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gyork

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    gary
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  1. gyork

    #8 Muscle Ridge/Lobster Buoy Campsites

    until
    Come out and camp/paddle during prime time! Home Base will be Lobster Buoy Campsites in S. Thomaston, Maine, gathered at the Group Site. Arrive Friday, leave Sunday. Paddling options abound: NE to Owls Head, SE to Muscle Ridge, or SW to Port Clyde. These trips are not appropriate for beginners. Minimal skills to participate include wet exit, self and assisted rescue, and previous experience in ocean paddling with conditions of wind up to 15K, waves to 2 feet, and crossings up to 2.0M. Typical pot-luck Friday evening buffet (proper attire please) for those so inclined to participate. Saturday is often a “go into Town” for supper for those interested, v. repeat pot-luck leftovers/?lobsterbake. Rather than limit numbers from each group, I will set the limit to 15 FOR THE GROUP SITE ONLY. Your spot will be secured when I receive payment ($___ per nite) via paypal (gyorkattdsdotnet) or check (private message me). RSVP WILL BE "ENABLED" ONCE I RECEIVE PER PERSON RATES FOR 2020, AND WILL COINCIDE WITH A POSTING UNDER "TRIPS" THAT WILL PROVIDE THESE DETAILS. If you prefer, or if the group site fills to capacity, private sites may be reserved directly with Lobster Buoy Campsites @ 207.594.7546 after May 15.
  2. gyork

    Great read about USCG search and rescue

    The word "hero" is thrown out freely these days. Great to read an account of just one of the many out there who work behind the scenes without any expectation of VIP recognition.
  3. Link to slideshow here
  4. gyork

    Squam, 10.19

    Link to album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/kDHL2ovbae4N8P2Y7
  5. gyork

