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Exploring Cape Porpoise, June 5-7, 2015

Dan Foster

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On a cool Friday afternoon, Rene, Warren, and I set out to explore the islands of the Cape Porpoise archipelago, near Kennebunkport, ME.

Our campsite for the weekend was on Cape Island, the outermost island in the group.


The inner islands are surrounded by mudflats during the lower half of the tide cycle.


No sandy beaches here. Launching or landing involved precarious carries over seaweed-slicked boulders.


After setting up camp, Rene lead us over to Goat Island, where Warren was pleased to find they had remembered his birthday.


On the way back around the exposed side of Goat and Cape, we found a patch of lumpy water, and I felt it wise to put down the camera and hang on to the paddle with both hands for a bit. It took a while for me to cool off after that.


After some more keel-hauling of boats, we turned our attention to gourmet dining.


Our waterfront campsite feature a beautiful fire ring and stone benches, which we gladly put to good use as the sun slowly sank below the horizon in front of us.


Saturday's paddling could have been three separate trips in one. We started the morning by winding our way north through the rocks to Timber Island.


After lunch we rode the incoming tide up the Little River, threading our way deep into the marsh grasses, stirring up geese, ducks, and egrets, and eventually arriving at "the source of the sea", where a freshwater stream cascaded down to join the tidal flow.


With the current now slack, we paddled back out of the river and headed directly across Goosefare Bay back home to Cape, which from a distance looked like a tropical paradise, with four protruding pines filling in for palm trees.

No sooner had we arrived than a dreadful wind conjured itself out of the north, driving us to the other side of the island to hunker down in the leeward rocks to prepare dinner.

But our reward, upon returning to camp, was a most spectacular sunset.


And they all paddled happily ever after... The end.


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Dan, thank you for another excellent trip report. Rene, thank you for suggesting a great location to camp and explore. With a great location, excellent weather and wonderful company, it does not get much better then that!

Hey Dan, that was kayak camping trip number three this season for you and I detect you are getting hooked. If Mother Nature cooperates I see many more camping trips ahead for the three of us!

Now, back to reading my favorite book, “Maine Island Trail – 2015 Guide”.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Dan: nice report, nice photos; but you obviously have not read enough C.S. Forester (Hornblower) or Patrick O'Brien! Keel-hauling has nothing to do with boats or ships -- well, not exactly. More to do with those on board ship. A mis-behaved seaman or one guilty of some crime or insubordination might have been "keel-hauled" during the 18th or 19th century navy (Royal Navy, that is) -- and it wasn't nice! (They'd probably be lucky to survive the experience, in fact!)

Excuse my nit-picking, won't you?

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