The weather has been climbing into the 60s here in Maine, and we have been trying to take full advantage. We recently ventured out to Vaughn Island in Kennebunk, separated from the mainland by a tidal stream that can be crossed at low tide.
Our Maine Gazetteer assured us that we could easily cross the tidal stream for three hours on either side of low tide, so we were feeling confident as we parked along the shore about an hour before the low water mark. Getting across was not quite the cut and dry trek we had expected. To be specific, the water came up to Five Spice and Five String’s knees, which, to say the least, feels refreshing at the end of October. We ferried the younger fives across to reach our destination, and they were more than eager to lose their wet footwear and go barefoot for the remainder of the day.
The Vaughn Island shoreline offered countless tide pools for us to explore and rocks to climb. We found clusters of sea snails, a bed of oysters stranded by the tide, and even a type of bivalve we’ve never seen before. The variety of the beach itself was impressive as well. We found sand beaches, rocky out-cropings, and pebble shores all within a few steps of one another. In fact, the shore proved so interesting and varied that none of the younger fives were drawn to splashing in the water itself, which is a rare event indeed.
After lunch we needed a stretch of sorts, so we converted some stranded lobster buoys into a “bat” and “ball.” While the field was not exactly up to regulation, we had a blast sending the buoy flying and rounding the sandy bases. We also discovered that buoys can make fine hobby horses. Who knew there were so versatile?
Pebble Sledding and Farewell
The highlight of the kids’ day turned out to be getting dragged through pebbles. One part of the beach had a think layer of smooth rounded rocks sloping down to the water, and Five Spice had the inspired idea to pull the younger fives by the feet down the slope. They beach soon looked like a sledding hill, with a deep groove for a sledding run and kids trudging up the hill for another ride. Finally though, with the “ski-lift operator” getting tired and the tide rising, we knew we had to head back ashore. Our fun had made us lose track of time, and we were unprepared for the waist-deep crossing back to the car. Fortunately, the warm October sun worked its magic and we hardly noticed the soggy apparel on the ride home.