Jump to content

Jonesport, again (...and again and again), 8.23


Recommended Posts


Skip report; go straight to slideshow




Like a Siren’s song, drawn to the only prominent cabin in the cove, six ill-prepared “navigators“ had a deuce of a time locating the new MITA site. At fits and starts, each grassy meadow became more acceptable as we meandered westerly, and a couple hundred yards from the target cabin was the telltale worn path to bare granite. We finally accepted defeat and pulled out the GPS and coordinates, embarrassed by the gaffe. Six new and established friends set about claiming tent real estate about the beautiful grassy meadow, and surveyed the lay of the land. 

        IMG_3972.thumb.jpeg.ac7981855d94c63c3cbe2b0f8681f3c9.jpeg           IMGP0032.thumb.JPG.ed051718f01290d6575dd7a797762855.JPG

A NOAA forecast of “light and variable” is always one to take full advantage of, so our destination was the Roque Island paradise, northeasterly. We set off at 8:00 and had an easy crossing to the “secret” entrance of Bunker Hole, tagging Mark Island along the way. At that point, two options were considered; two of the boys opted for exploration of Halifax/Brothers, the remaining group circumnavigating Roque, with an estimated similar beach lunch gathering time. Dana’s sharp eye spotted a raccoon on a steep seaweedy cliff face, scavenging for seafood, occasionally poking out of the rockweed curtain. At other times of the trip, we would debate whether weasel-type critters were mink (favor), sea otter, or marten.mink.thumb.jpeg.1dc58ae6ddafa5fb3b2f8825fa511236.jpeg 







Upon entering the expansive, well–protected Roque harbor, we were surprised to see so few vessels anchored-a solitary sailboat, and two motor yachts. We enjoyed a fine lunch and stroll on this mile-long, fine-sand beach, a rarity this far north.

IMGP0016.thumb.JPG.7bbb709e5d8d1a006ccaa51ab0f6aeea.JPG    IMGP0015.thumb.JPG.a4d803dd134285dbacf3c3751b84f9f1.JPG


The mirror image northern beach [off limits] had similar enticing qualities, and I paddled up to an aid to navigation in the middle of Shorey Cove:

190790155_22CG22.thumb.png.33f01c590b121bc5b456cf7eef700bde.png      What did I see?.  

In no hurry on this bright, sunny, calm day we meandered back to our home base for the evening routine.

Day three called for possible showers in the afternoon, with a possible “sod soaker“ in the middle of the night. We were happy to split up as short-destination paddlers and island hikers for a quiet day. I was eager to check out nearby Sealand, the moniker for  the community located deep in the cove easterly from camp. The topo map shows evidence of a road network, though we were flummoxed by the GPS, despite repeatedly walking back and forth over the map-designated roadway, deep into the woods. On the way back we stumbled upon such a road, mined granite to either side of a raised, overgrown path which we followed to the end, arriving at the locus of a former shoreside quarry operation. The smallish area of mining suggested that the granite harvested here was used to establish a landing zone and wharf, the latter estimated to be 20 feet tall at the then-current low tide.









We suspected a larger, inland quarry, but neither the topo map, nor our bushwhack disclosed evidence of such, save for the random, rusted inch and a half cable coursing through the woods. A nearby granite-block foundation, measuring roughly 40’ x 50’ was possibly the site of a dormitory for the granite workers?


In preparation for the forecasted heavy rain in the evening and overnight, we rigged Dana‘s new 9’ x 12’ sil–nylon tarp next to my woods campsite, in such a way to take advantage of the downsloping mossy floor, and the expected SW wind of the upcoming storm. We gathered there for dinner and convo, and the shelter performed supremely all night; everyone wants the link!IMGP0020.thumb.JPG.808553f166947735552755cd87780e57.JPG





By morning on day four the rain and high winds had diminished to drizzle/mist and negligible breeze. Our plan was to circumnavigate Great Waas (14M), clockwise, first exploring the lighthouse on Mistake. It would be overcast and breezy in the afternoon, but no deterrent to this intrepid group. 





We launched early enough on the outgoing tide to avoid being trapped by the seaweed wall that extends out to Middle Hardwood Island, finding the last available passage, and continued along the coast, short-detouring into Hall cove, before landing on the bar between Knight and Mistake. Access to the boardwalk that leads to the lighthouse on Mistake is difficult. Never attempt to climb the steep, slippery wooden ramp to the boathouse-no reasonable place to store boats from this approach, and an accident waiting to happen. At or near HT, we’ve parked on NW end of the island in the past, and bushwhacked to a path that leads to the boathouse. Having arrived at mid tide, D, glad to be wearing his drysuit on this damp, overcaast day, waded to the small slot adjacent to the boathouse, easterly,

and negotiated his way to the top. slot.thumb.jpeg.03181f400945b2ca5880074a79c8b996.jpeg

All but one of the others followed. The under-dressed straggler waited for the tide to drop another half inch, worried that his weeny panties would get wet. All would sample some of the offerings from the boardwalk – blueberries, raspberries, and an occasional cranberry.

