Island Updates

First Impressions Series: Eric Howton

Stepping off the Eastern Flyer onto the dock on Hurricane Island evokes a feeling of tremendous good fortune. A connection with nature, history and an almost instantaneous process of introspection are sure to follow the sensation that you’ve been blessed to visit such a beautiful location.

Dana and Eric getting ready for a North end lobster bake

My first few days on the island were notable for some obvious reasons; the natural beauty of course, adjusting to ‘off-grid’ living, being away from my wife Allison and our hound Olivia and a drafty and dark cabin to name just a few. Being immersed in an environment, with such stark contrast to the suburban lifestyle I have grown accustomed to in New York, has been a wonderful resetting. It has provided a chance to stop and focus on many of the concerns and projects I have taken on.

Eric working to deliver an impressive meal from our wood fired oven

My newest charge, manning the stoves and wood oven, along with organizing the galley and establishing connections with purveyors has been delightfully augmented by getting personal tours of Hurricane Island and its surroundings while interacting with the core staff of the Hurricane Island Foundation.  These experiences as well as interacting with the participants and volunteers braving the shoulder season’s finicky weather assuaged any concern I harbored about leaving my comfortable life and taking on a new adventure. This place in nature seams to have a special meaning to those who are fortunate enough to spend any amount of time at all exploring or just sitting on its idyllic shores.

I have always loved the communal bond that is afforded by the dinner table. No matter the occasion, mealtime nor the dining partners, the camaraderie that results from sharing sustenance has given me the sense that all is right with the world. This was likely instilled in my sensibility around the family tables of my youth, from the open house my parents extended to any and all students from the college where my mother worked and from being bundled in my father’s coat sleeping atop sacks of flour next to the massive oven at our family’s bakery. I look forward to being a part of creating an environment that fosters community and unites those lucky enough to spend time on the island.

Subscribe in a reader