WORLDROMPER

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller


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94 Lambs, 12 Piglets and One Ass: My Life as a Farmhand for Endangered Livestock Breeds

Here piggy pig pig pig!

“Have you ever worked with livestock before?” the farm manager asked.

“Well,” I replied with a chuckle, cleverly avoiding the real answer with a little shrug: “I grew up in Texas.”

And that was enough to land the job as a farmhand at Kelmscott Rare Breeds Foundation in Lincolnville, Maine. The truth was that I had never worked with livestock before. Although I did spend many fine hours playing in the dirt and crawling around with puppies on my grandparents’ farm as a little girl, they raised grain- not animals. Continue reading


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Recipe: Billions of Blueberries Pie (Maine)

I worked on a blueberry farm one summer in Maine, where my job was to sort out the blueberries once they were dumped on the conveyer belt by the rakers. I picked out any bad berries, bugs, sticks or stones, and quickly found out that the best way to do so was by touch, not sight. To this day I can sort through a pint of blueberries in less than two seconds.

Every day someone would take home a box of blueberries and return the following morning with something fantastic to share: blueberry muffins, blueberry scones, blueberry cookies and my favorite – blueberry pie.

Click the image to find the recipe:

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Top Ten Reasons to go to Maine

Maine is the northeastern-most state in the union and is so far away and isolated, many people think its in Canada, and kids from Vermont make jokes about the lack of TVs and other pop culture servers in Maine.

But the rugged, maritime culture of Maine is rooted in the immense beauty of the state; look far into the backwoods and deep into Penobscot Bay and you will find a fresh beauty unlike any other place in America.  Continue reading


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A Sailor’s Life: Penobscot Bay

“READY ABOUT!”

When you are a deckhand working on a schooner that is sailing off the mid-coast of Maine and you hear your captain give this command, you jump up and run/climb/pirate down to the deck as fast as possible without a moment of hesitation.

It doesn’t matter if you are eating corned beef hash, polishing a brass cannon, in the galley washing dishes, asleep in your little hole of a bunk, meditating, or taking care of business in the head. When you hear “ready about,” you run.

You do not pass go; you do not collect $200. You are a lowly deckhand, and your hands must be on deck, ready to tack, jibe, crawl up the topmast, or haul the lines with every ounce of strength in your body and then some. You are barefoot; your ratty, dirty clothes are always damp, and your hands are callused and leathery from the lines. You are always the last in line for the shower and for meals, and you are always the first in line for anchor-hauling and dish washing. You wake up before dawn to scrub the deck and stay up late into the night, closing the hatches and blowing out the oil lamps. You must be ready to entertain the passengers on the command of your captain with stories, songs, antics, or puppet shows. Your work is your life; you live on the boat and have only sixteen hours off a week. Despite the immensity of what you are earning in experience, your salary is approximately one dollar an hour.

And people pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars to live a week in your life. They sign up to sail Penobscot Bay on a real ship, with a real crew, and be a real sailor. Most will say it is the best vacation of their lives.

Tall ships sail up and down the coast of Maine from May to October, carrying captains, crew, and customers to spotty islands, rock-cropped lighthouses, and ridiculously quaint New England villages. These schooners are no luxury cruise ships; there are no sequined dancers, eat-all-you-can chocolate buffets or bingo games. This is not a shopping-mall travel experience; there is absolutely nothing to buy. These are not smooth, sleek fiberglass wenched-out showboats but decades-old windjammers with wooden hulls, hemp lines, whiskey barrels for water storage and wood-fired stoves. There are no traditional showers, the cabins are tiny, and privacy is an absolute illusion if anything. Dinner is a lobster and clam bake on the beach, bare-handed and messy with crustacean goo dripping down your elbows (all Mainers know that a wash in the salty Atlantic beats a lame lobster bib any day).

From Boothbay to Bar Harbor the schooners ride the Atlantic with itineraries set only by the wind and tide, and travelers sign up to sail on the Timberwind and the Stephen Taber to live the life of a sailor for a week. Penobscot Bay is regarded by the world-cruising community as one of the top three places to sail in the Atlantic-triangle loop along with the Mediterranean and the Caribbean; sailors treasure the sure waves of the icy north ocean more than a cold PBR or a hot shower. For one week, you are a sailor, you are as free as a leaf on the wind, as a dolphin at the bow. You look out onto the glassy ocean and know that the whole world is laid out before you, and the sunset will pull you forward to your next horizon. You are a sailor.

READY ABOUT.