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PeterB

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    09/02/2022

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  1. September 14-17, 2023 Initiator: Peter Brady This now-traditional 4 day event is designed for folks to gather, socialize, and paddle in the Mount Desert Island area at a great time of the year. This year’s retreat will be from Thursday afternoon Sept. 14th to Sunday afternoon Sept.17th, with group paddles each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please note that this event will be one week later than previous years , as we wish to secure a good foothold at Rose Eden Cottages , which is hosting another event on the weekend after Labor Day. Most people travel & arrive on Thursday afternoon or evening, and depart on Sunday afternoon. But some arrive sooner and leave later, so there can be the option for more paddling or other activities in the days before or after the event. Our base of operations will be at Rose Eden Cottages, Rte 3 near Hadley Point , Bar Harbor, Rose Eden is a cottage resort with some 12 cabins. In 2022 We moved our base of operations to Rose Eden, and it worked well as a gathering spot. We can gather there for car caravans to launch sites, and in the evening to socialize and plan next day’s trips. A number of yearly attendees will have already reserved at Rose Eden. For those who plan to stay elsewhere, there is a wide variety of accommodations in the area , including nearby campgrounds which have been popular. Accommodations are on your own. Make your own arrangements (including reservations, cancellations deposits whatever) for your entire stay during this event. You are encouraged to make reservations (at Rose Eden of course, or elsewhere) as far in advance as possible, as Bar Harbor is becoming more popular as a travel destination, and many hotels are booked many months in advance. Even campgrounds are often booked up. By now we’ve accumulated a menu of trips suited to this area, and there seem to be more each year. The general plan is to have each days paddle planned the previous day, usually by some sort of meeting, : pot luck dinners, meet & greets, gatherings at Rose Eden. Some favorite destinations are: the Porcupine Islands off of Bar Harbor in Frenchman’s Bay, the Cranberry Islands on the south side of MDI, Bartlett Island and Sound, and Blue Hill Bay on the West Side, and the dramatic eastern shore of the island between Bar Harbor and Seal Harbor. In the last couple of years our variety of trips expanded further into the Gott Islands and Soames Sound, and this year we did a full moon paddle, so new trip ideas are always welcome. There is also a Sullivan Falls Tidal training class with Pinniped kayak timed to coincide with this event. Most years several NSPN’ers have done this class in addition to the retreat. This is a rain or shine event, unlikely to be canceled , since theres usually someplace to paddle around MDI in all but the harshest conditions, and there are many other actoiviters in the area as an alternative. If weather is truly crappy. Please note that the Acadia night sky Festival is probably earlier in the week, so it's likely that some of us will extend out trip to attend. More information will follow. Some recommended accommodations: Rose Eden: our base of operations. 12 modest cabins, a gathering area in the rear , laundry facilities. Llangolan Inn & Cottages : across the street from Rose Eden; with 8 bungalows and a few rooms in the main inn Hadley Point Campground: this campground is very close & convenient , on Hadley Point Road. With a laundry room and hot showers. Eden Village: A cottage resort similar to Rose Eden , a short ways away on Rte 3. Trenton (off the Island): Just across the bridge to Mount Desert Island, between Ellsworth and Bar Harbor there are cottages and motels that are probably less pricey than on Mt. Desert Island.  also campgrounds used by NSPN’ers in 2022, not too far away: Halls Quarry Mount Desert Island Campground If you are interested in attending, please RSVP ( check " I’m going") in the calendar posting for this event . (Sept 14th, 2023) A Group PM with all of participants will get going in the months and weeks before the event , for information sharing, planning and communication. if you have any questions, reply here or PM Peter Brady (PeterB)
  2. until
    9th Annual NSPN Dpowneast Paddle Retreat, Bar Harbor, ME Sept.14-17 Initiator: Peter Brady This now-traditional 4 day event is designed for folks to gather, socialize, and paddle in the Mount Desert Island area at a great time of the year. This year’s retreat will be from Thursday afternoon Sept. 14th to Sunday afternoon Sept.17th, with group paddles each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Please note that this event will be one week later than Most people travel & arrive on Thursday afternoon or evening, and depart on Sunday afternoon. But some arrive sooner and leave later, so there can be paddling and other activities in the days before or after the event. Our base of operations will be at Rose Eden Cottages Rte 3, Bar Harbor, Rose Eden is a cottage resort with some 12 cabins. We can gather there for car caravans to launch sites, and in the evening to socialize and plan next day’s trips. In 2022 We moved our base of operations to Rose Eden, and it worked well as a gathering spot. A number of yearly attendees will have already reserved at Rose Eden. For those