Portland Harbor is nestled in the chilly island-dotted waters of the Casco Bay. The “Casco Bay Bridge”, or referred to as the “Million Dollar Bridge” to locals swoops off the southern slope of Portland’s old port, climbing over it’s bustling waterways of commercial and recreational vessels and lands in Knightsville, a little village in South Portland.
I’ve been walking and cycling across the Casco Bay Bridge for over a decade. I lived in South Portland for many years and worked full time in Portland. When I moved to Portland for I found work in South Portland, so I know this bridge well. My wife and I met when we worked together in South Portland. We would walk over this bridge many times a week. It was the beginning of a connection that grew into friendship which grew into love and later marriage and a family.
Throughout the years when I would cross this bridge the Eimskip terminal always intrigued me. It stood as a colorful meditation on the wonders of the modern shipping industry. I can't help but think of all those things that most of us, myself included, take for granted that are coming and going in those containers. Bobbing and steaming to and fro the arctic circle via Iceland and beyond to China and Europe and to all corners of the globe. As a landlubber I am confined to roadways, pathways, bridges, sidewalks and boardwalks. That great blue expanse on the map is nothing but a barrier. A pretty barrier mind you, but a barrier nonetheless. I find myself often times gazing at a map thinking “If I could cross that little blip of water I would be at my destination just there over the small blue expanse, but instead I have to traverse miles and miles down stream, cross a bridge and traverse miles miles up stream". But the boatmen tell a different tale. The oceans and river-ways are a superhighway to him, and the J Pictor, EIMSKIP’s largest vessel in her fleet is a fine specimen to navigate those highways.