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Everything posted by gyork

  1. until
  2. You can custom this setup until the cows come home-on the cheap and double-duty! Paddle float if you don't recognize.
  3. Not surprisingly, Kyle was gracious enough to loan us a third kayak and other gear, for a family paddling/camping trip in my old stomping grounds. The weather window looked superb, with a careful eye towards the end of the trip, the forecast warning of the September hurricane aftermath. The prospect of loading food into our kayaks for the three-night trip was not a little daunting, given the complexity of meal preparation that lay ahead. At length, we pushed off from Cousins to the incoming tide on this sunny low-wind day, M in the white Aquanaut (originally gifted to N, who did not fit well), N in his loaner boat (The "Grey Ghost," which he would purchase @ the end of the trip), and me in the tried and trusted "School Bus." We split the Moshiers, given the tide situation, and landed on a very small beach on little French, for our first PB&J meal. Anon, we reached the southern tip of our destination island and scoped out the tent sites. Though I had reservations for the northern end, we unanimously decided this would be our 3.5-day base of operations: an all-tides beach, southern (buffer from the wind) and western (glorious sunsets) orientation were a few of the deciding factors. We set about erecting our tents, gathering firewood (remember to secure a permit), and other various tasks associated with homesteading. We all agreed to keep the food (and there was a lot of it!) in our kayaks during the daytime, and within tent vestibules at night; success keeping the furry marauders at bay. Food preparation was slow and deliberate, as we were to enjoy all our meals without opening any packages, save for the Kind energy bars. A below-high-tide fire allows a special ambience that cannot be imitated, and we lingered long each night in that circle. Our first supper would be veggie (sauteed onions, peppers, eggplant, and mushrooms) chili accompanied by cheese quesadillas-scrumptuous! A tentative plan call for spending two nights here and the last night on Jewel, but Mother Nature warned that it would be “blowing a hoolie“ (thanks,Nick) on Sunday, NE, making it perilous to return to our cars. It was an easy decision to stay put for all three nights, and Friday offered the opportunity to explore one of my favorites, Jewell, sunny skies and light winds prevailing. Day 2: We launched early and meandered through the island chain, stopping at Bangs for a look-see. We paddled through the unusually placid waters around Cliff, entered Cocktail Cove, and beached our boats up high. The kids got the nickel tour, tracing the entire trail system except for the spur southeast trail. Smugglers Cove was a favorite, where we enjoyed a fine repast of PB&J‘s. Charlie and company (MITA) have done a supreme job of maintaining the wide and smooth trails; new signage is a bonus feature. We launched early at 3 PM, at the top of the tide, water lapping at the skeg boxes, allowing for the two-hour paddle back, and diminishing daylight for our extensive food prep. Though never a contest (ha!), I felt the pressure to at least meet the standards of the previous night, and my mind was occupied with supper menu planning. With gobs of fresh produce, I hatched the following brainchild: sautéed vegetables (duh!) first, then a second round of sautéed onions and finely-cubed potatoes (home fries); add the first round to six beaten eggs, add shredded raw cheddar goat milk cheese, cook in the cast-iron skillet (omelet-not just for breakfast), and complement with toasted homemade bread, topped with hummus and avocado; cheese/mushroom quesadillas for dessert. Knowing that day #3 was to be a rest day, the kids slept until 10, to my delight, and I circled the low-tide shoreline of the entire island, collected firewood, and chilled. We enjoyed a late morning brunch of apple and chocolate pancakes topped with homemade maple syrup, which attracted some curious boaters who wondered "What's for breakfast?" Given the weather and tide situation, I felt compelled to do an 8 mile paddle along the island chain to the north, while the fam. soaked in the Casco Bay Island experience. We discussed the option of breaking camp and heading back, before the expected windstorm overnight into the next day, but decided unanimously to roll the dice and stay one more night. Post-bath, I took the 10 minute stroll along the path to the northern end, and was pleased to meet up with my friends Ricardo, Dana, Cath, Beth, and Joe, who would be camping for the next two nights. They had spent a big part of the day with a Bates geology professor, learning about the special characteristics of the coast and island shores of this area. Back to the Homestead, to find M preparing the feast of the night: slow-roasted spaghetti squash with pesto (add usual sauteed veggies); a second round of skillet mushroom pizza (unbelievable crispy, yet chewy bottom crust); q’s for dessert; Cosmic Wimpout as a late-night favorite. As expected, the wind started to ramp up around midnight, and I instinctively went down to the shore to tie up the boats, then returned to the tent for a surprisingly restful sleep until morning. Most of the other pod came by in the early morning to bid us farewell and good luck, and we launched at 9 AM into the teeth of the windstorm, nastily greeting us broadside. We stayed as a tight group and paddled (drifted) hard to the S of French for a brief respite, then around N ‘Lil Moshier, before enjoying the final downwind push to the landing, at exactly LT. We finished loading up the cars, and wondered aloud if there was even a miniscule chance of finding a Pat’s Pizza nearby? Of course, and we were randomly seated @ tables of my former institutions of learning! A special thanks to MCHT, who allowed this glorious getaway to happen!
