The plan was a trip to Rockland and the Maine State Ferry Service Advisory Board. Any other islander, meaning a board member from any other island, who wished to attend the ferry meeting could get to it by ferry. Not from here, not that day; none of our thirty-odd state ferry trips a year fell on that particular date, nor would a trip from Matinicus on the ferry ever result in arrival “in town” in time for a morning commitment. The round trip is five hours — starting, of course, from the Rockland side. I sort of assume that stuff is self-evident, but it isn’t. You wouldn’t believe the wild assumptions people make about transportation around here.

I had a reservation for an early flight off Matinicus on meeting day. Likely it was the “back side,” so-called, of a triangular circuit to Vinalhaven or North Haven with mail or the builders who commute by air to construction jobs. From there to Matinicus to pick me up, and then back to Owls Head, with its airport identifier of KRKD, Rockland, even though it’s mostly called “Knox County” on the radio.

Except that the fog, which the weatherman predicted would lift, was defiantly staying put.

Without the ability to actually eyeball the 1,600-foot gravel airstrip that is our International Jetport — no jets need apply — there is no passage between Matinicus and Rockland by air.

Thankfully, a visitor to the island who happened to be in my bakery buying cookies for his children the day before had passed along the tidbit of information, by way of idle conversation, that the passenger boat captain had added a trip to his schedule. The timing was ideal, and on meeting day I climbed aboard the boat and placed a check for my passage and a fresh cookie on the bulkhead. A bay crossing on the Robin R. is a pleasant trip and only an hour, although this morning we didn’t see a thing except for a couple of seals and the odd shimmer of a calm sea in the fog.

It’s only a few minutes’ walk from Journey’s End Marina, where we docked, to the ferry terminal, where the meeting would be held. This is good because my vehicle was at the airport. But our little meeting grew long, and after a couple of hours, members of the committee began scrambling out for they had boats to catch back to their respective islands. I am the moderator, duty-bound to stick it out. Four hours later, I knew that most probably I would be sleeping on the mainland. I had brought some clean socks, but this time of year work demands one make a reasonable effort to show up. A baker is little use to the customers if not on the job before daylight.

The sky overhead had broken out in blue, but from my picnic table at the Public Landing beside the buoys, with a sandwich from a food truck, the thick band of gray (what in San Francisco is called the “Marine Layer”) seemed only a few yards offshore. I called Sally the dispatcher at the flying service. “Vinal and North are open, but Matinicus isn’t. Maybe later.” From my vantage point, it didn’t even look like the Rockland Breakwater was open. In any event I had to get my car and to buy milk, for one doesn’t ordinarily go to Matinicus without buying milk. If you don’t need it, somebody else will; in any case you cannot buy it there.

Sally saved me waiting for a taxi. “One of our freight vans is at the ferry terminal and I need it back here. You can bring that back to the airport.”

I delivered the van and figured I ought to hang around the flying service office in case there was a last-minute break in the fog, although the visibility was only getting worse. The phone rang behind the counter, and almost immediately Sally was working on organizing my ride home. One of the young Matinicus lobstermen was at the Rockland Fish Pier. After some errands he would be steaming back to the island that evening. Sally gave me his number. I called him, the kid from across the street, the young fellow who I’d lectured a dozen times in his youth about doing pop-wheelies on the four-wheeler, and asked for a ride.

Then, “Line three is for Eva Murray, pick it up over there!” In a chaotic office full of people, a pilot handed me a phone. Another stranded traveler headed for Matinicus needed to leave his pickup at the airport before making the same boat trip. He parked, I drove him to the Fish Pier through the detour, and stopped on the way for a gallon of milk.

I was back to work before daylight next morning.