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Bold Coast/Cobscook Bay 8/26-8/29/22

Joseph Berkovitz

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Visiting Down East Maine's Bold Coast and Cobscook Bay, this trip visits one of the most dramatic coastlines in the world, along with one of the most dynamic and unique tidal estuaries. It takes place over a long weekend from Friday August 26 to Monday August 29, 2022. Bob Levine (rylevine) and Joe Berkovitz are the trip organizers. Daily paddles are organized, using the Sunset Point campground in Lubec as a home base.

Ranging from Machias Bay to Lubec and beyond to Canada's Campobello Island, the Bold Coast is a largely undeveloped and wild region with lots of dramatic cliffs and rocks, 25+ foot tidal ranges, strong currents and amazing wildlife. Take a look at the 2020 trip report for a sense of what it can be like. (We skipped 2021 due to the pandemic.)

This is considered an L3+ trip. Paddlers joining this trip should be prepared for:

- Daily trips of 12-15 miles, with limited bailout options. Much of the Bold Coast is roadless wilderness with high cliffs rising out of the ocean.
- Strong currents (> 4 kt in some places) and turbulent eddy lines.
- Cold water, often in the low 50s even in high summer, with air temps in the 60s. A drysuit is essential some days.

- Rough water conditions on a very exposed coastline where waves interact with rocks, weather, and current.
- The need to stay in a cohesive pod and maintain strong situational awareness.
- An international border crossing (Covid-19 rules permitting) requiring a passport.

The general plan for this trip is to section-paddle various portions of the Bold Coast and Cobscook Bay, adjusting the plan for conditions, interest and level of challenge. Each day we will choose from various out-and-back or shuttle adventures and have a lot of freedom with the length and nature of the paddles.  We may visit the Campobello Island area also if international travel rules make this feasible.
Despite the challenging waters, we want to be safe! Each day we'll evaluate our options carefully. There are a wide range of locations to choose from, and directions in which to go. And if conditions are too bad to paddle, there is really great hiking in the area.
Home base for this adventure is the Sunset Point RV Park in Lubec, which is a very clean and well-run campsite. Despite the name, it's not all about RV's -- actually, the area reserved for tents is a perfect grassy headland that juts out into part of Cobscook Bay, with its own little boat ramp and pavilion. Showers are free with unlimited hot water and if you care, there is free Internet at the office.
In terms of logistics, plan for 6-7 hours of road travel to reach the Bold Coast from the Boston area. The campsite is reserved starting Thursday 8/25 so that everyone can come up on Thursday and we can hang out together and do some planning before getting a good night's rest. Checkout is Monday 8/29. Individual arrangements can be made to extend your stay earlier or later, as the tenting area of the campground is usually only sparsely occupied.  Please work that out with us up front.
Each person's share of the campsite rental will run to a total of $40-50 for the 4 nights - the exact amount depends on the group size.

This trip is now full. If you would like to get on the waitlist, please fill out this form.

Conversation about the trip is on a private message thread for the participants, but this forum topic can be used for general Q&A about the trip, or you can PM either Bob or Joe .

Edited by Joseph Berkovitz
trip is now full
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