  4. The full moon paddle, never attempted as a stand-alone event @ an "annual" (to my knowledge), is an instant "classic." Kudos to ALL for getting out there!
  5. Please join us for this late fall Zoom event, presented by internationally-renowned explorer and film maker (cackletv.com) Justine Curgenven, as she recounts her experiences sea kayaking around the globe. “Sea Kayaking the World” contains highlights of kayaking expeditions on 6 continents over the last 20 years. From Russia to Iceland & New Zealand to the Aleutian islands, Justine tells hilarious stories of her early mistakes, near misses and wildlife encounters. Her bubbly enthusiasm is contagious and her honest vulnerability makes you feel like that thing you’ve been secretly dreaming about could be a reality. Justine is driven by a desire to explore as much as possible of this fascinating world and the people who share it. She loves being the engine on her journeys and going to sleep with nothing but a few millimetres of canvas between her and all that nature has to offer. She hopes to share those passions with you. To sign up for this much-anticipated talk, RSVP on the NSPN calendar HERE where you will be directed to a Members-only link to the presentation.
  6. Please join us for this late fall Zoom event, presented by internationally-renowned explorer and film maker (cackletv.com) Justine Curgenven, as she recounts her experiences sea kayaking around the globe. “Sea Kayaking the World” contains highlights of kayaking expeditions on 6 continents over the last 20 years. From Russia to Iceland & New Zealand to the Aleutian islands, Justine tells hilarious stories of her early mistakes, near misses and wildlife encounters. Her bubbly enthusiasm is contagious and her honest vulnerability makes you feel like that thing you’ve been secretly dreaming about could be a reality. Justine is driven by a desire to explore as much as possible of this fascinating world and the people who share it. She loves being the engine on her journeys and going to sleep with nothing but a few millimetres of canvas between her and all that nature has to offer. She hopes to share those passions with you. To sign up for this much-anticipated talk, RSVP here. A link to the presentation is on the Members-only "NSPN Business" forum. If you don't see that forum, make sure you're a current paid member.
  7. I still use GAIA for tracking, though less frequently, as I, too, prefer the traditional charting format. In lieu of that, USGS topo layer in GAIA, surprisingly affords a decent representation of topography (duh!) and bathymetry, which is better than my cell phone GPS back-up, offline Google maps (see images below). In a pinch, within cell service, Apple Maps will get you out of the woods/fog:
  8. Bump-group site filled; call LB for private site, and join us for ALL the festivities.
  9. I'd suggest charging the (not really!) "old," backup battery 1X/year, perhaps in the spring, or your start to the season? $0.02
  10. Lengthy thread here: FWIW, My ICOM M88, always dunked in fresh water after ocean trips, has been going strong for >15 yrs. Unless the ICOM quality has diminished, I would assume the Alfred E Neuman attitude.
