Set 1 Photographs of Oceans in My Life
Including My Navy Days

Bob Jensen at Trinity University 


April is dreary up here in the White Mountains. Thought that this week I would run a photograph feature of oceans in my life. Having grown up in Iowa I never saw an ocean before I took a long and slow train ride to the Norfolk Naval Base to board my first assignment on the battleship USS Wisconsin. In subsequent Navy days I saw so much ocean that I never really wanted to see an ocean ever again. Years later after joining the faculty of the University of Maine we bought a house in Bangor that is only about 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. This was our house in Bangor. It was beside the Eastern Maine Medical Center. I could walk about 300 feet to catch the Old Town bus that, after a 20 minute ride beside the Penobscot River, dropped me off about 50 feet from my office on campus.

In 1973 we bought a "camp" on the ocean. In New England a "camp" is a summer "cottage" that can range in
value from a $1,000 to over $1 million. Our camp cottage was only 20 feet from the ocean at high tide. Before
I describe it I want to point out that we purchased this place for only $37,500 in 1973. That price included
11 acres of woods, a road through the woods that was nearly a mile, and a cottage that had three bedrooms, two lofts, a deck,
and an indoor bathroom. There were enough beds to sleep 12 people, but that many people would've strained the one and only
bathroom. What was unique about our camp was a 254 foot shoreline with a sand  beach. In Maine such beaches are
relatively rare due to the many rocky shoreline cliffs. Indeed there were cliffs on both sides of our beach,
but the kids could frolic on our beach and dig for clams. Swimming was not something we enjoyed much
in Maine, because on the hottest day of the year the ocean temperature is usually less than 65F.

Our camp was only 45 minutes from our home in Bangor which made it really convenient to go back and
forth in the summer. It was located only a mile from where the bridge goes across to the Acadia National
, Cadillac Mountain, and Bar Harbor. It was less than a quarter mile to the Oak Point Lobster Pound.
We actually watched summer sunsets over the big Blue Hill across Union River Bay.
The location of our camp is circled in red below:

This is our beach when high tide covered most of the sand

Here's a winter picture of the town of Blue Hill on Union River Bay
We could look westward from our deck and watch sunsets behind Blue Hill

The kids enjoyed watching frogs and birds on our fresh water pond

When we moved to Florida State University I sold this camp. Even though it was a good investment it
was too much trouble to maintain from Florida and later from San Antonio, Texas. In addition, at that
stage of our lives we did not enjoy the ocean cottage as much as planned. The kids preferred to stay
in town with their friends. And we drove back to Bangor for a lot of summer parties with our friends.
I would just get done mowing my yard in town and then have to mow another yard when arriving at the camp.

My research work also went better in the summer on the days I spent on campus closer to the
library and computer center. Reading by the ocean is overrated in terms of scholarship.

But there were some nice things I remember about going down to the camp. On very hot days the
temperature got ten degrees cooler when we headed down Bay Road. And there was nearly always a
pleasant ocean breeze in the afternoons. I fondly remember cooking lobsters and clams on the beach.

I did not get a boat because boats are scary on the coast of Maine. Maine has the highest and lowest
tides in the United States. At low tide on the coast of Maine rocks lurk just below the surface to the
extent that you must really know complex channels where you take a boat. Even out from our beach there was
an enormous rock that was easily visible except at high tide when it lurked a foot below the surface.

I discovered that I really don't have any good pictures of the cottage. Somehow those were lost during
moves to Florida, Texas, and later New Hampshire (in retirement). But I do have some pictures that I
took of the shore and nearby Acadia National Park. This park is one of the most popular tourist sites in
America. And the nearby Bluenose Ferry goes back and forth to Nova Scotia from Bar Harbor.


Northeast of our camp was Acadia National Park.
Cadillac Mountain is the high point in this park

If you visit Acadia National Park, I highly recommend having popovers and tea
at the Jordan Pond House inside the park


My friend Will Yancey (now deceased) built a place on Hancock Point north of Bar Harbor

If you look close you can see Will's shot of a bald eagle
The Maine coastline has a large number of bald eagles

I wrote a tribute to Will Yancey at

Here's a shot of what is now probably the most visited house in Bangor
The famous author, Stephen King, grew up in Bangor.
This is a picture that I took of the old mansion that he now owns on West Broadway Street in Bangor
He's quite friendly and occasionally comes out to talk with tourists when he's not writing horror stories
The boy in the lawn is our grandson Jonathon who actually lives in Wisconsin

Last summer (2011) Erika and I spent five nights in the Spouter Inn a few miles north of Camden
This inn gets its name from Moby Dick
This inn is directly across from the ferry to a big island called Ilseborrow
The delightful people (Katherine and Paul) who own this inn fix the best breakfasts I've ever eaten in my life

