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Vinalhaven to Stonington


gyork

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Just daydreaming, poring over my chart, noticing how close Stonington Archipelago is to Vinalhaven (Coombs Neck to Sparrow I~4nm). Seems one could eliminate 2+ hours of driving by taking kayak-laden auto (no kayaks allowed by themselves) on the ferry out of Rockland, first night camping at MITA site, next day timed crossing to the island group, choosing base camp, and spending several days (rest of the summer?) poking about. Some things to consider:

1. Ferry sevice spokesperson told me there is a 48-hour parking limit at the State lot. How does one secure parking on Vinalhaven for an extended period?

2. Given the right conditions (<10 knots, wave ht <3ft), what is the best timing for the PenBay crossing, to and fro. My guess is 2h before high crossing easterly, and 2h before low, westerly.

Gary

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>Just daydreaming, poring over my chart, noticing how close

>Stonington Archipelago is to Vinalhaven (Coombs Neck to

>Sparrow I~4nm).

On a decent day, there are folks who paddle from Stonington to Vinalhaven just to have lunch. I assume there is a fair fetch for a typical summer breeze on the crossing back for a interesting rear quatering sea.

Consider the possibility of kayaking to Vinalhaven. It is done often, but conditions could be an issue and you would be crossing a major shipping channel. There are good MITA islands there, a day of exploring, and maybe going up to Butter.

As for timing the crossing, need to check what info is available concerning current timing, velocity, and direction which can be quite different from what the tide is doing in terms of water depth.

Gary, you have to be careful about those daydreams. Next you will start thinking Swain's is close to Stonington area, then Swain's is close to MDI. Before you know it you will be in Machias.

Ed Lawson

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The challenge to such a plan is that it involves crossings (Vinalhaven to Stonington & back) ,so you risk being stuck in the Stonington area due to weather and/or sea states, possibly unable to return to your car when you choose. if your trip planning allows for such a contingency, sounds interesting!

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for those of us that prefer a book format for this sort of information the 2 that are sort of stanadards i guess would be eldridge and reeds.

eldridge's is a slender gold/yellow book and has tide/current information that deals primarilly with the area from boston - new york...that was the original bread/butter of the publication; letting folks when they could make that commercial run and save themselves lots of time in going with a fair tide/current. there are other reference stations extending to maine/nh but it's pretty heavy on the boston to ny information....don't remember exaclty, it's been a long time since i bought/looked at one.

reeds on the other hand is blue/yellow and about 3 inches thick and covers the canadian border to the gulf of mexico in detail with reference stations abundantly littering those coasts. a more comprehensive tome. i prefer this reference material for NE - it's just more expansive.

both are available at marine stores and i think NESC has eldridges at least.

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I think it is important to keep in mind that all the current predictions, regardless of where you find them are extrapolations of relatively well known currents at certain primary station locations to the locations of the secondary reference stations based on historical information obtained at those secondary station locations. That historical information may well be quite old and dubious. This in turn means all that seemingly detailed and accurate objective data concerning currents listed out so convincingly may well be nothing more than SWAGS and could well be perfect examples of GIGO at worst. For these reasons I believe NOAA is in the process of culling old secondary station info which it believes is not representative.

But other than local knowledge, its the best we've got.

Ed Lawson

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Why bother with the expense of a ferry ride? Do what I did a couple of years ago with a buddy---put in at the Marine Park in Rockland, paddle out to Owl's Head, then across to Hurricane Sound next to Vinalhaven and camp on Ram(a MITA island)--you have the option of returning the next day to Rockland or paddling around Vinalhaven to Stonington area---both options are a two day trip---I would arrange for a shuttle however if you wanted to go to Stonington---Rockland to Stonington and return is about a 4 day trip but could stretch into much longer due to the weather---My friend and I did the out and back----paddled to Vinalhaven on saturday and back to Rockland on Sunday---back before noon. We watched the weather carefully and picked a great weather window. Ed's right about the longer trip to Stonington and back(especially to Rockland), the weather could be a real problem---rarely stays calm and clear 4 days in a row in the Maine coast---I wouldn't care to paddle the open stretches back to Rockland if the wind picked up to 20 knots plus---its a long open haul to Rockland Harbor---likewise in a heavy fog there are large heavy ships transiting this area on a regular basis---you need to see them because they can't pick you up on radar---a fun alternative might be to put in at Batemans Beach on the south side of Cape Rozier and island hop down to Northhaven and then Vinalhaven archipeligo----Butter and East Barred are MITA islands(need reservations for Butter but not EB) and you can also camp on Pond Island(Me Coast Heritage owned)---this trip has the advantage of not crossing any major shipping lanes and having "bail out" islands along the way should there be a drastic shift of weather----I've never been all the way to Northhaven but have gone out to Butter twice---that alone is worth the paddle--good luck.

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> We watched the weather carefully and picked a

>great weather window.

Ah, the benefits of being a local.

>a fun

>alternative might be to put in at Batemans Beach on the

>south side of Cape Rozier and island hop down to Northhaven

>and then Vinalhaven archipeligo

Interesting...very interesting.

>you can also camp on Pond Island(Me Coast Heritage

>owned)

Shhhh.

Ed Lawson

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