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Stonington and Muscongus Bay


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From June 22 through 25, Gail and I spent three days paddling around Stonington and one day on Muscongus Bay. The nice part of being there before the crowds was that in four days on the water we came no closer than a couple of hundred yards to a total of three other kayaks and restaurants, etc. were on local time so to speak. First day in Stonington was sunny and we launched from beach at house we stayed in, went out to Mark I. light, then along Merchant Row visiting islands down to McGlathery, then wandering about islands to Deer Island Thorofare, then back to home. Second day was foggy as we explored Oceanville area. Third day was very foggy as we travelled by Millet, Devil, Grog, Bold,Russ, and Camp. So foggy we used buoys for way points on longer crossing to get back. Muscongus Bay was a nice day paddle from Broad Cove out to Jim's Ledge and Island to watch seals, then around Cow with stops at Strawberry and Crow. Left much to explore this Fall.

Some pictures showing the flavor of the trip are at:


Ed Lawson

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Ed, sounds like a great trip - nice pics!!!! How do you find seeing your compass and/or charts in fog? Having not been in it myself yet I was wondering - I was out for the first couple times at night and had the appropriate lights so people could see me but didn't have a flashlight to see my compass (not that i needed to but just something i noted) . . . Do you find it more helpful to use buoys as markers rather than the compass? Just curious . . .

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> How do you

>find seeing your compass and/or charts in fog?

We were padddling during the day so seeing compass and chart was never a problem. It gets darker, but its still quite light.

>didn't have a flashlight to see

>my compass

Opinions vary, but I believe protecting your nightvision is very important at night so I would never use a white light to see a compass or chart. I belong to the camp that prefers to padddle at night without lights relying on ambient light. I have a weak red LED light for close work.

>. . . Do you find it more helpful to use buoys as markers

>rather than the compass?

The buoys were not used instead of the compass,they were used to verify location. We would make a course to the buoy as a leg. If the buoy "pops" out of the fog, then you know you are doing OK. We used a couple coming from the archipelgao to verify we were following our calculated course to hit our "port" and to assure we had crossed the channel and could relax somewhat. Crossing the Deer Isle Thorofare in the fog can raise your pulse abit and you want to know where you are when near it. There you cannot avoid getting in the channel, which is something I would normally avoid.

Hope I answered your questions.

Ed Lawson

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I would recommend never paddling without a means of seeing your compass. Even if it means a headlamp or handheld light source that you turn and off at night taking visible bearings or noting expected checkpoints such as buoys as Ed described. Otherwise you could paddle in any direction. Remember that you could become separated from the person(s) in your group who do have a compass. Red light idea also improves, i.e. reduces, night vision impairment if you leave the light on.

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