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PeterB

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    09/05/2023

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  1. I had signed up for this trip on the registration form and I think I was accepted , but I had neglected to post here on this thread as well: oops, sorry. I'll assume that I'm signed up for this trip and look forward to seeing y'all. Peter
  2. NSPN Downeast Paddle Retreat : September 12-15, 2024 Initiator: Peter Brady This 4 day event will be in its 10th year and is designed for NSPN folks to gather, socialize, and paddle in the Mount Desert Island area of Downeast Maine at a great time of the year. This year’s retreat will be from Thursday afternoon Sept. 12th to Sunday afternoon Sept.15th, with group paddles each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most people travel & arrive on Thursday afternoon or evening, and depart on Sunday afternoon. But some arrive sooner and leave later, and there will be an option for a Thursday paddle or other activity. Some participants also take days off from paddling for bicycling or hiking on the trails of Acadia National Park. The 2024 retreat is being posted early so that those attending can be encouraged to secure accommodations sooner rather than later. This will be bumped on the message board every few months. Our base of operations will be at Rose Eden Cottages, Rose Eden is a cottage resort with some 12 cabins between the Narrows and the town of Bar Harbor Bar Harbor, near Hadley Point. We can gather at Rose Eden for car caravans to launch sites, and in the evening to socialize and plan next day’s trips. For those who plan to stay elsewhere, there is a wide variety of accommodations in the area, including nearby campgrounds which have been popular. Accommodations are on your own. Make your own arrangements (including reservations, cancellations deposits , etc) for your entire stay during this event. A number of yearly attendees have already reserved at Rose Eden for 2024. You are encouraged to make reservations (at Rose Eden or elsewhere) as far in advance as possible, as Bar Harbor is becoming more popular as a travel destination, and many hotels are booked many months in advance. Even campgrounds are often booked up. Hadley Point Campground is a recommended camping spot: it’s just across the road and a stones throw from Rose Eden. By now we’ve accumulated a menu of trips suited to this area, and there seem to be more each year. The general plan is to have each day’s paddle trips planned the previous day, usually by some sort of meeting: Some favorite destinations are: the Porcupine Islands off of Bar Harbor in Frenchman’s Bay, the Cranberry Islands on the south side of MDI, Bartlett Island and Sound, and the dramatic eastern shore MDI between Bar Harbor and Seal Harbor. In the last couple of years our variety of trips expanded further into the Gott Islands and Soames Sound, and this year we explored the northern end of Frenchmans Bay. So new trip ideas are always welcome, and the event depends on folks stepping forward to initiate or lead tips here and there. There is also a Sullivan Falls Tidal training class with Pinniped Kayak on Thursday, timed to coincide with this event. Most years several NSPN’ers have done this class in addition to the retreat. This is a rain or shine event, unlikely to be canceled (we even kept the event going during Hurricane Anne this year) , since there’s usually some place to paddle around MDI in all but the harshest conditions, an­d there are many other activities in the area as an alternative. It’s a good event to bring family members who would like to pursue mainland activities while we’re at sea. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP (check " I’m going") in the calendar posting for this event A Group PM with all participants will get going a few months before the event , for information sharing, planning and communication. If you have any questions: contact Peter Brady (PeterB on the message board) by PM on the message board, or reply here. 10th annual Retreat .docx
  3. until
    This 4 day event will be in its 10th year and is designed for NSPN folks to gather, socialize, and paddle in the Mount Desert Island area of downeast Maine. This year’s retreat will be from Thursday afternoon Sept. 12th to Sunday afternoon Sept.15th, with group paddles each day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Most people travel & arrive on Thursday afternoon or evening, and depart on Sunday afternoon. But some arrive sooner and leave later, and there will be an option for a Thursday paddle or other activity. Some participants also take days off from paddling for bicycling or hiking on the trails of Acadia National Park. Our base of operations will be at Rose Eden Cottages, a cottage resort with some 12 cabins between the Narrows and the town of Bar Harbor, near Hadley Point. We can gather at Rose Eden for car caravans to launch sites, and in the evening to socialize and plan next day’s trips. For those who plan to stay elsewhere, there is a wide variety of accommodations in the area, Accommodations are on your own. Make your own arrangements (including