On Friday morning the kids and I, along with my father and his wife hit the road in the easterly direction to visit Acadia National Park. We didn't stop at the visitor center and since my father navigated we somehow took a very non-traditional route that circumnavigated Mt. Desert Island without going through the park tollbooth. We stopped at several locations including a lighthouse overlooking a sound and saw impressive stone cliffs, crashing waves, and dolphins (I think, or small whales). Another stop led us on a 2 mile hike giving glimpses of shoreline and culminating in a broad expanse of rocks at the water's edge. I had been walking with Julia Ellen and Timmy and when I came up to the other grownups. Charlie and Maggie were nowhere to be seen.
I have read many accounts over the years in books and the newspaper of people being pulled out to sea by large rogue waves along Maine's coast. The library on Monhegan Island is dedicated to two children who were swept away in 1926 . Last summer 3 people were drowned and several others from Belfast were rescued after they were swept away after going too far out on the rocks at Acadia. They had been entranced by the huge waves produced by the remnants of a hurricane. The locals who were watching from farther back warned and yelled at the tourists who were killed to come away from the waves, but they didn't understand the danger.
Well, I understand it perfectly and was terrified for my children's safety. The children were found around the bend on the point and I decided we should head back to the car. A picnic lunch with a breathtaking view and a later attempt to admire the wild spray hitting the rocks led to me declare that we were going home if the children would not obey and stay near me, away from danger.
The very next morning the Bangor Daily News featured an article describing the tragedy of a man swept out to sea off of Monhegan Island on Friday. He had been standing too close to the sea and a wave lifted him right off the rocks in front of his friends.
His body has not yet been found.