  11. In description above: Your spot will be secured when I receive payment ([$10 per person + $6 per car]/NITE) X 1.09 (tax) via paypal (PREFERRED; gyork at tdsdotnet) or check (private message me)
  12. Glad to see "you've still got it," Peter, after your long hiatus and comeback! What a great destination for an extended stay. g
  13. Bump-a few spaces left in group site, or call LB for private site.
  14. Indeed! My concerns are timetables for these transits if I am fog-bound, or paddling after dark, and must cross a busy stretch of water. A prepared paddler will have researched this already, yes?
  15. Instead of RSVPing, lets chat through PM. Looking for 1 or 2 other interested paddlers to spend Fri and Sat nite kayak camping on one (TBD) of the islands in southern Casco Bay (Jewell, 'Lil Whaleboat, W or S Gosling, Crow). Unless Jewell, must be familiar with LNT on other islands. Since I will be in the area that weekend, why not do a little camping/paddling, since I'm in my (former) home waters. instead of RSVPing, lets chat through PM. gary
  16. FABULOUS, Joe. don't know how you did it, nor would I understand, but thanks bunches! LOVE the MN lines and "classic" nautical chart layout.
  17. Skip report; go straight to slideshow Anyone who has been multi-day tripping with me knows well that I will try to squeeze every available minute out of the day(s), and this river and inland sea safari would be no different. The original plan called for me to meet Mari after she finished her Baxter SP hiking, but a rainy weekend had us flip-flopping the itinerary. We drove up on Sunday in the cold and wet, with my intention to treat her to an original Pat’s Pizza in Orono, but we were happy to settle for Pat’s in Yarmouth for lunch; we would savor juicy Amato’s Italians for supper! Pops was not happy with the already-been-changed Big Moose Inn/Campground reservation for a lean-to on this cold, damp, night. Luckily, an upgrade to a cozy cabin was available, and we flipped on the heat straight away. As would be the habit for the next several days, we were up at Dawn’s crack, for the long day that included a car spot at the finish line, an arduous, 2-hour drive on the Golden Road, pack and launch, and finding a suitable campsite. We were expecting to find competition on this warm mid-to-late June day, and not a little surprised to find the primo Ogden South site on Lobster Lake unoccupied. (Even more surprising was that we came across only one out of 23 river- or lake-side sites occupied during the entire trip). Having most of the day in front of us, we savored another round of Amato’s, arranged sleeping quarters, and paddled a good bit of the lake south of the point-a very stress-free day. Mari cobbled up a wonderful meal with her new cast iron skillet, over the wind protected fire ring: sautéed peppers, mushrooms, onions, and summer squash, combined with delicious mushroom ravioli. The sun lingered, but went to bed, followed by the awakening of the magical star show over the quieting waters. The cold night brought a blanket of morning fog, and I would be navigationally challenged yet again (last trip, 11 years ago HERE). At length, we located the sharply-angled Lobster stream portal to the lake and paddled onward to start our early morning entry into the Upper West Branch of the Penobscot river, accented by this dining moose; we would see two others on the trip. We would spend our lazy second day meandering down this most scenic Riverway, occasionally boosted with a 2kn current. Like a siren‘s song, we were drawn into Big Raggmuff stream, and her noisy, cascading falls, where we dunked into the amber-stained pureness, and later, warmed up by the veggie egg sandwich and sun at the adjacent site’s picnic table. We talked about the possibility of spending the night on the river; I had my sets site on Gero island, where I had spent a few nights many years ago in a lean-to. We compromised by settling into Pine Stream, the last riverside site, and a short distance from the Big Lake, and an easy jumping off (?In) point for the next day. The classic Maine campsite setup with picnic table and overhead ridgepole (tarp support) was a sentinel to this site, easily seen from ~1 mile away. Many of the lakes in northern Maine (Umbagog, Richardson, Moosehead, Chesuncook), given their orientation, are prone to dangerous conditions, with even light winds resulting in challenging waves from the miles-long fetches. We were on the water by six on day #3 and, regrettably, we were “welcomed“ to Chesuncook