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8th Annual Jewell Trip May 15-17, 2015

Dan Foster

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On a sunny Friday, seven of us gathered at the bustling Dolphin Cove Marina in Harpswell to begin our paddle to Jewell Island, where other NSPN and SMSKN paddlers were already converging from Winslow Park and Cousins Island. The skipper of the lone sailboat we encountered called out "isn't it a little cold for that?" as we paddled across calm, 48 degree water toward Eagle Island.


We enjoyed a leisurely lunch on Eagle, and admired the view from Admiral Peary's fortress-like house.


Landing in a deserted Cocktail Cove on Jewell, we soon found our other pods of kayakers camping along the southwest side of the island and quickly established our camp. And then it was time to eat, and eat, and eat some more. We snacked on guacamole, cheeses, and smoked salmon while pots of lentil soup and lamb curry simmered. Cookies, cakes, and pies emerged from kayak hatches to end the evening's excesses.


As the sun sank to the horizon, a lone paddler approached across the dappled water, and another round of food was prepared for Paul's arrival.


It was a glorious night to linger by the fire, but eventually we all drifted off to our tents.

Rising early on Saturday morning, I wandered over to the Punchbowl to watch the sun try to rise through the low clouds. Fresh deer tracks lead down to the water, and evidence of deer and raccoon was everywhere on the island. The Punchbowl was deserted, save for a few dozen gulls scavenging after low tide.


I followed the western shore for a bit, climbing to the site of the 90mm anti-torpedo boat guns that were installed during the second World War.


The view from the walk back along the still water of Cocktail Cove to camp was breathtaking.


Our pod paddled over to join the SMSKN group for the day's adventures. The group decided to paddle to Little Chebeague, passing the south tips of Cliff and Hope Island on the way.


We landed at Little Chebeague to stretch our legs and re-confirm our group plan to circumnavigate Long Island. A new brood of privy warblers will soon be gracing the island.


We paddled past the lobster boats on the west side of Long, and gathered together one final time at the south tip, where an intrepid foursome split off from the main group to round Peaks Island while the rest of us headed back toward Jewell. We squeaked through the rocks between Jerry Pt and Overset Island, and then found a sandy beach for our lunch.


We continued up the east coast of Long to the Stepping Stones, and then lined up for an orderly crossing of Luckse Sound back to Cliff, and onward to Jewell. The Peaks Island crew made good time and arrived a bit later.


A group hiked down to the south tip of Jewell to view the campsites in Smuggler's Cove, and to take in the views from the fire control towers that directed the island's gun batteries.


Saturday night featured another campfire, with even more dessert options than the night before. 2AM brought rain and lightning, and we woke to a blanket of fog surrounding the island. Our pod was the last off of the island, and hopped from island to island by compass bearings until the noon sun finally burned through and we were back at our cars.


The kind owners of the marina waived our parking and launching fees when we gathered in their restaurant for one final meal together, which was a perfect ending to a thoroughly-enjoyable weekend trip.

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Sounds like another incredible Jewell trip - and you got rain too! There's nothing better than the sound of rain on a tent.

I was sorry to miss this one.


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Great trip report - with some fantastic photos!! Really nice. I too am sorry to have missed this annual event and will have to make it more of a priority next year!

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First off, thank you Gary for planning a terrific weekend. It seems to me these Jewell Island camping trips just keep getting better each year.

Thank you Dan for beautifully capturing the highlights of the trip in your description and photos.

A special thank you goes out to our good buddies from SMSKN: Rene, Cathy, Chip and Bob. I hope to paddle with each of you often over the coming months.

Last but not least, a big thank you goes out to Bill for his gracious spirit in accompanying me from and to Winslow Park as we talked over the important aspects of our lives and looked with great anticipation to the future trips offered by our good buddies at NSPN.


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Glad you guys had a good time and sorry I couldn't be there. But I did have FOUR whole days with Gary (and a friend of his) on the water immediately preceding Jewell, and trip report is in progress for that!

And loved your report, Dan!


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aww crap. Peter had a new boat and I did not say anything :-) To my defense I've seen him in several boats over time and thought it was just one of those ;-) Here are some additional pictures that might paint our trip:

Our (Cath, Bob, Chip and I) launch from Cousins Island went without a hitch and soonafter we had a nice break on Bangs Island


Brief break on Stave Island, observing manmade tidal pool draining during outgoing tide


For those into hammocking, here was my setup for the weekend


Our Saturday circumnavigation of Long Island


It was great meeting new friends. In this photo, Roger and my paddling buddy Bob


Warren can't help himself from promoting sea kayaking one smile at a time :-)


Return to Jewell, to our campsite beach just in time to have a nice hike around the island


Cocktail Cove at dusk



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