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untilPLEASE DO NOT RSVP ON NSPN CALENDAR UNTIL YOU HAVE SENT YOUR PAYMENT. 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. This trip will be cross-posted to MITA/SMSKN/and NSK to encourage participation from friendly paddlers from all these groups. 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 ($15 per nite) via paypal (gyorkattdsdotnet) or check (private message me). PLEASE DO NOT RSVP ON NSPN CALENDAR UNTIL YOU HAVE SENT YOUR PAYMENT. 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.
Skip report; go straight to slideshow On a picture-perfect fine mid-September morning, kayak-campers were gathering at the Lobster Buoy campsites' group site, in dribs and drabs. Apparently, I had missed the communication of a certain “biggest tent contest“. I greeted my good friend Dave, the owner of the building, who gave me the tour. In the back wing, he had been adding gelcoat to his kayak. I expressed my concern over the amount of real estate he was occupying. No worries-he was planning to make a little money renting out rooms to some of the 20 paddlers who had signed up from the 4 paddling groups. A loose plan of a 1 o’clock paddle started to materialize; Marcy, Christian, Dave, Pablo, Jordan, Yong, and I launched at 1:30, and headed left, NE up the coast. We tried to locate the MITA campsite around Spaulding Island, without definite success. We meandered up and around (Christian and I) Ash island on this day that had predicted 15 knot winds, residual from petering-out hurricanes. The waters around the northern green can were not a little confused, and rather sporting, though the wind was nowhere near 10K. We bee-lined back to the launch site (link to track: here )and welcomed additional partners, including newcomers Jared/Candy and Anne, Liz, Kyle, Jeff, Michael, Susan, Cath, Sue, and Peter. The always-exemplary potluck buffet was served under the “Full-moon“ of the 9000 W, insurance-required flood light. Of course a campfire was kindled, as were friendships, new and old. Because of the size of the group, Saturday called for breaking up into smaller pods, two of which did the nickel tour of the archipelago, in opposite directions, while the third-party (Pablo, Kyle, John, Lyn, Barbara, and I) meandered up the coast to Owls Head lighthouse. We enjoyed lunch on a lovely beach. On this flat-water day Kyle and I were looking to extend the trip and decided to shoot for the muscle ridge chain, while others in the group poked back to the launch. We found the tiny bridge at Hewitt Island constriction a challenge, but, because of the tide cycle, were able to contort our way through, just barely. A quick stop to stretch legs, etc., before heading back to the launch site, via Spruce head. Trip track: here Supper plans for that night included half of the group staying at base camp, while the other half carpooled to Rockland, to enjoy a most excellent repast at Café Miranda. A Sunday morning trip was enjoyed by six or so paddlers, involving carpooling, a one-way trip from Rockland back to Lobster Buoy.
Lobster Buoy Campground hosted several groups of sea kayakers for the annual event. People arrived in dribs and drabs, the earlier arrivals paddling around Sprucehead Island in decent weather. The usual pot-luck gourmet spread out along 2 tables, and the large group enjoyed comraderie around a crackling fire. Saturday started with a little breeze out of the SW, as too many (someone counted 22 kayaks on the beach) commenced launching around 9:30. The NSPN/SMSKN group had broken into 2 pods of 7 or 8 paddlers. My bunch included Mike, Sandy, Kyle, Therese, Dave, Carolyn, and Bill. We adopted the "buddy" system and started our paddle as the fog rolled in. We thought better of hand railing to Dix with some of us strangers, instead employing Mike's mapping GPS. A quick stroll about the groomed paths connected us with a resident of this small community. While helping her with various pieces of luggage for her trip to the Mainland, she made us aware of the need to support MCHT's efforts to secure neighboring High Island into the fold. We decided to stay "inside" of the weather, and paddled the northern coasts of Andrews and Hewett, sans GPS, and made our still-foggy way to Bar for lunch. We met up briefly with Ed's group at northern Flag, his contingent traveling CCW. Ed and I had chatted a bit by VHF, just to keep track of each others' whereabouts along our opposite routes. After our lunch break, we employed the 3 Stooges "spread out" advice (a central navigator is flanked to her left and right by paddlers who spread out far enough to still see the most "central" paddler) on our way to #6 Nun. Of course we were dead on after our 1/2 mile, flatwater crossing, the same result later for hitting the "target" on Sprucehead. Of course now the fog began to clear, and we enjoyed a leisurely paddle back to the now-high launch/landing spot. Reservations for dinner at a Rockland eatery were honored by 9 (I think) of us, and by Sunday morning most of us had started for home, filled with memories of new and old friends, as is typical of this annual outing.