who plan to stay eleswehere, there is a wide variety of accommodations in the area , including nearby campgrounds which have been popular. Our base of operations will be at Rose Eden Cottages Rte 3, Bar Harbor, Rose Eden is a cottage resort with some 12 cabins. We can gather there for car caravans to launch sites, and in the evening to socialize and plan next day’s trips. In 2022 We moved our base of operations to Rose Eden, and it worked well as a gathering spot. A number of yearly attendees will have already reserved at Rose Eden. For those who plan to stay elsewhere, there is a wide variety of accomodations in the area , including nearby campgrounds which have been popular. Accommodations are on your own. Make your own arrangements (including reservations, cancellations deposits whatever) for your entire stay during this event. You are encouraged to make reservations (at Rose Eden or elsewhere) as far in advance as possible, as Bar Harbor is becoming more popular as a travel destination, and many hotels are booked many months in advance. See the posting in the Trips fortum of the message board for ore detailed information If you are interested in attending, please RSVP ( check " I’m going") here in the calendar posting .
  3. I’d d love to autumn paddle Squam with you on Thursday: not sure I’d be fit to keep up with you hard chargers and may or may not be dragging after todays Covid booster, though I’ve not really suffered from my previous four shots. Peter
  4. The Bar Harbor Paddle Retreat was in its eighth year, and this year we switched our base of operations from the LLangolan Inn to The Rose Eden, a similar but different cottage resort across the street. I was apprehensive about the transition to a new base, but it turned out to work very well; the hosts were mellow about having kayakers and dogs gathering there, and there was a nice picnic area with gazebo nestled behind the front row of cottages, quite suitable for our gatherings, especially in the fine summer-like weather we enjoyed throughout the event. Temperatures were in the 70’s up to 81 deg.F, with mostly clear skies, quite a change from last year when it was a challenge to even find places suitable for everybody to paddle each day. This year sixteen paddlers attended, plus two spouses and two dogs, further affirming this as a family friendly event: Rose Eden is a dog friendly place, so first- timer Jody came with her three handsome charges: one spouse and two dogs, and happily reported a successful recreational trifecta: one day bicycling with spouse, one day hiking with dogs and spouse, and one day kayaking with kayakers. Mike and Betsy arrived earlier in the week and enjoyed doing vacation stuff along with some paddling. I arrived a day early and stayed a day longer, and was able to fit some garden touring, trail strolling, and general relaxing into my trip. We paddled as a group on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with two group gatherings at Rose Eden : a Thursday evening meet & greet, and our traditional Saturday evening potluck, so in all the event was a nice mix of on- and off the water activities. On Thursday, folks filtered into town, and we had our meet n’ greet gathering by the gazebo at Rose Eden, where we had pizza and salads and discussed the next day’s plans. This year there was a Harvest moon on Friday along with warm weather and mild conditions, so a moonlight paddle became the primary topic of conversation, and after no alternative plans materialized, the entire group coalesced around a Friday night full moon paddle plan: launch from Southeast Harbor at 4PM for a paddle to the Cranberries and back, the trip timed to enjoy sunset, moonrise and moonglow from the Cranberries. So, we arrived at Northeast Harbor at 3 PM, giving us an hour to get ready for a night venture , and launched at 4 PM. There were 14 of us, way too many to manage as one group, especially at night, so once on the water we divided into two groups of seven and slithered out of Northeast Harbor, both groups following more or less the same route as we first crossed to Bear Island and then to the northwestern-ish end of Sutton Island. From there we followed Sutton’s rocky shoreline, with a bit of rock gardening and gap shooting along the way, and filtered into the little village of Islesford on Little Cranberry Island, our planned stop-and-regroup-for-moonrise pit stop . Islesford turned out to be a bustling place, with some sort of upscale evening event in the town wharf building , probably scheduled for the harvest moon. After a pause, Group A launched again, and ambled over to Great Cranberry and a berm by “ the Pool” to watch the moonrise. We in P Pod lingered at Islesford and had some dinner, launched close to sunset and drifted southward past Maypole Point into the big bay looking out towards Baker Island, over which the moon rose. Fabulolus! As the gloaming gave way to evening we meandered dreamily about for a while , enjoying the moon, before migrating over to Great Cranberry for our leisurely return voyage. By now it was dark, and we crossed back to the middle of Sutton Island, rounded its western end, returning to Northeast harbor via Bear Island, and back into Northeast Harbor a bit after 9PM Saturday: Since we paddled into the evening and then scurried off to bed, we hadn't found time to make a solid plan for the next day, so at the Friday night takeout we hastily put together a plan that involved a later start and considered Fridays