In days of yore, navigators expended great energy and effort attempting to establish their position. When they finally did, it was often with great doubt.
On Chesapeake Bay, they say that if you haven’t been aground, you haven’t left the dock. In Maine, a sailor might boast, “I know every rock on this coast … because I’ve hit most of them.” Wherever you go, a droll maxim makes clear that if you spend enough time on the water, sooner or later you run aground.
Castine, Maine, is picturesque in a way that leaves words like “quaint” and “charming” sitting in the corner with empty dance cards. The only reason most Americans have never heard of the place is the reflexive Anglo-orientation of U.S. history.