Note to summer visitors coming to Matinicus Island:
Many if not all of the amenities, services, and small businesses you may be expecting when you visit the island will be operating differently or may be closed this year.
In 2020, VISITORS SHOULD BE PREPARED TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT. Transportation and available services will require more planning ahead than usual. This is a good year for enjoying quiet time at your island home, walks on uncrowded trails and beaches, and the pleasures of solitude.
*Eva Murray’s bakery will not be open.
*Captain George Tarkleson’s water taxi, the Robin R. will be running on a charter-only basis, meaning no published schedule and no opportunity to just “hop on” with another group at the last minute. As I understand it, it’s up to the members of the chartering group to decide who is in their group; Captain Tarkleson will not make the decision to put people together.
*The Maine State Ferry Service will be carrying passengers, but they will limit the number of people who may ride inside the passenger cabins, so walk-aboard passengers should dress for the weather.
*There is no longer a system in place for ordering groceries from Shaw’s (this relationship with Shaw’s fell apart prior to COVID19 and has nothing do to with the pandemic, so we should not expect it to pick back up soon). It is possible in theory to use “Hannaford To Go” but with the current COVID19 issues, that system is heavily overstressed and very difficult to use. There is no simple way to get groceries delivered to Matinicus.
We recommend contacting South End Grocery in Rockland for basic staples and treats. Remember to make arrangements with Penobscot Island Air in advance, so that air delivery charges get paid.
The best thing to do is plan to bring ALL of your food and supplies with you when you come. DO NOT order supplies to be shipped to the Matinicus post office in advance of your arrival; the post office has no storage space!
*Ann Mitchell’s Mermaid Taxi will be running on a limited basis this summer, by reservation well in advance only, and carrying people and luggage in the back of an open pickup truck. Taxi users will have to load and unload all of their own freight. Do not expect short-notice service.
*There will be no scheduled Sunday church services at the Matinicus Congregational Church.
*Dave Sears’ HighWater Studio will be open by appointment only.
*The Matinicus Library remains open for borrowing books (one person at a time, please) and using the Internet outdoors, but it will offer no indoor seating this summer. They discourage use of the library building as an indoor space to relax or spend time online.
*Donna Rogers’ Fisherman’s Wife Gallery will be closed.
*Other business people, services, offices, and agencies may also be changing their hours, procedures, availability, etc.
PENOBSCOT ISLAND AIR is open as usual. Passengers are encouraged to wear masks. Passengers who are not regulars will be asked questions about their health, where they have traveled from, etc. and we expect island visitors to be honest with the PIA staff.
Island businesses reserve the right to adjust their plans this summer based on whatever seems advisable and economically sensible. Things may change at any point. Please make contact with specific business owners if you have questions and do not assume that “nothing ever changes” on the island.