conditions ; Hurricane Earl was somewhere out there, sending some long period swell towards the south end of the island, so we fixed on the Bartlett Sound area as a prudent place to paddle, on the opposite side of the island from any conditions that might be a concern to anybody. We met at Seal Cove at 11, launched around 11:30, followed the coastline northwards towards Bartlett Sound, crossed to Bartlett Island near the mouth of the sound, and funneled into familiar Dogfish cove, a fine spot for a lunch break. The ride had been getting a bit choppy with southwest wind waves meeting the now ebbing tide, suggesting that we might be in for a bit of a slog on the way back , so we divided into two groups for the rest of the trip. Michael, Troad, Yong and Bill, seeking a little more adventure, crossed over to Hardwood Island and returned to Seal Cove via Moose Island. The rest of us took a protected route back, snaked out of Dogfish cove, crossed the sound behind Folly island, and followed the shoreline back to Seal Cove, encountering less of a slog than anticipated. By the time we reached Moose Island a bar had emerged connecting it with MDI, so we carried our boats across the bar before finishing off our paddle., and scurried off to prepare for our potluck. I left my paddling gear on and drove straight to Long Pond, and walked right into the water for a quick rinse and refreshing swim, which I shared with some cavorting family dogs and children. Pot luck got underway at the gazebo at 6:30, marked by the usual delicacies , pleasant conversation, and trip planning for the next day. The group would be thinning out the next day with some folks heading home, so we planned a favorite Porcupines outing that had eluded us till now. Sunday: Six of us fixed on a plan to tour the Porcupines from 9 AM-ish to 2 PM-ish, so that those leaving could get on the road at a reasonable time. So we set off from Rose Eden a little after 8 AM to get our cars parked in increasingly congested downtown Bar Harbor, and we set off from the Bar just as it was disappearing with the incoming tide, a little before 9 AM, for our nickel tour of the Porcupines. As things played out, we made short work of the Porcupines, paddling at a slow but steady pace from Bar to Sheep to Burnt to Long Porcupine, pausing only to take turns paddling in and out of the “keyhole” on Burnt Porcupine, before stopping at a now-favorite little beach between Long Porcupine and “The Hop” for an early lunch and much needed bio break. But at close to high tide our nice tombolo connecting Long Porcupine and the Hop was underwater, leaving us with little room to loll & bask in the sun. There was a consensus that the day was too far too fair and the paddling far too pleasant to cut short, so we ditched our earlier plan and extended our tour to Ironbound, that one-step-beyond cliffy island that Porcupine trips often don’t quite get to. We crossed to the northern end of Ironbound, paddled down the east side, as the spectacular (“Porcupines-on steroids”) cliffs along Ironbound’s southern end rose from the forests . This approach somehow seemed more breathtaking to me than the couterclockwise approach I’d done in the past. We dodged into a little cove near the southern point (yet another Seal Cove on the chart) where we found one of Ironbound's few really comfy landing spots, and had a nice rest and snack before rounding the southern tip of Ironbound and heading homeward. We crossed to Bald Porcupine Island and filtered back into Bar Harbor, where this this altogether pleasant outing ironically turned into something of a comedy of errors . We first had trouble figuring out how to pass through the Bar Harbor waterfront, which was a beehive of boat activity: cruise ship taxis buzzing back and forth, a large catamaran tour boat galumphing into the town dock, and yet another tour boat doing…. something or other. After some deliberation we scooted across the main waterfront channel and threaded our way through a maze of moored fishing boats back to the bar, and with the falling tide we then began to run aground approaching our takeout, and found our way to shore with a bit of difficulty. Finally off the water, we faced yet another indignity ; Bridge Street, the single narrow road to the Bar, was severely rutted due to a recent washout, and blocked by a car with Florida plates that was lodged in a deep rut , its unhappy owners awaiting tow service 😳 so we had to ferry our boats up past the wreckage, just as what seemed like hundreds of tourists began to stream down the road onto the bar to walk to Bar island. A fine day capped off with a real cluster----. Those of us not hitting the road returned to Rose Eden, where John, Jody, Scott, Pat and I patched together a dinner party with take-out from the nearby barbecue joint combined with various fine offerings from John’s kitchenette emporium. The next day we remaining folks didn’t paddle: some folks leisurely checked out and did various on-land stuff before departing: Garden tours, hikes, whatever: I took a stroll to Great Head and Sand Beach, and en route I thought I saw Jody and Scott’ s car parked at a hiking trailhead and thought “ happy dogs today…”. As always, it was great to paddle and hang out with old and new friends, and I enjoyed the spirit , camaraderie and paddling chops that everyone brought to this event. Naturally, I'm already thinking ahead to next year. ( photographs in this report are mostly from Pat and Janice: thanks!)