reservations, cancellations deposits , etc) for your entire stay during this event. You are encouraged to make reservations (at Rose Eden or elsewhere) as far in advance as possible, as Bar Harbor is becoming more popular as a travel destination, and many hotels are booked many months in advance. For those who plan to stay elsewhere, there is a wide variety of accommodations in the area. Hadley Point Campground is a recommended camping spot: it’s just across the road and a stones throw from Rose Eden. The general plan is to have each day’s paddle trips planned the previous day, usually in some sort of meeting at Rose Eden or nearby. Some favorite destinations are: the Porcupine Islands off of Bar Harbor in Frenchman’s Bay, the Cranberry Islands on the south side of MDI, Bartlett Island and Sound, and the dramatic eastern shore of MDI between Bar Harbor and Seal Harbor . There is also a Sullivan Falls Tidal training class with Pinniped Kayak on Thursday timed to coincide with this event. Most years several NSPN’ers have done this class in addition to the retreat. This is a rain or shine event, unlikely to be canceled since there’s usually some place to paddle around MDI in all but the harshest conditions, an­d there are many other activities in the area as an alternative. Please check the trip posting in the Trips forum of the message board for more detailed information. If you are interested in attending, please RSVP ( check " I’m going") Here in the Calendar Posting A Group PM thread with all participants will get going a few months before the event , for information sharing, planning and communication. If you have any questions (PeterB on the message board) by PM on the message board, or reply here.
  4. I heard recently of good keg repair work and service from Maine Sport Outfitters in Rockport, ME . I guess these things come and go, sounds like at this time, they have a really good repair person.
  5. The retreat was in its 9th year, and had been scheduled for Thursday afternoon through Sunday, Sept 14-17, but as things turned out, Hurricane Anne was traveling north along the east coast, and struck the Bar Harbor area on Saturday, right in the middle of the planned event, disrupting everything. Some 24 people had RSVP’d for this event at one time or another, and many had made reservations at nearby hotels and campgrounds, especially Rose Eden Cottage Resort, where the event was based for the second year. As the date approached, we were communicating by group PM on the message board, and early in the week it was evident that there would be significant precipitation and weather during the event. By Tuesday or Wednesday it was clear that the hurricane would strike the area on the weekend, and weekend advisories and notifications began to appear : Acadia National Park would be closing all campgrounds and some of its roads, and Hadley Point Campground , where several were staying, was closing for the whole weekend. Weather would be decent until Friday evening, and Saturday would be Hurricane Day, obviously a paddling write-off, throwing the whole enterprise into question for many, especially those staying in campgrounds and with tricky travel plans . So this planned event with its Friday, Saturday and Sunday paddling days evolved into a two-day paddling affair, with paddling days moved up to Thursday and Friday, after which we would either get out of Dodge, hunker down in our cottages for the hurricane, or just take it as it comes and see what might happen . By Thursday some 11 had cancelled for a variety of reasons, mostly the weather forecast and uncertain driving conditions , and ultimately 12 attended, with 10 of us paddling on one or both days: a group of seven paddled on Thursday, and a group of eight on Friday. For my part I had reserved a cabin at Rose Eden for the week, so I was resolved to stay through the weekend, come what may. By Wednesday evening , eight us were in the area already.; so around 6 PM five of us gathered at Rose Eden, and repaired to a nearby barbecue joint for dinner and patched together a plan for Thursday’s paddle. There was general agreement to avoid whatever conditions were already brewing on the ocean-facing south side of Mount Desert Island and to confine our paddling to tame ventures on the north side of the island, so we fixed on a one-way trip from Bartlett Landing on the west side of MDI, paddling northward back to Hadley Point on the very top of the island. This involved some car shuttling fancy footwork , but with southwest winds and a midday high tide this route would give us a fair wind and tide all day long. (thanks Pablo, Marcy and Janice for photos and videos) Thursday So, after spotting three cars at Hadley Point, seven of us in four cars assembled at the public boat launch at Bartlett Landing,and launched around 9:20, paddling in the rain at a very relaxed pace, , following the coast pretty closely to enjoy the unspectacular but very pleasant northwest side of MDI . The rains seemed to have the effect of tamping down the ocean into a velvety carpet, so it was a smooth mellow ride, and the recent rains had enlarged the many small streams into little waterfalls where they met the ocean , water also cascading down many modest rock formations here and there. Some of us explored Squid Cove a bit, and after rounding High Head at the top of Bartlett Sound we explored the islands around Indian Head, where we stopped on a small gravel beach for an early lunch. From there , we sort-of crossed Northwest Cove and reached the narrows about hour and a half after high tide, where the beginnings of the ebb tide under the bridge gently whooshed us through the Narrows. We ambled onward along the south end of Thomas Island , returning to Hadley Point to begin the task of retrieving three cars back at Bartlett landing, before re-convening at Rose Eden for dinner and a Friday planning session at C-Ray lobster & clam shack, right next door to Rose Eden. FRIDAY For Friday, we decided to try an entirely new paddling venue up at the northern end of Frenchmans Bay, from the village of Sorrento. The trip would require a 40 minute drive, but we would get to explore a new area, even further from any ocean conditions that might make us skittish , and would also be a convenient locale for five of the participants hitting the road at the end of the day. So, eight of us met at Sorrento, launched at @ 10 AM from a handy beach next to the town dock, and paddled as a group from Sorrento Harbor southeasterly where Flanders Bay is formed by a chain of not-small islands: Preble, Calf , and Stave, extending southward towards Jordan and Ironbound Islands , and the Porcupines. Some wanted to paddle further than others and a few people were hoping to hit the road by 2PM-ish, so after a lunch stop on the east side of Stave Island we split into two groups, with four of us heading back to Sorrento and the other four continuing further southward before turning around. Our group crossed back to Calf Island, then sought the lee (N winds today around 10 kts) of Preble Island’s south side, and slithered back into Sorrento Harbor. The other group continued south to tiny Yellow Island , just off of Jordan Island’s north end , and returned along the west side of Stave & Calf islands before ducking back into Sorrento Harbor and our put in. As a debrief , I think we found the village of Sorrento quite hospitable as a launch site, with friendly locals showing us where to plant our cars. Our chain of islands were all very pleasant, with distant views of Acadia hills and mountains. I liked the whole paddle, and whetted my appetite for future exploration in this new area. We didn’t quite get to Bean Island , a new Frenchmans Bay Conservancy refuge, and I imagined two other possible future trips, 1) a one-way between Sorrento and Bar Harbor (if car shuttling could be worked out: I think I have a one-way paddle fetish) and 2) a tidal-planning circumnav. of Crabtree Neck , timing the passage on the Sullivan River at Sullivan Falls and the narrow squiggly Carrying Place Cove for slack before ebb. Any takers? Our paddling likely done, back at Rose Eden, we gathered at the largest & best equipped cottage and salvaged our planned Saturday potluck , with steamer clams, a casserole, various other goodies and adult beverages. The next morning we woke up to the hurricane, spent the morning over breakfast assessing the conditions outside , and by late morning judge that things were not too severe to venture out for a look -see, as we all wanted to take a gander at the ocean . Four of us drove in one car (with no kayaks on top) over to Schooner head near Sand Beach and then got close to Otter Cliffs and Thunder Hole by a back road, (the Park Loop road was closed but there were several dozen intrepid storm watchers out on foot) ) and strolled along to take a gander at the ocean meeting Otter Cliffs , which was…. pretty impressive. . IMG_9077.MOV Rains soaked us , even with our rain gear, so we retreated to Rose Eden for camp comfort , pot luck leftovers and a few additional goodies. . The next day was sunny and fair , and by midday I was the only one left at Rose Eden, but I actually almost paddled with Megan , a new NSPNer who actually lives in Bar Harbor but was only available toon Sunday; but while the Porcupines looked enticing, w-nw winds of 10-15, gusts to 20 were forecast, a bit much for me since my lower back was aching badly, so we reluctantly agreed to leave it for another day. Thanks to all who made this a nice trip, and especially offering good judgment, conditions assessment and weather forecasting. Sorry to have missed everyone who had to cancel, but glad tat everyone made good decisions. So, despite all these twists and turns , enough folks expressed a desire return next year, so we’ll be scheduling the Retreat once again on the same weekend in mid September, and I’ll be looking forward to it as always.
  6. The Retreat, as you all must know; was upended by Hurricane Anne which struck the Bar Harbor area on Saturday , right in the middle of the planned event, disrupting travel and paddling plans for almost everybody . It evolved into a two day paddling event, with trips on Thursday and Friday, for some 11 folks who didn’t cancel plans entirely . Most vacated by Friday afternoon , 5 of us hunkering in motel rooms & cottages on Saturday. Will patch together a trip report soon.
