‘Sunbeam V’ Steward Jillian – My Job Absent the ‘Sunbeam’

Jillian in the ‘Sunbeam V’ galley. (Photo by Tristan Spinski)

CHERRYFIELD, ME — As Sunbeam V Steward my job is to feed the crew and guests and keep things tidy. Also, I work with Island Health Services Director Sharon and Island Outreach Director Douglas to extend our hospitality so it works in conjunction with the many additional programs and gatherings offered on and off the Sunbeam. Providing all-island-breakfasts, bingo snacks, care packages, holiday dinners, lots of cookies…

It has been interesting to figure out how to provide these services alternatively. Life without the beloved Sunbeam has been a lot of things, many of which had to unfold outside of planning. How many times in my life will I decommission a boat?

We have been traveling around these last months via the Moonbeam, ferries, charters, planes and carpooling. Our already honed boat people schlepping skills met/meet new challenges. Both Sharon’s portable telemedicine unit and Douglas’ backpack of emergency counselor/chaplain supplies weigh as much as my filled coolers.

We have stayed in parsonages and in islanders homes. We all carry along ready bedrolls. What a rare treat to get to know these parsonages. I have loved using their kitchens with their mix of vintage linens and cookware. In these homes we’ve hosted breakfasts, suppers and always popular taco feast. Islanders were delighted to spend time in their parsonages. Some shared stories of a long history of time spent in them and others had yet to have reason before though had driven by it for years.

We’ve grilled burgers and dogs on the beach, on docks and in front of the library. I’ve packed a bucket of iced sodas for a plane trip to Matinicus. I’ve also successfully gotten frozen ice cream to the island to accompany my hot apple crisp I planned to serve that night. Not a simple feat for a 4-5 hour commute on a warm fall day. Multiple ice packs and a towel wrapped around the half gallon ice cream tucked inside a Yeti bag cooler bag did the trick. Thanks to Sigma Kappa who gifted us the bag for my use during this transition time. It has been super handy.

Islanders have opened their doors to us and we’ve stayed in spare bedrooms and on comfy couches. It has be great to spend time in their homes and we’ve appreciated the overwhelming hospitality from our island friends.

To be continued