DEAR SUN SPOTS: My sister and I happened to be in the area of Tripp Lake in Poland on Sunday, Aug. 8, when we noticed three, possibly four loons in some sort of distress out in the middle of the lake.

A pontoon boat drifted in the area of these distressed fowl, and soon a fishing boat also joined them. The loons were flapping their wings and thrashing in the water, and appeared to be in trouble, although they didn’t dive below the surface or seem to care about the close proximity of the two boats.

We watched for an hour or more, and we wonder if perhaps those folks in either the pontoon or the fishing boat may read Sun Spots and can tell us what might have been the loons’ situation. Somehow, someway, they were relieved of their stress and were later seen elsewhere on the lake. The loons are a lovely sight to see (and hear). — No Name via e-mail

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Somewhere around July 22-24, I caught a quick glimpse of a sailboat being tipped over by a whale. Since this once almost happened to me, I would like to read the whole article and have a picture if possible. I saw this on Channel 6, but do not have their address. I would like your help again. Thank you. — Eleanor Parker, Auburn

ANSWER: Sun Spots happened across a photo of this event on the Planet Money blog ( It is quite amazing. You can read more about it at and watch video at

If you don’t have a computer, go to the library and get their help. Try to avoid weekends and choose a time when they’re not too busy.

The event occurred July 22 off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, when boaters were watching the right whale breach and got too close (some claim they were chasing the whale). On the third breach, the whale crashed onto the boat, breaking the mast, but no one was hurt.

Other boaters caught the event on video, which was picked up by the Associated Press and beamed around the world. Sun Spots can give you the address for Channel 6 (Lewiston Bureau, 189 Main St., Lewiston, 784-0599). They will probably refer you to the Internet as well.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My husband and I would like to know if there is anyone in the area who canes chairs for a fair price. Thank you. — Paula Howe, Dixfield

ANSWER: Online, Sun Spots found in Warren and Portland (273-3747; [email protected]). They have a terrific website with lots of good information, including an upcoming caning class, Oct. 18 to Nov. 15, Mondays, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For more information, call Portland Adult Ed at 874-8160.

If anyone in the L-A region canes, she hopes they’ll write to Sun Spots, so she can present their information.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am trying to write an item for the Maine Genealogy 1790 Series books on Jonathan and Isabelle Collins Pratt of Weld. The children are Jonathan Pratt Jr. (b. 1793), wife Elizabeth Stanwood/Betsey Lowell; Seth Pratt (b. 1795), wife Prudence Judkins; Collins Pratt (b. 1797), first wife Hannah Ray and second wife Nancy Coffin; Isabella Pratt (b. 1800), first husband Abel Holt and second husband Samuel Blamey; Turner Pratt (b.1803), wife Phidella/Fidelia Holt; Benjamin Pratt (b. 1805) no records; Jason Pratt (b. 1808), second wife Maria (Bowley) Ring, child Church by first wife; and Charles Pratt (b. 1811, d. 1840), no family.

If you are a descendant of this family and have information, I would like to hear from you to compare data. — Colleen Pratt Reed, [email protected], 20 Liza Harmon Dr. No. 28, Westbrook, 04092, 856-2151

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