an hour later, with a light southerly breeze. We knew we were “in for it,” and began the long, 8 mile slog to our next stopping point on Sandy Point. Our strategy was point-to-point, taking advantage of any available lee from the wind and waves. At Cunningham Brook campsite we would encounter the only people shoreside-four men, two canoes, and two large, wind-battered tents. Without a breakfast invitation, we soldiered on, and, by degrees, nestled into Sandy Point’s broad, flat lee. Mar quickly gathered fuel for a fire and spit-spot assembled a gastronomic delight-open faced egg sandwich with avocado, hummus, sautéed onions and mushrooms, and goat cheese, all atop a slab of dense, homemade, multi-grain bread. A refreshing postprandial nap necessarily ensued, and we spent much of the day drying our gear, playing cribbage, and mostly, fretting about the consistent wind. As anyone in the position of leader/parent/more experienced knows, there comes a time when one has to either “poop, or get off the pot,“ and by 7 PM, it was that time. Camp in place, and risk an unabated wind, leaving an 8-mile paddle to the car/landing tomorrow, OR, determine that the wind had lessened enough to make slow steady progress to the next campsite, a six-mile trek, with nightfall approaching? The leader/parent, after weighing all the risks, decided to get off the pot, on the water, and trust his steadfast, yet-unnamed Mad River Explorer 17, to carry them through the quieter wind, but persistent, dead-ahead waves, to the safety of the next–closest campsite on Caribou Point, across the lake. Off we go, with one last stop at “bird turd islet” for rest and pee break, before making the crossing in diminishing light, on this longest day of the year. They only aids to navigation that we relied upon were the light spot (?house, ?big rock) across the lake, and the dark shadow of the shoreline near our intended destination. Over miles of lake, no lights were to be seen, save for the reliable stars overhead and on the horizon, the latter twinkling magically through the denser atmosphere. Upon reaching close to the shoreline, we paddled in an easterly direction, anticipating the campsite near the corner of the peninsula, before heading southerly. GAIA was at the ready, with Google Maps as a back up. Luckily, with high magnification, both Gaia and Google maps featured the detailed shoreline that brought us spot-on to Cardiser Point at 11 PM, after the 4-hour travail. The last, and 4th day of our river/lake trip was upon us, and we were quietly visited by a curious deer, meandering about our campsite. We had slept late ‘til about 6 o’clock, in no hurry to depart, and made our way to the opposite, easterly shoreline in the still-southerly breeze. On to the landing at the Museum (closed) and Ranger Station (nobody home), unload gear, wash/rinse boat, and store everything out of the way. We started the long drive to pick up my car at the launch. Not much memorable to say, except that Mar’s Prius was successful driving on the Golden Road. We creeped along the Northeast Carry Road, with numerous potholes and an occasional full-width puddle. After a long drive back to the landing, we lunched on the porch of the museum, watching the ever-stronger winds, then enjoyed a postprandial nap on the closely trimmed lawn. A quick stroll to see the moonscaped skeleton of Ripogenus Gorge, nearly lifeless following construction of the dam that raised the water level 40 feet, backed up for 25 miles. Back on the road to our stay at Big Eddy Campground, a lovely spot, where fishers, as if in a carnival ride, were either paddling, drifting, or anchored in these oddly-shaped boats, apparently enjoying themselves, despite any evidence of fishing success. We bathed in the chily eddy, the 2kn current pushing us upstream. We retired in the POC #1 cabin-double bunk for me, overhead single empty, and Mari on the unpadded porch floor, of course! Most of Day#5 was spent on the Lower West Branch, launching from the power generating station in a raft provided by Northern Outdoors. Absolute bliss, except to say that some old man in a ?drysuit (claimed to be a sea kayaker) was tossed from his overturned raft in a Class V rapid, and rescued a furlong downstream, unharmed. Side note: Always eager to determine if/how we are connected, I generally probe people about their background. As it turns out, our rafting Guide is the daughter of a woman who was a friend in my high school class! We had a good chat about Casco Bay, where she has sea kayak guided