Seldom does a book come along that I so heartily enjoy and recommend as “Go By Boat,” by local physician Chuck Radis.

In his book, set among the largest populated islands of Chebeague, Peaks, Cliff and Long, and on the water between Portland and various stone piers, Radis weaves his experiences operating a clinic, making house calls and attending to family needs in the remotest parts of Casco Bay while developing knowledge of each patient’s pathology. He is necessarily engaged part of most days problem-solving the medical way, and more often than not cajoling people to do something they clearly do not want to do – ever leave their island home.

Radis gains plenty of insight into human nature along the way. During his many commuting hours on one of the ferries or out to Chebeague from Yarmouth, he kept a little black book, jotting down the germs of many wonderful chapters that braid together stories of many wonderful islanders.

His scribbles record clinic hours and appointments, visits via fire boat and eventually his own craft, but there isn’t any dry rot in his tale. It is as engaging as it is relevant – in terms of health care to underserved communities and a sail down memory road for those of us who grew up in Portland or went to high school with kids from Peaks.

My advice for Father’s Day? Go Buy Book!

Martha Frink

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