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Skip report; go straight to slideshow Not known as a popular paddling route, at least to me, the coastline from Head beach, Phippsburg to Fort Popham looked quite appealing, as shown by the satellite images of Cape Small, with at least seven visible large and small sandy beaches.Word on the street was that Barry was vacationing nearby, and was game for a day trip. As a Massachusetts resident, I fretted that he would be “carded“ at the campground entrance gate, likely without evidence of a previous negative COVID test, and might be fined. Turns out he was only a few miles away, seaside, and would just paddle to meet us in the morning. Cath, Kyle, and I gathered at the beach at 0845, And Barry arrived at 0920.I had kept an eye on the weather forecast, and decided this would be a fine day (light wind, favorable tides, and sunny skies).We paddled leisurely around the Cape, confirming the exquisite large, small, and tiny, pocket beaches along the shore. At length, we straight-lined to tiny Heron island, where Cath, with local knowledge, indicated we could find a beautiful, narrow slot to paddle through. Sure enough, on a second look, a tiny gap opened between the cliffy walls to reveal a slot through to the other side, which we enjoyed immensely, so much so that we would repeat the passage on the way back home. The paddle up to the Fort was non-eventful, if not a little choppy, especially over the sand-bar sections, though nothing more than ?Level 2 abilities. We paddled up to the Fort, hoping to land on the southerly beach, but near-high tide (1257) made that impossible, so we backtracked a few hundred yards and found a spot that was unoccupied by beachgoers; there were not a few on this fine day. As we were enjoying our fine standard repast of Italian sandwiches, Kyle chatted up a Portland friend walking by. Post-lunch, Barry was excused from the group, as he was charged with entertaining/feeding his in-laws, a duty that we all know cannot be buggered with. His wife would drive the <10 minutes to the Fort, where he would be picked up and driven home. Most everyone is familiar with the mighty torrent of the Kennebec, especially on the ebb. Some may find of interest that the timing when the river “turns“ (slack) is far off from posted high (~2h) and low (2h 25m) tides on this particular day. Given that the Kennebec would still be flooding at nearly 2kn at our high-tide departure, we launched, hoping to find a bit of possible eddy current away from the river current upstream. Neither eddy or opposing current did we find, and we meandered back the same route, finding a little more chop with the opposing outgoing tide and mild sea breeze. Once we turned the corner up the New Meadows, conditions quieted down, and we lazily paddled by scattered beachcombers, paddleboarders, and waders, landing on peaceful Head Beach. Wildlife for the day included herons, gulls, terns, grays, bait fish schools, and jumping sturgeon (Kennebec mouth). Link to track HERE Reflections: Pick a day with light winds from the marine point forecast, and launch from either Head Beach ($10/car) or Fort Popham (arrive early, for non-fee parking), depending on tidal flow. Most of us had not paddled this section before, but ALL remarked this had been a grand day out. Pay close attention to the tide and current stations before your trip; this area is notorious for kicking up some challenging waves. COVID is making its own waves, judging by the crowd size at Popham (?reduced), and Head (very sparse) Beaches. The beautiful, but otherwise eerie, Thomas Point Campground that I was staying at had a paucity of camping parties, 15/>100. My, and I use the pronoun accurately, western half of the campground was empty the second night, one other camper night #1.
L: 7am H: 1:15pm Put in at Fort Popham around 11 am (yes, we know it's flooding at that time). Intention is for a late day to catch the ebb in the afternoon. Play in whatever current, surf and rocks are around, but hoping for wind opposing the ebb. Off water will be late - around 5 or 6 or so. Interested parties please email me at cathy folster at Verizon. Net. We will be looking for people with paddling experience and skills appropriate for the venue.