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  1. gyork

    Lake Umbagog 2019 Camping Trip: Oct 4-7

    Bump-room for many more on this spectacular outing.
  2. Link to album here
  3. Skip report, go straight to slideshow Tide schedule (E. Boothbay) Mon, 8.5: LT-0904 HT-1521 Tues, 8.6: LT-1000 HT-1617 Wed, 8.7: LT-1055 HT-1715 Th, 8.8: LT-1154 HT-1814 Susie had given me marching orders to make room for her annual Girls’ Week. Of course I complied and schemed up something that involved sea kayaking. I had invited a bunch of my buddies, but Dan was the only one who could make it. As time goes by, (and it does, in my seventh decade) I often wonder “Will this be the last time that I “______“ (fill in the blank: back-country ski, scuba dive, sea safari, post a trip report). Through the clear lens of the retrospectoscope it is obvious, but we rarely know in the present, that this is the last time. I supposed that it might be my last safari, as I expected this trip to finish “connecting most of the dots” from Kittery to Eastport. G's paddlelog.pdf We had picked a very nice weather window, and rendezvoused at Wiscasset Town Landing around noon, to spot a car. The line @ Red’s was >1hr; better luck on the way home? We doubled up and drove 20 minutes to the Waldoboro Public landing. We were on the water by 1310 and floated lazily down the flat, tidal Medomack River, two orange kayaks containing two happy paddlers. Very little current, a few hours before high tide, as we marveled at the undeveloped shoreline for most of the way. On this bright, sunny day we took a shady rest at a small promontory, complete with bench, and nearby trails to some ?preserve. We meandered unhurriedly toward our first night’s destination, and came upon a small sailboat off its mooring, knocking against the shore. We paddled on, but as someone who has more than once had a sailboat (and kayak!) adrift, we agreed to circle back and do a rescue and tow. Easy to pull her off the rocks, harder still to attach her to the nearest vinyl mooring ball. We tried hailing the home nearby, the only respone a bark. We figured they could sort it out, and paddled on. Crow Island is to Muscongus as Hells Half-Acre is to Stonington, a crowd (hopefully not tonight!) favorite. Visions of Troop 88 saturating the island quickly dissolved, as we happily saw two adult kayakers emerge from the island woods, the only residents. Mark and Red from Amesbury, Massachusetts were trying their hand at kayak camping, having launched from nearby Round Pond. Dan had a gut feeling that he had met these two before, and in fact, they had attended one of the recent NSPN holiday parties! Our request for permission to camp was granted, as the island has two separated group campsites, and I was certain that they had offered us the premier one. Boats were unloaded, tents set up, and preparations for the evening repast commenced. Dan was game for trying a famous Amato's sandwich, and I had picked him up two (tonight’s supper and tomorrow’s lunch; ditto me) at the Portland store on my way by that morning. The overhead squawking as we supped was very familiar to me, as similar birds at my house are constantly entertaining me. I was happy to be enlightened by Dan that these were “sharpies“-sharp-shinned hawks, a whole family nesting above us. At twilight we pored over charts in preparation for tomorrow’s long day. Dan tried to convince me that the decimal degree scale on his laminated charts was the wave of the future, and at the same time I felt my leg being pulled. Paddle track Day1(8.4M): here We hoped to be around the “danger area” of Pemaquid point early, and by taking advantage of an outgoing tide (LT=0950), we were upright @ 5am, and launched @ the pre-planned 6am target. The water was glassy, and Dan almost lost his head in disbelief. No worries-he had 2 extra lobes in this reflection. A stop at ____ I., our alternate camp for the previous nite, made us thankful; we had a deuce of a time navigating the rock/seaweed landing zone. Beyond that, two nice tent platforms, one western cliffside, and raspberry bushes aplenty. Thank you, private owner, for including this on the MIT! Back in the boats, and soon bewildered that we had covered enough ground (water) to