Sunbeam delivers Wednesday Spinners to Matinicus

Sunbeam delivers Wednesday Spinners to Matinicus

The Sunbeam delivered the Wednesday Spinners to Matinicus where they were greeted by residents at the Matinicus Island School.
(Wednesday Spinners members with Matinicus Island residents at the Matinicus Island School. (Photo courtesy Susan Merrill.)

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME – On November 10, the Wednesday Spinners traveled aboard the Sunbeam to share their passion for spinning with an island community. It was their second island trip in three years. For almost a half-century, the Spinners use old-fashioned wooden spinning wheels, to turn the woolly covering of sheep—called fleece—into yarn.

Some group members gift or sell their handspun yarn. Others make clothing to sell. But the six Spinners who joined with the Sunbeam gave residents of Matinicus an opportunity to observe spinning and to interact with the group. Set up at Matinicus Island School, original member Cynthia Thayer recalled, “We taught and later enjoyed an evening with people who came with their knitting. They talked about the island and told us stories. A couple of people came with their wheels and we helped to get those operational.”

A Wednesday Spinner stands on the shore with the Sunbeam behind her.

The next day—a holiday—children visited and were introduced to the craft. “We get together because we love spinning. If we find people who are really interested in it, we share it,” Cynthia continued. The trip was planned by Island Outreach Director, Douglas Cornman, MA, BC-DMT. He and the Sunbeam crew brought the Spinners to Isle Au Haut in 2019. He shared, “They spin and weave magic. They are kind, they are wise, they are generous. They are grateful. People gravitate to them and enjoy watching what they do, even if they have no particular interest in spinning, weaving, or knitting. There’s something intriguing and entrancing about

their work. It was wonderful to see islanders get excited about a craft that they may not typically engage with or be aware of. It was a positive experience all around and that is why the Mission puts so much effort into these outreach trips.”

For the Matinicus visit, the Spinners were once again excited to see life on an island, talk to people, and witness the day-to-day. “It’s very special to see the Mission’s guests get as much out of the trip as the islanders. I sat there and felt the energy generated in the room between island residents and the Spinners. It is hard to articulate how powerful that energy is, and it is that energy that helps me realize—that reminds me—that there is something in this universe beyond ourselves. I think the islanders felt it.”

Following the Sunbeam's arrival, 3 Matinicus children and a black labrador stand on the dock.

During the trip, a Spinner said Wednesday  is their spiritual home. It is a time they come together as a community. One particular Matinicus student, age 9,  became captivated by their craft. He parted his own wool and the Spinners helped him spin it into yarn. In less than 24 hours, he had turned raw wool into yarn. “You could see him indulge in the process,” remarked Douglas.

“The Sunbeam crew was just fantastic,” said Cynthia, “Of course Jillian is amazing with the food she puts out. She’s always so cheery and happy. The whole experience was extremely positive. I hope we’ll go out again soon.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Covid-19 precautions moved the Wednesday Spinners away from their regular mid-week meetings in each other’s homes. “These days,” explains Cynthia, “we’re spinning down at Hammond Hall in Winter Harbor. It’s a big hall and we can spread out.” The group’s sessions have a specific purpose. “What we don’t do is have people come to our group, so they can learn how to spin. We’re there to spin our own work. Many of us teach for pay. Once a person knows how to spin, we see if we have room in the group and ask them to come,” she said.

Visit the Wednesday Spinners, their work, or to get in touch about a lesson via their Facebook page. Want to learn more about Island Outreach? Explore the News or visit the program.

Murray – Does Pete Buttigieg Have a Workday Like This?

freepressonline.com
from Offshore: Does Pete Buttigieg Have a Workday Like This?
by Eva Murray – Tuesday, April 6, 2021 8:53 AM

Last Thursday was also the date scheduled for most winter islanders to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The crew from the Maine Seacoast Mission and the public health nurses were scheduled to fly out to administer the vaccine, but with a rainstorm expected on the planned day, that was a no-go. They scrambled to contact the whole list of people and move the event ahead a day. This change required they get to and from Monhegan by boat Wednesday morning, up the peninsula and over to the airport in Owls Head, and to then make the trip to Matinicus by air to vaccinate roughly 30 grateful people in the afternoon — and to get off the island before being stuck here by weather.

Eva Murray lives, works and writes on Matinicus Island. Full story

Covid Clinic Trips 3 and 4 – Monhegan, Matinicus Islands

Covid Clinic Trips 3 and 4 – Monhegan, Matinicus Islands

NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — The Mission medical team held back-to-back clinics on Monhegan island (March 3) and Matinicus island (March 4). Sunbeam Captain Mike Johnson, Engineer Storey King, and Steward Jillian, were resting from their second Covid-19 vaccinations, so the medical team traveled to these two islands by means other than aboard the Mission’s boat, Sunbeam.

Monhegan Boat Lines’s Laura B carried the team to-and-from Monhegan. The team was Island Services Director Sharon Daley, RN; Maureen Giffin, RN; Peggy Akers, NP; Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman, and Mission President John Zavodny.

Forty three people received vaccinations at the Monhegan Community Church and Parsonage. The crew of the Laura B was good enough to hold the boat to allow time for the medical team to finish its work and travel back to the pier aboard a Kubota 4×4.

The following day, the Mission’s old friend, Penobscot Island Air, carried the same team by air to-and-from the Matinicus Island International Air-Strip. The airport is named somewhat tongue-in-cheek. It is a strip of land cut through a grove of pine trees.

The team was also joined again by Boston Globe photographer Erin Clark, and Boston Globe reporter Brian MacQuarrie. Erin’s wonderful photos accompanied Brian’s fine story in the March 9 Boston Globe.

Thirty one people received vaccinations at Matinicus Island School.

President Zavodny produced a video vignette with narration capturing the flavor and highlights of the Monhegan clinic.