Bar Harbor, ME — Sunbeam V Engineer Storey King sent this photo “from Matinicus this morning” on Wednesday, 3/22. In a separate email that day, Mission President Scott Planting emailed Sunbeam V Captain Michael Johnson:
Mike — we’re getting a pretty good snow squall this afternoon. How is it where you are?
To which Capt. Johnson replied:
Good, Scott. Due to heavy wind we are spending a second night on Matinicus and leaving for Isle au Haut in the morning. It snowed here, but only a little.
The crew just had a CPR class by Eva Murray that took most of the morning.
Sharon and Douglas are out doing rounds, Storey is working on the hull, and I am doing some work on my computer. We had a pretty good crowd for dinner last night, and Douglas showed a movie after dinner with was fun.
“We wanted to go back,” said Director of Island Services Douglas Cornman. “Last year was our first year” at the Forum Trade Show. “We connected with fishermen and fishermen’s families who had relationships with the Sunbeam — whether it was Sunbeam V or Sunbeam IV, and in some cases, even Sunbeam III — and it was fantastic to reconnect with these families, whether they were on islands we don’t visit regularly, or in coastal towns and villages,” said Director Douglas Cornman.
“It was a great opportunity to build awareness and educate people on what the boat’s currently doing. How we’re using telemedicine, telehealth, and island outreach.”
The Sunbeam V crew will have a booth at the Trade Show. “Our display this year will be our current literature on the Seacoast Mission, on what’s happening at the Mission’s Downeast Campus in Cherryfield, and what’s happening on the outer islands,” said Douglas.
“We are going to have the laptop with the videos. Sunbeam V Captain Mike Johnson has also put together a slide show of past images of Sunbeams, the current Sunbeam. Each day — Friday and Saturday — we’ll have boat crew and boat staff available. So people can ask questions about the Sunbeam itself, or questions about the programs offered from the boat. There’ll be a boat person and a program person at our table each day,” said Douglas Cornman
For Maine island residents, accessing even the most basic health care is a significant challenge. Not every island has daily ferry service, and a trip to the mainland, when possible, is expensive and time consuming.
In response, the Mission offers personal care, modern technology, and educational services. Director of Island Health Sharon Daley, R.N., meets with islanders on the Sunbeam V and in their homes, and keeps in touch between Sunbeam trips via phone/internet. The Sunbeam is equipped with state-of-the-art telemedicine facilities so islanders can have virtual office visits with doctors on the mainland.
Douglas Cornman, Director of Island Outreach, brings performers and artists to the islands, offers opportunities for worship and spiritual development, and instigates island-wide events such as suppers and sports activities.
Island Outreach activities augment the work of small island schools, and a year-round program prepares 6th, 7th, and 8th graders for the transition to mainland high schools—few islands have their own high school. The Mission publishes the Island Reader, an annual collection of writing and visual art created by island residents.
As a mental health counselor and certified dance/movement therapist with years of experience as a clinician and clinical administrator, Director of Island Outreach Cornman also works closely with Sharon Daley, Director of Island Health, to support the mental wellness needs of island residents and their isolated communities. He responds to islander requests for spiritual support and development, whether through the islands’ churches or other means, including discussion or meditation groups.
The Maine Seacoast Mission has been a trusted friend along the Maine coast for more than 100 years, always committed to our work for the long haul. Island and coastal residents know they can rely on us. While our presence is steady, we are responsive to the needs of individuals and communities, and our programs adapt to meet changing conditions.
Now through the internet and digital communications, the Mission can bring a new presence to our past. For example, these two reports from the 1930s concerning the Mission boat at the time, the Sunbeam III.
First up is a three-minute segment from a radio broadcast featuring Alice M. Peasley, and other Mission staff.