  5. Nick, New composite kayaks often have minimally prepared cockpit coaming rims , meaning that they've been minimally trimmed to size and sanded so they are acceptable but can still be a bit sharp and uneven , meaning in turn they can use a bit more prep, mainly in the form of sanding. Take a look and do a braille- like exam on the edge and underside of your cockpit coaming rim: If it's not perfectly smooth to the touch, sanding the edge (rounding it a bit) and the underside (that's hard to see) can perhaps create a smoother release of the spray skirt. A good litmus test is: if you're wearing latex surgical gloves and stroking the cockpit rim rips the latex, its too ragged & needs sanding . A smoother cockpit rim, especially with 303 , will also be kinder to your spray skirt, which can wear out right along where it grips the cockpit, sometimes in an alarmingly short period of time..
  6. I remember this boat at New England Small Craft in Rowley back around 2005 . I was told that the traditional Baidarka was designed as a fishing & hunting vessel, paddled out weighted with rocks, paddled home weighted with catch replacing the rocks ; I don't know if the modern design retains these traditional characteristics , if so the boat might have some distinct handing features.
  7. It looks like Gaia GPS is changing over to the new digital NOAA chart templates , and I loathe the new chart graphics as much as I love the old ones. I think Joe Berkovitz mentioned an inquiry into restoring or retaining “ antique” NOAA chart settings on Gaia, but don’t remember the outcome, and can’t locate the thread on the message board. Curiously, My Ipad has retained the old NOAA chart templates, probably because I haven’t signed into my account on the Ipad since the change. But my Iphone and computer are now afflicted with the new graphics. Any updates on the prospect of restoring/ retaining the good old NOAA chart templates , or otherwise improving the look/ aesthetics of the current chart templates, ( playing with the settings,whatever); to make using the new Gaia remotely tolerable ?
  8. Andy, Good eye : That was my water bottle (empty tonic bottle filled with water) taken out of the hatch during one of my many rest stops. But, yes, I did bring some groceries to my sailing friends who had been without resupply for 3 1/2 weeks, including gin, tonic and limes for g&t's on their sailboat. But all I could find in the Houghton market was diet tonic, so I may have stigmatized myself as a gin & tonic barbarian. Ed, I heard no wolves, and understand that their populations have dwindled significantly. My first awareness of Isle Royale was from around high school, reading of the moose-wolf populations there living in balance, a well known story. Moose are plentiful, often seen swimming in channels between islands and peninsulas. Loon calls were incessant. Kate: Funny, but once I arrived the island struck me as a Hartland-esque (and Yorkian) kind of place: ideal for those who enjoy paddling and strolling . Services and ferries close down pretty early, I think around September 10th , probably for a good reason. September would be grand , but with an added chance of harsh weather on and off the water. If you need any more info, give a holler. I feel pretty conversant on the island now; and it's an easier place to trip plan and get to than might first appear.
