooping in over the water to add interest. Still waiting for a fishermen out there to land a big one and capture the action!… Personally I’d sure love to be cruising, but as a special traveling lady I once met at her B and B outside Bergen said after marrying a farmer, with the B and B she now “brought the world to her doorsteps”. Similarly it’s swell living over an anchorage as
        an old boater!

  4. April Edsberg says:

    The pictures are interesting, even the Amtrak Station. You sound like you are really enjoying yourself.

  5. Dave Bauer says:

    The photo of the train station is especially provocative. You are following in Stieglitz’s footsteps.

  6. Colleen Rae says:

    Al, I love the way you can make a story and adventure out of any event you experience. A great talent for a writer. Your trip sounded very satisifying for you.
    I have riden Amtrack many times; a great experience in itself. I sometimes take the train to Chicago from where I live in MI and it is a relaxing 2 1/2 hr trip. You can meet the nicest, interesting people on a train. But I’m of the persuasion that you can meet interesting people anywhere.
    Are you back on the road soon? It’s spring here; not sure about Maine. What are your next traveling plans?

    • allevenson says:


      I think Maine weather must be a lot like Michigan. When you talk about your weather, it sounds a lot like what i am experiencing a day or two either way. It looks a lot like spring here. The joggers are wearing shorts. Everyone wears tee shirts except me, I never seem to get all the way warm unless I am in a hot tub.

      The Jolly Swag is still winterized and I plan to begin getting it ready for the road in a few weeks. Nights can still be cold. It was 30 degrees the morning I left for Florida and 40 is not unusual.

      I will start making short trips around the first of June. I am giving myself the gift of The Sun Magazine’s writing retreat June 7-9 in Western Mass. It is described as a weekend of writing, conversation, and inspiration. This will be only the second writers’ outing ever for me and I expect it to be enormously energizing.

      After that I expect to cruise New England for the next several months, returning to Freeport as a home base often. I have Prince Edward Island on the bucket list again this year. I’ll spend some time in the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, possibly get to Quebec. Ambitious as it may be, if I can find a few spare bucks, I will try to get out to Newfoundland. And a part of me wants to get out to Labrador.

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