be crossing into New Hampshire already! Houses atop steep rocky shoreline were our beacons for the next few miles to Pemaquid Point. The slight breeze (2-4kn) was much less than the point forecast of 8-10; what would we face after rounding the lighthouse? Not much-just more glass. Conditions were ideal for extending the trip westerly, a 1.5M open-water crossing to the Thrumcaps. I was a bit “at sea” that my 240°M course didn’t seem to get us closer after our ½ hour paddle. The highly visible, and appropriately named White Islands had the lure of a siren, but Dan could see the error of my ways (off), woke me from my trance, and steered me to the 2 nearby islands within spitting distance. We wandered up the Thread of Life, a sometimes-lively trip, but dead quiet this time. We stopped at the S. Bristol public launch, climbed up to the picnic area nearby, and feasted on still-fresh, day-old Italians. A quick leg stretch to the drawbridge and back to the boats, with only a 2+M trek to our camp, a favorable tide assist upriver. Fort I. is to Damariscotta River as Crow is to Muscongus, and we shot through the narrows to the N landing zone. Teenagers were coming and going in various John boats, though this was no Scout Troop, rather, locals out for a few fun nights of camping. Again, plenty of room to share quarters, and we pitched tents at the grassy, breezy, flat, southern promenade. I managed a cat-nap, just before the music started, a “moldy oldie” to appease this member of our duo. The “yutes” were respectful as twilight approached, with dimming of the music, and focus on the campfire. The next day’s (Wed) forecast called for cloudy skies, with increasing chances of showers late, lasting into Thursday. Would Dan mind if we shortened our trip and sretched out Wednesday? Quickly “No” as he pondered being stuck with me under a tarp in the pouring rain @ Ram I., waiting until noon before heading up the Sheepscot! Day2 track (18.8M): here Fog is to be expected any time along the Coast this time of year, and we were not surprised to wake up to it on the last morning. We took advantage of the max ebb, and shot through the narrows @ 0800, averaging 4+kn before sidling up to Linekin Neck. A few minor foggy crossings before entering Linekin Bay, then to Boothbay Harbor Public Landing, where we hitched the horses to a float. I searched for a bakery, without luck, and settled for a delicious slice at Pier Pizza, then one more. Dan was still digesting his triple D (double-dose dinner) from Fort, and opted out. We strolled back to the boats and were off by 1215, making our way to Ram, through Townsend Gut. We surveyed the tenting options, enjoyed a snack, and launched into the Sheepscot, taking advantage of the last 1.5h of max flood. Both water and paddlers were confused at the confluence of the Back and Sheepscot Rivers, opposite Fort Edgecomb. A nearby cove is named “The Eddy” on the chart. We landed, double-kayaked back to Waldoboro, and headed our separate ways (until a reunion shortly thereafter, after crossing into Damariscotta, where paddles exchanged hands). Dan was driving south when the thunderstorms hit, 15 minutes after leaving Wiscasset. Where do you suppose I was (with umbrella, napkin pile, and smile on my face)? Track Day3 (20.8M): here REFLECTIONS: -Thank you MITA for providing sleeping accommodations! -If you want a great paddling partner, invite Dan. Great sense of humor, savvy nav skills, expert camper/outdoorsman, and easy-going. Perhaps this was NOT my last sea safari! -Be prepared for implementation of the decimal-degree wave coming your way; 0.01°=0.6M😜 -A one-way paddle lets you enjoy double the coastline. Consider different options besides car spotting to make this possible, including a bus ride. The $12, 3:10 from Wiscasset to Waldoboro was an option for this trip. -Local officials are very receptive to grant permission for overnight parking. Police and Harbor Master are best avenues. -Tidal advantages are important considerations when paddling big coastal rivers-plan accordingly. -Amato's Italian sandwiches take the guessing out of what food to pack. Day1 lunch or supper and Day2 lunch can be savored, thanks to the preserving qualities of their famous sour pickles!
  4. gyork

