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jonesport weekend

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this past weekend 7 of us headed to jonesport to paddle around great wass island and take in the local scenery.

we started out thursday night and after travelling approx the same amount of time it takes to complete a shuttle mission, we were there at long, long, long, long last.

we were staying at henry point campground and an interesting local bit of knowledge is that point henry campground is on kelly point in jonesport. you'd think henry point, right? apparently when your town is this small places get 2 names - it must make the place seem bigger than it actually is to the locals and maybe mid winter that'd be important.

we got up late, a few of us went in to town to secure some grub...downright loquacious locals chatted us up for a bit and we finally launched around 10am on friday.

we travelled up the passage between head harbor island and great wass island and circumnavigating head harbor and steel island on the end with a very nice view of the lighthouse over on mistake island. conditions were flat with little wind and visibility was actually good - a rarity in foggy jonesport.

we headed back to camp, had dinner and beer and got to know each other a little better. a nice day.

saturday presented itself with the fog we had expected. visibility was nil and there was a 70% chance of thundershowers. this was pretty much interperted as road trip as we didn't want to risk the chance of being caught out in the fog in a thunderstorm on the water miles from our camp. we hiked the conservation trail on wass, had a fine nap at the end and headed back to camp where gathered our thoughts and headed up to machias for the blueberry festival and later into lubec to view west quoddy light (and annabelles bar - about the only dang thing in lubec) we then headed over to sample the chow of another country - told you jonesport was far away. dinner included the local canadian delicacy of poutine. a plate piled high with what we americans would call french fries covered in gravy and cheese curd. i am told it was delicious but this is merely rumor.

after eventually being allowed back into the US (note - ALWAYS bring your i.d. with you and ESPECIALLY when you cross an international border, ie canada. really, it's a different country - they have their own money and everything) we made it back to camp, had a nice fire on a rock and settled in to our tents, fat, happy and only mildly upset that we missed a day on the water.

sunday dawned a relatively clear, placid day and we were up and at em and on the water with ideas of not only circumnavigating great wass but of seeing the dead whale that we were told had washed up on shore not far from our previous days nap rock. ahhh, a goal! we travelled up the same passage and sure enough a very large, very dead humpback whale had washed ashore! fully grown, this thing was enormous and from our guess and experience (hey, we watch CSI) thought it to be dead/washed ashore recently as there was not so much as a gull even pecking at it. it was an interesting reminder that we were actually travelling on the sea when we saw the neat cookie cutter pieces that were missing from the critters upper lip - evidence that sharks like dead whale - mmmm, dead whale. two words of advice should you be lucky enough to come across a giant dead whale rotting in the summer sun - up-wind. 'nuff said.

we travelled a little bit further sw around the tip of great wass, broke for lunch and decided that given the time and speed we were travelling that a circumnav was not to be. packed up, headed back down the similar channel and back across to the campground where we broke camp, piled into cars and eventually (and i do mean eventually) all made it home.

really reccomend the area if you have more than a long weekend to kill and can move across high nm in a day for the circumnav. of great wass. on top of the dead whale we saw live animals in abundance as well. eagles are all over the place, harbor seals live in vast groups (herds, pods, gaggles?) and we saw a few porpoises as well. additionally, someone thought they had spied a blue unicorn back in the woods but it seems that it was only hypothermia talking.

in all, a fine trip and a great weekend. ya know, it's fun to paddle with people you don't know - soon enough, you know them! thanks to alan moore for coming along and helping me lead an offical trip for the first time (really, paperwork and everything) and making sure we all got back safe and sound.

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the campground had nothing so elegant and even a shower and no water at the site but it was available in a large barrel by the portopotty. the campground was not a highlight.

we didn't see any pastel benches but it was very easy to find from the water with several prominent landmarks. bearing 150 from the edge of pig island you can see the breakwater protecting the harbor at the campground and see a very tall church steeple just w of the campground.

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