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Casco Bay 08/03

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The day started at Cousin's Island with signing-in and a briefing from trip leader, Jed. Group members were given a summary of the local area and told about the steady currents that would help us to Eagle Island. Boats were put in and a head count was performed (more times than a Florida Election result - 12, 13, no 12, did you count yourself? 13).

Jed navigated by the buoys, so we were given the heading and struck out for the first one. Even at 9.00am it was warm and hat-dipping started early. Once into Casco Bay a welcome breeze came up. Progress was steady at the promised 3-4knots, and we leapfrogged from buoy to buoy podding-up for channel crossings and keeping tight formation.

When clear of channels and in quiet water, Jed gave the order to ditch out of boats and perform self-rescues. Most were efficient, some almost graceful, mine only Stan Laurel would have been proud of. All back in, heavy discussion and betting started on whether the island at one o’clock was Eagle – after a look at his chart Buddy decided to drop from his wager from $20 to 50c.

We arrived at Eagle and unpacked lunches. The group settled in the shade of the Admiral Perry’s house, but sitting on the lawn turned out to be expensive as the warden wanted $2.50 for the pleasure. Our prudent group retreated to the beach, although several covert operations to the bathrooms were successfully launched.

The return trip to Cousin’s benefited from following waves. Seals bobbed up in front of us between Bangs Island and Stockman, but disappeared before we got close. We stopped for a leg stretch at Chebeague Point and many took a dip to cool off. The final leg to the put-in saw several paddlers break away from the pod after the last channel crossing. There was a prize for the first one back to the put-in - to write the trip report. Wish I’d known that earlier.

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