    Saco River, 10.19

    Skip report; go straight to slideshow As the summer fades, so too, do my memories of previous trips to the beautiful Saco River: five decades ago with family and friends, the memorable highlight being the loss of my buddy Ricky‘s bathing suit, him running up the beach trying to cover up his now-public “privates”; a trip with friends in high school that involved a shuttle on my Kawasaki 500; two decades ago with our local Boy Scout Troop, me paddling in the stern, my two boys lazing up front. It was uncharacteristic of me to plan a paddling trip with my son, on only 2 days notice. I typically lay out all my gear on a bedsheet on the garage floor, at least a week before an upcoming trip. Because the weatherwoman had forecast a bluebird sky, crisp fall Saturday, I decided what the heck, we could do this. With not a little cajoling, we cobbled together enough food and gear for an overnight trip on the river. We started our two-hour drive shortly after N got home from work, and arrived early enough (dusk) at the Saco Pines Campground to set up our tent, then hastened to our destination that was the reason for our Friday tenting-Flatbread Pizza in North Conway. We had hoped to be on the water by 8 o’clock on Saturday, but my previous phone call to the office required us to check in at 8:45 for registration. The unforeseen (by me, anyway) SNAFU of the ever-popular Fryeburg fair was disconcerting. Because of the snail-paced traffic along the Fair main drag (route 302), the proprietor at the canoe livery was not willing to have someone drop us off at Walker’s Bridge; instead, we had to shorten the trip by 10 miles, by launching at the more upstream location of “The Landing“. We crept most of the 5 mile, one-hour trip to the Landing, parking-lot hawkers flagging fair goers with enticements of coffee/donuts, fire ring, and porta potty. We quickly loaded the canoe, jumped in, and were finally on the water at 1120. A small party of eight with three canoes were the only people we would see on the river during the next two days. We made good time along the meandering river, averaging 3 kn, assisted by a <2 kn current along this upper portion of the trip. Long sandy beaches were plentiful, and account for the summertime popularity of this section. The depth of the water averaged less than 1 foot on our first day (gage height =2.5’; flow~250 cfs); we scraped bottom only a few times. The trip up to Walker’s bridge was pleasantly uneventful. The fall colors, though not brilliant, were soothingly reflected in the flat water. Upon nearing Walker’s rips, we landed at the infamous skinny dipping beach, to survey potential tent spots. There were many, though the former lean-to of my youth had disappeared. We climbed up the granite bridge trestle to scout out the short rapid, and agreed that either extreme river left or right were the only options, and decided that the near, more active left passage would be more fun. Given the early hour and our respectable paddling pace, we chatted about extending the trip by continuing paddling beyond the pre-planned take-out of Brownfield, to camp a few miles beyond, leaving an approximately 12-mile trip for Sunday. I phoned Saco Bound, and Laura agreed to our request for a pick up in Hiram at 1415 on Sunday. We were quickly back on the water and happy to recover from the disappointing float plan from earlier that morning. We took a 10-minute break to harvest some dried firewood from fallen trees, the 8-foot sections neatly and evenly balanced on the gunnels. We had decided that 6:00 would be the cut-off time for finding a beach-side camp, and within a few miles beyond the Brownfield bridge we landed at a supreme site. N Got busy sawing the firewood, while I prepared the evening repast on a conveniently-placed large stump. We savored the warming meal and fire, hoping to elevate our core temperature to prepare for the cold night ahead. We dropped our knackered heads on the pillow at 9:15 and slept soundly in our cozy tent. Day 1 track My watch thermometer read 28.8 F at 0700 the next morning, and we shook off the frosty flakes from the tent and fly, on the water by 7:40. Within a short time we sited a small group of five deer at the waters edge and sat stock–still as we floated closer. Long stares from the wild animals finally resulted in a single loud snort (Who decides to make that call?) and a quick departure. Of course a photo attempt bombed, the creatures too far away, as was the case the day before, when a single deer crossed the river in front of us. The section of river beyond the Brownfield bridge is a bit deeper, slower, and forested, though no less beautiful, with occasional high sandy banks. There are fewer camping beaches, and many are “posted”. Because of our decent pace (N at the stern with his kayak paddle), we took a few short diversions – one, a clockwise loop around and oxbow that dead-ended, the other a quick duck into a granite-lined culvert (see track, day 2). We arrived at the Hiram take out a few hours before the designated pick up time. We had hoped to find a café serving a warm breakfast; Alas, no such luck in this sleepy hamlet. We toured the cemetery, searching for the top three unique names; Thankful, Freedom, and Ephraim were the winners. Dan arrived early and shuttled us back to our car. We loaded, then made haste for Flatbread again, relieved that we had not filled up at an imaginary café! Day 2 track
  6. until
    Level 3 trip that especially welcomes new kayak campers, and a reunion for those of us who don't see each other often enough. Here's a great opportunity for you paddlers who would like to try kayak-camping without the pesky bugs (beware of ticks!). This will be the 11th annual trip to Jewell, which has multiple campsite options and latrines. We typically have 10 or more (2016=record of 19!) paddlers, but an upper limit has not been established. The Common Adventure Model (CAM) will be adopted The SUGGESTED itinerary is as follows: FRIDAY: Arrive at _____ (multiple launch site options, with each pod working out details privately or on NSPN Message Board under "trips") on Friday, May 15, in plenty of time for a ______am launch (HT-0621). If you are new to kayak camping, you may need extra time packing your boat, so plan on arriving no later than _______. SATURDAY: Agenda TBD-bring your ideas for a day paddle or island activities (HT-0722). Prior trips have included Whaleboat/Little Whaleboat, Potts Harbor, Greens, Eagle, Great Diamond geocaching, Jewell's WW1 and WW2 military installations, and general camaraderie/gourmet foods around the camp fire. SUNDAY: Back to cars via ???? (HT-0820). If you would like to join this group of friendly paddlers, or have any questions about this trip or camping in general, Private Message (PM) me. When you can commit, please RSVP on the calendar and PM the following information to your specific pod organizer, when that has been sorted out, close to event: -Auto color, make, model, and tag#. -Contact info, including cell, emergency contact and permission to share with participants. gary
  7. gyork

    Lake Umbagog 2019 Camping Trip: Oct 4-7

    Bump-room for many more on this spectacular outing.
  8. Link to album here
  9. 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!
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. gyork

    Jewell Island 2019, by the numbers

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

    Tidal Currents in Casco Bay

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