  9. For many years I had wanted to make a trip to Isle Royale National Park in northern Lake Superior: A trip requiring this much car travel, logistics and free time never came together for me until now, when I finally decided to get all Carpe Diem-ish and just do it. Isle Royale is about 44 miles long and no wider than @ 4-5 miles, with a mostly rocky and wooded shoreline. The spine of Greenstone Ridge runs the length of the island, and there are numerous fine NPS waterfront campsites, including a handful only accessible by boat , all of which are up to or surpassing the standards we have come to expect on the Maine Island Trail. Isle Royale is the least visited of all National Parks, requiring a boat trip; 3-6 hours by ferry from three locations on the mainland. There’s a not-large National Parks visitors center, marina and village at Rock Harbor with a few amenities, and a smaller ranger office at Windigo on the western end of the island ; otherwise the island is wild except for a few fishing camps and structures here and there, and an extensive network of hiking trails with campsites. A kayak or backpacking trip here qualifies as a wilderness experience. I had always envisioned a circumnav. of this island, for which a week is advised. However, during Covid I was stricken with a great misfortune, stenosis in my cervical area requiring major spinal surgery (fusion of three sets of cervical vertebrae) which left my legs considerably weakened, greatly diminishing my kayak capabilities, at least for the time being. So I have had to rethink my kayaking in general and scale down my expectations for a trip such as this. I ditched any ideas of a circumnav. and narrowed my focus to the eastern part of the island, where a quick gander at aerial photos and charts clearly reveal a paddlers paradise. I was questioning my fitness for such a trip, even after I adjusted my expectations. I had done two 4-5 day paddling trips this summer which gave me some idea of what I could and couldn’t handle in my sorry state. I finally was emboldened to make this trip when I connected with Patty, an old friend from my home town, whom I had known since Union County Band and Orchestra school, and who now spends a 3-4 weeks each summer on Isle Royale with her husband on their sailboat, the Doris E. Patty and Dave would be available to help me out , mothership me if needed, generally be within VHF range and provide a safety contact. Generally, my approach would be to paddle prudently, noodling-style, take frequent rests and skinny dips, and aim for daily mileage in the 7-10 NM range. I would be with vhf (monitored on 16 by the NPS) and a Garmin Inreach GPS personal locator device. So I booked a ferry ticket from Houghton, MI to Isle Royale, and drove with kayak and gear from Massachusetts to Michigan’s upper peninsula, via Ontario and Sault Ste Marie, visiting my cousin near Toronto along the way. Once on the northern Peninsula, I visited Pictured Rocks National seashore, which was appealing enough for me to return to for a deeper dive on the way home. Lake Superior takes its sand dunes, rocky shorelines (and cumulus clouds) seriously. I boarded the Ranger III in Houghton, MI for the 6 hour trip to Rock Harbor, The Ranger III is the largest and most seaworthy of the three ferries going to IR , so it was a comfortable ride for this seasick-prone passenger. For much of the trip we were in the fog, but broke out into the sunshine just as we approached the island, and its beauty was immediately apparent as we entered Rock Harbor. I met my friends Patty and Dave at the ferry dock, and together we portaged my kayak and gear about 150 meters across the narrow Rock Harbor peninsula to Tobin Harbor, a better setting-off point for a kayak trip. I quickly saddled up and paddled to their sailboat , moored about a mile away in Tobin Harbor near Hidden Lake. and spent the night with them on the Doris E, ., having dinner and a mini HS reunion , discussing the island, and making our respective plans for the coming days. The next morning I loaded my boat for good (not an easy task to load a kayak from a sailboat: I didn’t lose anything but I still don’t recommend it ) and set off on my own, first a quick trip back to the headquarters to reserve my ferry return, then off for the eastern end of the island, with a goal of rounding Blake Point, a crux point on any IR trip as this area can be a magnet for trouble on Lake Superior’s many days of harsh weather and crashy waters. One of my safety measures was to be prepared for assistance from the Doris E as they they could carry me and kayak around the point if need be. But I was generally blessed with idyllic weather and mostly calm waters , sunny skies and warm temperatures, and rounding the point solo was a breeze, followed by about 1 ¼ NM of reflecting waves off of the dramatic basalt palisades on the north side the point. Isle Royale is essentially one big lava flow, with the resulting basalt rock a distinct grey-dark pumpernickel color, often splashed with orange