    IMGP0021.thumb.JPG.1bd4c025e421b26f384643533b5657c7.JPG     IMGP0023.thumb.JPG.da152d55b75b55d57911ad7a4bd9a42b.JPG


We continued our clockwise circumnav, passing an inaccessible (tide) nearby MITA island, and agreed to avoid the larger swells in the deeper, outer, Mud Hole Channel, by crossing to Little Cape Point, then proceeding across Cape and Popplestone Coves, and around Little Pond and Red Heads, and Pond Pt., finally landing at a small pocket in the rockweedy shore. Lunches were enjoyed, followed by a short walk for a look-see of The Pond.

  Pond.thumb.png.d28b6584d8c98882e07f4bf59329bec1.png     IMGP0026.thumb.JPG.28700343f0d1c7b20f59bca3d9e5c583.JPG     


By now, the wind had picked up from the SW, and, by degrees, we slogged to the NW tip of Beals, pit-stopping at Unnamed I, then completed the last leg, under the bridge, through Pig I. Gut, and finally, capitalizing on the well-deserved wind assist, we (6 little piggies) cried “wee-wee-wee” all the way home! 


Thursday, our last full day, would be a shortish paddle, anticipating an early start for Friday’s obligations. A circumnavigation of Head Harbor Island seemed appropriate; Mother Nature accommodated, with flat seas and sunny skies. I hoped to discover the cemetery on the western tip of the island, designated on the topo map. We came close to it on Tuesday, whilst hiking, but were stymied by the obvious wetlands crossing. After landing, we scouted the area designated on the topo, aided by my GPS. Puzzled by the location, in the relative wet of the lower hill, we extended our search uphill, and, at length, came across the small square cemetery with a dozen graves, a couple hundred yards away from the designated spot my GPS was relaying to me. We found nearby cellar holes and flattened, contaminated (glass, metal parts) shell mddens, evidence of ancient and more recent civilizations.

midden.thumb.jpeg.cf5d754207af2f1cecb0adcb6d280ec2.jpeg    IMG_3975.thumb.jpeg.1f005e2bbfc372dec681893980602372.jpeg    IMG_3974.thumb.jpeg.c6a8ae54293cd9f8d35d15992af8ca28.jpeg  



We were soon about the rough waters of the SE island tip, some of us rather enjoying the sporty action that the swells/deep water to shallow/headlands offered


us as a playground.            1930073719_BlackHead.thumb.png.9502eb3376d3d0f5d40e21423b022921.png


R recommended a stop on Man Island, having visited earlier that week, and nobody was disappointed, as we climbed the rocky jagged mound, and lunched atop, with spectacular views. Some were eager to get back to camp to organize and pack, while others dawdled in Nature‘s splendor.



Per usual, it rained heavily overnight, and abated in the morning, just enough to allow packing of the final provisions before making our way back to Jonesport Shipyard and our cars, thankful for a glorious several days in this kayakers’ paradise.




  • We have had great luck using Jonesport Shipyard in the past as a launch site. Overnight parking fees are very reasonable, and amenities of toilet and fee-showers are quite welcome after several days out. When possible (HT), plan to launch/land in the small cove near the parked cars, so as not to bugger up the working ramp.
  • Though many MITA sites, including private, make no mention of LNT principles, we should all be in the habit of carrying out our own waste, as a thank you to those landowners that have graciously offered their “little bit of heaven“ to strangers.
  • Although I brought a dry suit for possible rainy day(s), I was able to get by with my summer paddling outfit. Our group was equally divided between dry suit and summer attire during this second week of August. 
  • The >5-hour drive for most of us was rewarded by the special features of this part of the Maine coast, especially for an extended stay.
  • Consider extending your invitations to new (to you) kayakers. You won’t be surprised that you have much in common, and will likely paddle together again.
  • You're apt to find this waypoint helpful: N 44°30.462', W -067°33.184'
  • Feel free to contact me for information about a trip to this area. Special thanks to MITA and the generous landowner for adding this beautiful site to the Trail.



Edited by gyork
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for this report of what looks to have been a really great trip. It's difficult to hit the Jonesport area in a gentle weather window (or maybe it's just me... every time I've been, it's been rainy, foggy, sometimes windy, and cold) but you did it. 

I am wondering about your campsite landing zone. Was it an all-tide launch/land? Or was it like every other campsite I've been to in that area, requiring a lot of negotiating of rockweed-covered rocks except at full high tide? 

Finally, I'm surprised that no one else has commented. These reports are invaluable for anyone planning future trips, and this is a wonderful but challenging location. I really appreciate that you always come through with the information and photos. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We found the best landing zone to be 50 yards east of the campsite; gently sloping, above HT ledge transitions to firm gravel/mud, with further transition to slightly raised ledge, covered with rockweed, where, at low tide, boats can be  dragged over that mound, then hand carried the remaining way onto the grassy meadow above the upper ledge. Not perfect, but the best landing zone around, that avoids that slippery, black slime, often found on exposed tidal ledges (think Saddleback cabin).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Gary for making prompt use of this new site and telling us about it! Very useful information about a spot that’s going to be super valuable to others visiting this area. There really is no other campsite that affords such easy access to the cool features to the south and east - the Gt Wass headlands, Crumple, Roque, The Brothers, Halifax... I can’t wait to camp there myself! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...