We picked the Spouter Inn because it's so close to our favorite seafood restaurant in New England called the
Lobster Pound. We hosted dinners for our family who now live in the Bangor area as well as with old friends
from the ten years we lived back in Maine. This is a view of the Lobster Pound from the deck of the Spouter Inn

This is a closer view of the Lobster Pound



Aside from Portland, Camden is probably the most prosperous town on the coast of Maine
It is surrounded by the Camden Highlands where some of those 1% executives own summer/retirement estates


I returned to the Stanford Campus for two years in the CASBS think thank in 1970
This is a view (from the deck of my office) of Lake Lagunita and the Stanford Campus

The closest beach was San Gregorio Beach
We would never swim there because of the dangers of undertoe

We took frequent trips during our family years in California
One memorable trip my kids won't ever let me forget
Firstly I might note that I went to sea in the U.S. Navy and never once got seasick on a battleship
But when we went whale watching in San Diego (after a big lunch at a Mexican restaurant)
Daddy got seasick on a small whale watching boat in rough waters
I'm not sure if the birds were after what the whale left or what Daddy dumped in the water


And my earliest remembrance of seeing the ocean, lots of ocean, from the decks of a battleship
The USS Wisconsin saw action, as a cruise missile launcher in the First Gulf War, but by then I was a land lubber
Accountants estimate that it cost $1 million per day to keep this obsolete hunk of steel on the high seas

USS Wisconsin History Timeline (1939-2000) --- History.htm

The USS Wisconsin had big 16-inch guns designed mostly for WW II Pacific Island bombardment
before sending in the marines on landing boats. Each 16-inch shell was called a "Cadillac" because
the cost of each shell was about the same as the cost of a new Cadillac.

We went to sea in convoys. The picture below shows our destroyers and cruisers

The is when we came alongside one of the cruisers
The sailors looked ship shape because we were on the flagship that carried the admiral

We went through the Panama canal on my first cruise
The battleship had less than a foot to spare on each side of the locks
We held big hemp rope fenders over the side that rubbed and smoked from the friction
This also shows a view of a battery of 5-inch guns
We could not hit the broad side of a barn before the days of laser-guided guns

On the Pacific side of the Panama Canal we could see both a submarine and a carrier
All carriers in the fleet were too large for the canal

That's me on the left with the most sunburn

We were just a bunch of young men who never wanted to hurt or kill anybody

South of Panama on the high seas we crossed the equator
There's an initiation (actually a hazing) before King Neptune's Court for turning Polliwogs (who'd never
before crossed the equator) into shellbacks. Among other things the shellbacks beat us gently with wet canvas.
In reality this was all in fun and not nearly as serious as the hazing I went though in a fraternity in college.

On this cruise we got liberty in Chile
I took the picture below during the bus ride from Valparaíso across  to Santiago
People came out from their huts to greet us before we crossed the Andes

Below is a picture of a traffic cop who waved his arms and blew a whistle a lot
The not-so-funny part was that drivers paid no attention to him
The cars were ancient but vary well maintained

We stayed in great hotel where there were ballroom parties
Mothers brought their daughters to meet us (I think hoping we might eventually marry them and take them to America)
This is me in front of the hotel waiting to meet those daughters

On the return trip we had liberty at Gitmo in Cuba
This was back in the days when being stationed at Gitmo was choice duty
Palm trees, sun, and tropical beaches

We spent an extra day at sea on this cruise.
The morning of the day we were supposed to steam back into Norfolk, Admiral Park looked up and
discovered that high on the ship his two-star flag had been replaced by a pair of panties
The rest of the day was spent on deck searching our sea bags for his flag
The flag was probably deep-sixed the night before (and never was found)
Moral of story:  Admirals don't have a great sense of humor on cruises
I can honestly say that I was not the culprit (darn!)


USS Wisconsin History Timeline (1939-2000) --- History.htm

More Pictures of the USS Wisconsin --- Click Here"USS+Wisconsin"&hl=en&lr=&as_qdr=all&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=nOSTT9bAJfOf6QHv_rGJBA&ved=0CEUQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=629&sei=puSTT8XpH-qw6QHB8-S3BA

More Pictures of Acadia National Park ---

More of Bob Jensen's Pictures and Stories


On May 14, 2006 I retired from Trinity University after a long and wonderful career as an accounting professor in four universities. I was generously granted "Emeritus" status by the Trustees of Trinity University. My wife and I now live in a cottage in the White Mountains of New Hampshire ---

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Our address is 190 Sunset Hill Road, Sugar Hill, New Hampshire
Our cottage was known as the Brayton Cottage in the early 1900s
Sunset Hill is a ridge overlooking with New Hampshire's White Mountains to the East
and Vermont's Green Mountains to the West



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