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Stonington - Mid August.


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I'm hoping someone out there can me help out.

I'm "organizing" a trip to the Stonington, Maine, area for myself and three friends, and I need some advice. One in my group belongs to MITA, but I'm looking for some 'local' knowledge. I'm looking to establish a camp the first (Friday) afternoon/evening ... and use that spot as a base to explore islands in the area over the next 2.5 days, returning Monday. The first day could include a paddle of up to 3 hours tops, though I'm not against camping ocean-side on the mainland someplace and exploring from there. The lowest skill level in the group is a 3 ... so an all night paddle to Acadia is out of the question! :).

Let me thank you all in advance ... if only for taking the time to read this post.

Hope you're all haveing a great summer ... we've waited long enough for it to appear.

John King

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>I'm hoping someone out there can me help out.

Not sure what type of advice you are looking for...any specific questions? The MITA book and the Dorcas Miller book do a good job of showing you most of the area. However, they do not mention, or even show on the maps, some very nice islands in the area. This local knowledge is not readily shared with "those from away", but asking at Old Quarry may result in some great suggestions.

In three hours of paddling and assuming a min. of 3K average, you could get anywhere in the archipelago to reach a place to camp. You will be there when things are busy and its first come so you should be prepared to be flexible and adapt to what is or is not available.

I would suggest launching from Old Quarry and spending some time with them talking about weather, how busy it has been, what islands might be open based on float plans they have on file, and causally asking for suggestions.

Ask about Saddleback I. and any surrounding islands that might be nice to visit. Ask about Marshall I.

If you want to do some miles and see islands briefly, then you might want to pick a place near Isle au Haut as that gives you a decent base for it, Marshall and the archipelago. If you want to wander about on some islands as well as around them on the water, then just about any island will do in the archipelago.

Don't let the fog keep you from paddling. Often you can start around noon and have a long, great day. The fog may not lift until 2 or so. You can enjoy the fog for a few hours and then enjoy having it lift around you and have a great paddle thereafter till around 7. Thats far better than getting in a hurry, launching early and wandering in the fog till you are tired or just sitting in camp bemoaning your fate. Of course maybe you will like to sit in camp.

If you have not been there, inside the archipelago it is well protected water and easy paddling as a rule. The outside of Isle au Haut is another matter. Be nice to the lobstermen and they will usually be nice to you. Generally speaking other vessels will expect you to know the rules and follow them. If you don't or if you don't follow traditions, all bets are off.

Ed Lawson

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Old Quarry in Webb Cove is definitely the place to connect with. They cater to kayakers, can help or advse on day or camping trips, offer tours , have a campsite which could be used as a base of operations, and they offer a launch site, which is invaluable as parking is issue in that general area.

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