in the past. What is her favorite island? Jewell, of course! I was sad to leave Margreta after supper that day, but also eager to get back to Susie and the kitties, then take a load off (I had pushed my luck to the brink!). Mar would spend the night at Big Moose Campground, and complete a solo, CCW loop of Katahdin that included Hamlin and Baxter peaks, on yet another glorious day. REFLECTIONS: -If you incorporate plans to paddle a big lake like Chesuncook on a CANOE trip, be aware of the inherent dangers, and consider alternate plans that may include a layover day or 2, and nav skills that might allow a night paddle, in the right conditions. -Mossies and black flies are around in great numbers, dawn and dusk. Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, and a cheapo, not vintage, head net. -Consider bringing a smallish cooler-ours lasted a full 3 days with a frozen 6L dromedary inside. -Strive to be on the water early, which leaves you time to “chill” (by the fire) at the end of the day. -Shuttle service is tough to secure. Only 1 outfitter was willing to provide a 2-part, person/gear-only shuttle from Greenville, quoted @ $415. Additional fees for any trip include road entry/access to North Maine Woods, and camping. -I can’t recommend the best time to visit this beautiful region, but can say I’ve had supreme luck before July, after Labor Day. -Don’t rely on the NFCT Map #11 for detailed navigation. The “North” symbol, askew, if assumed magnetic, is off by 10°, westerly; the declination here is 16° W, not 15° (on map). Also, no Lat/Long reference marks! I’m going to blame the map for my screw-up on Lobster Lake! -Overview of our paddling/rafting/climbing area:
  18. On February 18, 1952, an astonishing maritime event began when a ferocious nor’easter split in half a 500-foot long oil tanker, the Pendleton, approximately one mile off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Incredibly, just twenty miles away, a second oil tanker, the Fort Mercer, also split in half. On both tankers men were trapped on the severed bows and sterns, and all four sections were sinking in 60-foot seas. Thus began a life and death drama of survival, heroism, and a series of tragic mistakes. Of the 84 seamen aboard the tankers, 70 would be rescued and 14 would lose their lives. Michael Tougias, co-author of the book and Disney movie The Finest Hours, uses slides to illustrate the harrowing tale of the rescue efforts amidst towering waves and blinding snow in one of the most dangerous shoals in the world. www.michaeltougias.com New York Times Bestselling author and co-author of 33 books for adults and children including ABOVE & BEYOND, SO CLOSE TO HOME, THE FINEST HOURS (a Disney movie), TEN HOURS UNTIL DAWN, FATAL FORECAST, and A STORM TOO SOON, KING PHILIPS WAR, and THERE’S A PORCUPINE IN MY OUTHOUSE! Join this event with link found HERE
  19. I would make the ?<1h, before first light, drive to Jonesport, to either circumnav Great Waas I (with option to hike preserve trail, accessible on E shore), or explore nearby Head Harbor, Steele Harbor, and Mistake Islands, with a visit to the lighthouse on the latter. Here is a link from our website that might help you locate launch sites in this area and others. Depending on the timing of your visit, be prepared to deal with fog, with GPS (and backup) and VHF. If you have further questions, you can E me @ glyorkATprotondotme
  20. Thanks Joe. I guess I posted too soon! Will have to give it the on-water test to see if it's salvageable.
  21. I was able to resuscitate the old NOAA chart software, after contacting Gaia customer support. Here is their response: Thanks for taking the time to write in about this. I am sorry for the trouble. NOAA deprecated their map server for NOAA Charts and we are working on improving the replacement map. While the Maps Team is working on the replacement, I'd suggest setting up a custom map source in your account. Here is how to do that: skip to step 3 here: Adding a TMS Map Source the TMS URL is: https://tileservice.charts.noaa.gov/tiles/50000_1/{z}/{x}/{y}.png Jay Crooker Gaia GPS Adventure Support After you've added and renamed (?NOAA-old) the "new" map source on your computer, sync your phone app under "account."
  22. I bet you dollars to donuts that my "maps" app on my iPhone would have enough detail to get you back to a safe harbor! Try it out next time on the water and report back.
  23. Most importantly, IMHO, figure out how to attach to your PFD.
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