Ancient masonry on Dix Island and then on west to the St George River

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Sun 24 Jul 2011 19:00

Position           43:59.00N 069:16.67W

Date                2000 – Sunday 24 July 2011 (UTC -4)


We did not want to leave Dix Island without getting ashore for a walk.  The island is privately owned but there is a signed path around it that the owners allow visitors to use.



Getting ashore was not as difficult as it looks as we used the floating jetty, for future visitors the owners prefer that you use the sandy beach from which this shot was taken.


Imagine a beautiful warm day, difficult to remember if you are in the UK at the moment I know, and perfect silence other than seabirds and the occasional sound of waves lapping.  The path had been mowed though meadow like grass scattered with wild flowers.  All around is evidence of the quarrying, not just holes in the ground but pieces abandoned half finished; closure must have been very abrupt.



Rather than ship raw granite the blocks were shaped and finished in situ.


One of the indications that show that an island has been quarried is the shoreline.  Un-quarried islands have large boulders rounded by ice and glaciation; quarried islands have a shoreline piled with spoil.  On Dix the evidence was easy to see, note the drill marks of this spoilt slab.



As we walked around the path we met one of the owners and his two guests and had a long chat.  He explained that there are nine owners and strict covenants on development.  When the island was purchased in the 1960’s there were virtually no trees and a very raw old quarry site.  What we see now has been planted and allowed to naturalise.  He pointed out the foundations of a large hotel and the site of the owner’s mansion.  At its height the island had 2,000 plus residents and was covered in buildings.  Properties now are limited to 1,000 sq ft.  Generators are actively discouraged as is any form of externally visible electrical lighting and water comes from a common well.


Whilst we were talking we spotted our first Bald Headed Eagle.  Unfortunately the photographs were taken on maximum zoom and only one was in focus and that was it was launching itself out of the tree.  Bit of a b*m shot I am afraid.




Tearing ourselves away from Dix Island we very gently sailed and when the wind died completely motored south and west past Port Clyde and up the St George River to anchor in Maple Juice Cove.


We had been told of an OCC member who had a house on the Cove, and incidentally is one of the co-owners of Dix Island.  Whilst our AT&T mobile phone was not getting a signal we were picking up a WiFi signal from somewhere and Skype to US landline was working well; 1.3p per minute compared with 10 cents, great when it works.  A telephone call was made to ask if we might use his dock to land the dinghy so that we could walk ashore.  Thus it was that we met Cabot Lyman and his guests, had a very pleasant drink with them on his deck and a walk in the woods.



Not to forget the catering bulletin – pork steaks in an apple juice and sour cream mushroom sauce.  We are gradually eating our way through the freezer as when we return to the UK (5 August to 6 September) the boat is coming out of the water and the fridges and freezers will have to be off as they use sea water for cooling.