lichens. The basalt is quite nuanced on closer examination: the cooling lava entrapped many gases which in turn metamorphosed into various minerals such as feldspar, so the basalt was often dotted and veined with interesting pink, white , green colors and patterns: Amygdaloid basalt. Wildflowers were everywhere! Once around Blake Point , I ambled into Duncan Bay and the Duncan Narrows campsite, a fine grassy place with a picnic table and two luxurious lean-tos, equipped with screen doors (!) , which I realized would be of great utility (or rather indispensable) earlier in the summer . Biting insects were minimal at this time of year , but I would not advise visiting this island in June or much of July. I settled in for dinner, but had packed mostly dehydrated backpackers meals, which were a sore disappointment, and by night three I switched back to plain old macaroni and cheese or other pasta augmented with grated cheddar and a few other goodies. The day's mileage was @ 8.5 NM I set off the next morning and continued to amble down Duncan Bay, a long dead end, and met again with Patty and Dave, who had moored for several days near the end of Duncan Bay , and they helped me portage my kayak @ 150 meters to Five Finger Bay , a nice help as it spared me the return trip out around Locke Point, which I would tour anyway on the return to Rock Harbor. Entering Five Finger Bay I was greeted with ever more fabulous sunny & calm weather, so I changed my plan of exploring all the inland bays, nooks and crannies to capitalize on this opportunity to go way out there, touring outermost Amygdaloid island before returning to Belle Isle campsite, a sprawling, venerable place ,which must be on the site of some historical structure, with several lean-tos, a boat dock and a lovely open field area. Day's 's mileage was @14.5 NM, longer than I had planned but I couldn't not keep going on such a nice day. The next day my goal was to get back around Blake Point so I’d be prepared the next afternoon to get close to the ferry which would be leaving early the next morning. So I paddled in and out of and between little islands, around Locke Point and back around Blake point, before settling into another fine campsite nearby. Day's mileage was @9.5 NM On the next day I paddled back to the Tobin Harbor mooring where Doris E had returned , and met up with Patty and Dave for a hike from nearby Hidden Lake trailhead up to Sentinel Rock and Lookout Louise, at the terminus of the island-long Greenstone Ridge trail. The hike took us through an area that had been scorched by a big forest fire in 2021, and the landscape was blackened and Stygian. Sentinel Rock is perhaps the most notable geologic feature on the island, and it was interesting to see it amidst this scorched landscape, which has its own beauty, especially with emerging plants and wildflowers showing signs of the landscape beginning its restoration. Lookout Louise gave a view of Duncan Bay and beyond From the trailhead, we said our goodbyes and I returned to Rock Harbor, this time around Scoville Point and along Rock Harbor which finally showed me some bumpy waters. I was planning to stay on kayak-friendly Tookers Island nearby, but was told at the Ranger office that I could use the nearby Rock Harbor campground, so I sorted out my gear in preparation for the early morning ferry, grabbed a sandwich wrap at the cafe, and crashed in one of the campground lean-tos, catching the ferry early the next morning. Day's mileage was @ 5.5NM., plus a 2-3 mile hike. Isle Royale was a fabulous destination, made all the better with fortuitous conditions - one sunny fair day after another. Campsites were grand, water was a great temperature for daily skinny dips, and wildlife, though diminished like everywhere else, was plentiful by todays standards: Loons and mergansers seemed plump and very tame, kingfishers, bald eagles, pileated woodpeckers, grey jays, sandpipers, many whiish-whsssh -calling little birds like kinglets were often seen . Moose are plentiful but I only saw one as I was on the water most of the time. The fishing is outstanding: I shared some king salmon with a trio of hard core fishermen at one campsite. Lake trout, and northern pike are plentiful; getting a 36 inch long pike is hardly worth mention. I encountered two other kayakers, plus two on the ferry coming and going . Otherwise boat traffic was sparse . I think that the second half of August is just the time to visit the island. I would recommend this trip to anyone with a fondness for fresh water and the time to make the trip. It’s a long but pleasant drive, with good things to see along the way (I toured the Soo locks at Sault Ste Marie, Pictured Rocks and Tacquemon Falls on the upper peninsula , and Killarney Provincial Park on Georgian Bay in Ontario.) I could envision a trip which combines paddling and hiking and a grandiose vision would be of a 2 or 3 week trip that affords the time to appreciate all this island has to offer. I may be looking to return to this place in the next year or two.
