I had a little idea what it was like when I first ran the store in the winters of 2000 thru 2002. Although, I recall the winter of 2001 set a new annual snow fall total of 111 inches, compared to an annual average of 55 inches. The snow plowing contractor (Dickie) earned a nice bonus that year and took his wife to the Caribbean. I have pictures of the snow piled high against the post office. It took some tunneling to get in. However, I was on the last boat to town at 7;35 pm, often riding alone, to spend my night in a well insulated house.
Fast Forward to 2017
This is my very first, full time winter here. The last boat is still the same. But the first boat off the island is not until 6:45 am (the worker boat). The next boat is 8:40 am (the retiree or shopper boat) and both can be challenging on a blustery, cold, snowy/icy morning. I often sit in my pickup truck until after the boat has docked and begun loading passengers. Not until then do I make a mad dash from the uncovered parking lot, braving the elements, and hoping I haven’t forgotten something; like the keys to my up town car or the list of things I’m suppose to accomplish before rushing back to one of the few boats back this time of year.
Some of the Challenges
What follows is a list of some of what a winter resident faces:
- fewer boats. the late boat from Portland is 8:30 pm
- No covered parking near the dock
- limited transfer station hours (3 days instead of 6)
- only one store with much fewer hours
- Gasoline 4 hours per week, not daily for 12 hours per day
- No place to buy prepared food.
- limited outdoor activity
Some of the Benefits
- very quiet
- no traffic
- knowing everyone here
- Islanders looking out for each other
- no crowds at the beach