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Casco Bay

rick stoehrer

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Launched Friday night along with the usual suspects going from Spring Pt to Jewell. By the time we reached Vail the fog was so thick you couldn't really see...then night fell and that certainly didn't help. Visibility was reduced to roughly 50 feet So we kept talking to one another. One guy navigates, one guy makes sure the group is together and off we go. We chose the one guy that wasn't so old that he could SEE his chart/compass without glasses as the navigator (...WHEN exactly did I get old?) We made it to the pt of Cliff before the lightning and a sudden wind shift decided for us that we were about done paddling for the night. We found a pocket beach on the SW corner of Cliff and pulled in...right up into someone's backyard...walked along the beach and found another little beach about 200 feet away that wasn't a backyard...one of us stayed there with a light/beacon while the others went back to retrieve the boats and we made camp. Had a nice dinner of salmon and rice after we set up camp. I used a hammock/tarp and was pretty comfortable however hung it over some narrow, pointed stumps, sticks etc. (remember, we kinda hadda make camp where we could...more on the hammock in a minute). The highlight of the evening was the phosporessence (sp?) in the water by this little beach...it was just sparkling like mad and every stroke of the paddle made disney, fantasia-esque swirls...it was very cool.

Next morning got up early, broke everything down and skee-daddled....still super foggy but there was no storm and some light. It only took a few minutes to make it to Jewell. Set up camp, had spam breakfast (a traditional camping indulgence) and hung/walked around the island all day.

Back to the hammock...after I had set it up on Saturday and crawled into it that morning, the fabric of the hammock sheared the lines holding it up...and I fell the 4 feet or so to the nice soft, flat grassy ground below. All I could think was that I was very fortunate that it failed today and not last night....the result on Friday would have been a much nastier fall at best and a sucking chest wound at worst - in the fog, at night on Cliff, which to my way of thinking would have been much harder to bounce back from. SOOOO...that was very fortunate indeed and the lesson is clearly to NOT do that again.

Fortunately I always have a bivy stuck way up behind the skeg box and it once again served it's purpose.

Sunday rolled around and we launched (into the fog) and came back along the outside...hit everything we oughta and one of us picked a perfect bearing from Overset to Pumpkin Knob on the FL...perfect. Made a securite call before crossing just to be on the safe side and then another clearing us once we got to the Knob. From Peaks in to Spring Point it was a beautiful, HOT, sunny Summer day. Coffee on the island and then back to the cars.

In all, a nice weekend.

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Sunday rolled around and we launched (into the fog) and came back along the outside...


Did you have those nice, modest long period swells along the way up there? Seemed to be around most of weekend and made for some enjoyable paddling along the shoreline of Gerrish.

Nice tip about behind the skeg box for stuff good to always have, but almost never need.

Ed Lawson

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