  10. Yes, the Cliffhouse is a big feature on a popular (over the years) paddling trip from Cape Neddick to Ogunquit and back. CliffHouse is roughly halfway to Ogunquit from the launch spot in Cape Neddick Harbor, and right beneath the Cliffhouse is a notch or mini-cove which is a great place to linger and have a play, as waves run into the cove but just dissipate and do not break at the far end where its quite deep , so its a fairly safe place to venture into, turn around and come out again. Overall, its a great day trip, with nice rocky shoreline, easy navigation (keep Maine on your left heading north, keep Maine on your right coming back ) options to stop for ice cream in Perkins Cove, and surf play at the south end of Ogunquit Beach, which is the turnaround point.
  11. Please note that the yearly tidal training class at Sullivan Falls with Nate Hanson and Pinniped Kayak is happening again this year. It was originally posted for Friday Sept 9th but changed back to Thursday Sept. 8th, and is on his schedule. This is not an NSPN trip or event, but has been scheduled by Pinniped in concert with the NSPN Downeast Retreat, which begins on Friday (with a meet & greet Thursday evening ) and some retreat attendees have often done the class on their way to Bar Harbor. So for those interested , all arrangements should be made directly with Pinniped Kayak. http://www.pinnipedkayak.com/sea-kayaking-classes-calendar/2015/9/10/tidal-currents-with-nspn-sullivan-falls-7wlhn-yj4xf-j3sjn-fb4xe
  12. This is a bump up/ update for the NSPN Downeast Retreat, now less than 2 months away. We now have 18 RSVP’s, and have started a group PM for attendees to communicate in advance of the event. 1) If you RSVP’d and plans have changed and you will not be going, please go to the calendar posting RSVP area, change your status to “ declined " If you will be going but haven’t RSVP’d on the calendar posting, please do so asap. 2) If you are going, make sure you have accommodations reserved somewhere! Bar Harbor has been getting much busier later into the season: the weekend after Labor day is no longer the off season, and accommodations have been getting busier and more expensive. 3) if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me by PM (PeterB) or by email or text if you have my contact info. Cheers, Peter
  13. I agree that is a valuable addition. Regarding ferry route accuracy: on a recent paddle trip to Swans Island, we noticed during our long approach to our take out near the ferry dock that the incoming ferry ahead of us went inside rather than outside (as expected) green can 3 on its approach to the ferry dock; this was close to high tide so presumably the ferry operators may cut corners or otherwise slightly alter routes as experience and prudence dictate. This in turn suggests that here and there might be some deviation in ferry routes we see on maps and charts. Chart 1 shows the actual approach of the ferry as we witnessed it. You can see the turn inside green can 3 Chart 2 shows how this route could be shown on your charts: a wider swath ( translucent so that none of the chart is blotted out) might suggest some reasonable expected deviation in a ferry route. Chart 3 (Grand Manan Ferry route) shows how this might look in the context of a large scale chart. Your chart work is fantastic!
  14. What an excellent trip report. Captures both the paddling essence and the ... "look and feel" of of the island as I remember it. . I was there for about a week , and would add a few things : * A circumnav. should be doable, since you can really fly with the current up and down each side of the island, but it would be a long day. We did the entire east coast in one day, and the entire west side on an another day, paddling almost effortlessly at 5-6 knots for big stretches. * I was there in extremely fair and calm conditions after a big hurricane. But it wouldn't take much at all to ramp up the conditions (currents with standing waves) there. I hear that Tom Bergh did a foray there as it was being considered one of the few places in N America with conditions suitable for a BCU 5 star assessment. He reported eddies several boat lengths wide that were extremely difficult to cross and generally manage. The area of ledges and islets south of the island feature an area that says on the chart '; " very heavy on the ebb" . * Dark Harbor is truly a unique place. There were a couple of cabins with Canadian and Confederate flags flying; which tells you... something, but I'm not sure quite what. On long holiday weekends people gather there , and the police just set up roadblocks to keep everyone from leaving until the weekend is over and the alcohol wears off. That would be an interesting place to get stuck on one of those weekends.
  15. Millbridge public boat launch is close to Dyer Bay: launch there, paddle out the Narragaugus River into Narragaugus Bay and explore the wonderful islands of the area: Shipstern, Jordan's Delight, Bois Bubert, Pond islands. Paddle out on the ebb, return on the flood. Mind the tides, currents, shallows, ledges, mudflats; they're all more pronounced and more splendid and ... well, just more there : the water moves up there , and not a good place to paddle against the current or be surprised by anything.
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