    Gay I. Lodge 6.19

    Gay I. album without the narrative. https://photos.app.goo.gl/PxoKH377G9BuVzWa8 Saturday paddle to (finally!) see puffins: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/UaBnjZynAH0CjVHtoNOnVsrS Sunday paddle with mosquito hike (21.0mi overall): https://www.gaiagps.com/public/ee9FYKFWcpibqFLj2TasEUP3
  5. gyork

    #7 Muscle Ridge Weekend, Aug16-18, 2019

    The group site is now filled. Private sites may be reserved (if available) directly with Lobster Buoy Campsites @ 207.594.7546. g
  6. gyork

    USB-chargeable marine VHF radio?

    I've had my ICOM M-88 on many multi-day safaris without need to recharge. Admittedly, not ON for all of those days, but would be OK without need for recharge if judicious use (turn off at breaks). Probably a reflection of its long battery run-time at full charge, and can't be assumed for different makes/models. g
  7. gyork

    L2 kayak camping, Stonington, July 19-22

    This trip is now filled. Send me a Private (not Public) Message if you would like to be wait-listed. gary
  8. gyork

    Jewell Island 2019, by the numbers

    Link to additional photos of the BEST Jewell outing to date! https://photos.app.goo.gl/So9bbiodDxaL377K7
  9. gyork

    Tidal Currents in Casco Bay

    Exactly-large water volume (aided by current) bouncing off the steep cliffs of "Cliff"
  10. gyork

    Tidal Currents in Casco Bay

    Thanks for digging this up Dan. This confirms my suspicions/experience that currents, in general, about Casco Bay are, in most locations, 1kn or less. If my calculations are right (cm/sec X 0.0194=knots), conversion results in max floods of 1.07-1.46kn for Portland Channel and 0.83-1.13kn for the Hussey; 0.78-0.97kn for max ebb. Many times I've felt a pronounced change of conditions (as in washing machine) when rounding SE Cliff, heading for Cocktail Cove, and the clustered vectors on Ernest and James' excellent study are supportive. I suspect that Brown Cow plays a role in funneling water there on the flood. g
  11. Some consider Stonington as THE finest paddling destination on the East Coast. This long weekend will be based out of tent site #3 at Old Quarry Ocean Adventures ( http://www.oldquarry.com ), with easy access to numerous islands in this gentle archipelago. Cost of the trip will be $57 for 3 nights of tenting. This is a supreme opportunity for L2 paddlers to explore what this area offers: white, crushed-shell beaches, hiking to campground quarry, quarry swimming (Green I.), skills practice, including navigation fundamentals (potential fog), and just plain FUN!There may be an opportunity to visit the NSPN Saddleback Island group, or arrange to paddle with some of them.First preference will be given to paddlers who consider themselves L2 as outlined here: https://www.nspn.org/trip-levels/Please contact me via PM if you would like to join this outing, even if you are >L2. I will maintain a waitlist and select 5 paddlers, based on the timing of sign-up. If the trip is not filled by L2 paddlers, I will select from the waitlist, based on order of sign-up/RSVP. gary
  12. Not sure how to attach this cheat sheet to the doc above, but here it is: VHF-Radio-Cheat-Sheet-2.pdf
  13. gyork

    Experience paddling Vinalhaven ?

    There is not a little water spilling out of the Basin, with charted depths >100'!
  14. gyork

    Experience paddling Vinalhaven ?

    Take the ferry. Park your car a few blocks away in public lot, near an all-tides ramp. Not supreme camping options, though I haven't checked out western-most MITA site. Check out the Basin (S entry, between Barton and Dyer may require short portage) and ride out the W mouth on the ebb. Nice paddling in the White I. group and islands N of here. A circumnav (Vheaven only) can be done with an early start (~12h). Haven't done any paddling of Nheaven. gary
  15. Last call! RSVPs for this trip will not be accepted after April 26. g