  7. The Retreat is now one week away, and those who have RSVP'd for this trip are all on a group PM thread, so we're all able to communicate with each other, but here's a general update. This is a rain- or- shine event, and though it's likely we'll have some precipitation and weather next week, rest assured that this event is ON , and Rose Eden Cottages will be our base of operations. If on any day the weather is too crummy to safely and happily paddle on the ocean, we'll still have the options to paddle on some inland ponds, and there are lots of on-land things to do: Every year some folks have taken paddling days off to fit in hiking, bicycling and general touring around MDI, so best to be flexible. The event starts @ 6PM on Thursday: a number of us are staying at Rose Eden Cottages so we will be there starting Thursday late afternoon. For those attending , please check your PM's on the NSPN website and/ or texts on , there will be regular updates. Feel free to contact me directly as well, by phone, text, or PM. Cheers,Peter
  8. Yes, moving the bulkhead rearward is a great thing to do, both for increasing the space for dry gear in the (watertight) front compartment and for lowering the volume in the (often wet) cockpit which is a very good thing when the cockpit needs to be emptied of water (eg capsize & wet exit or general landing & exiting in splashy surf mayhem): way less water to evacuate. The only issue though, is resale value: if you have shorter- than- average legs: you don't want to move the bulkhead too far rearward that only people with short legs can use the boat. But then again, the Avocet LV is usually prized by smaller paddlers. I've relocated a couple of bulkheads and found the job to require patience but otherwise on the easy side relative to many other loathsome fiberglass repair jobs. There's decent access to the whole work area, especially with those big Avocet oval hatches ( a Romany would be another story).But you do need to be handy with power tools, fiberglass work, and general shop skills.
  9. Amazing that you have brought up this area: I did an Isle Royale paddle trip last August, and am planning a Georgian Bay-Philip Edward Island trip this year, if I can manage it. My family (mom's side) is from Ontario and I've spent a good bit of family time on Georgian Bay. I explored Pictured Rocks on my way to Isle Royale: Grand Marais harbor would be the natural launch point for a kayak trip there, though the other end would be viable as well. Killarney is classic canoe/ portage country: many fabulous lakes, but almost all connected only by portage trails; planning a long kayak trip there would be tricky. Campsites are reserved many months in advance. Philip Edward Island is excellent: Crown land so you don't need permits and reservations months in advance like the Provincial Parks, and a good number of route options, protected or exposed ; innumerable islands and campsites: a Canadian kayaker's paradise. Classic Georgian bay scenery , meaning endless rock, waterscapes, dome -like islands and pine trees. Make sure you have a 100% free-standing tent, or really have your guy-out system worked out; you'll be tenting on smooth rock or very shallow soil, which often won't take tent pegs. The starting point is close to Killarney Outfitters, a great place which can also help out with trip planning, shuttles , outfitting, supplies etc. Great fish & chips in the area, made from Great Lakes whitefish, which is interesting. Massasauga rattlesnakes are common.
  10. I know Somes Sound View Campground and Mount Desert Campground (also on Somes Sound) from years ago and remember them both as very good. Mount Desert Campground is often hard to get reservations at because of its popularity and quality ; maybe the top campground on MDI. Somes Sound View (I called it Hall Quarry) Campground is a fine place, generally good campsites with a handful of outstanding sites that you'd be lucky to get. Both are well- situated for accessing MDIs various put-ins, and reasonably close to Rose Eden. There are big campgrounds along Rte 3 closer to Rose Eden, but they're bigger, more commercial, more RVs etc. Mount Desert is very quaint and probably doesn't allow RV's.
  11. Do you think this might also be a general purpose zipper maintenance product ( gear bags, outdoor jacket zips, sleeping bag zips: that kind of thing) , whether salt is the culprit or not?
  12. Dan, do you envision a small group? :if the group size is too small (e.g 6-8 ) to comfortably and happily split into 2 groups , and if a Georgetown circumnavigation is a key feature of this trip, that could limit some applicants, who might not be into a 22 NM day trip. Personally, its not likely I'd want to do that circumnavigation this year , at least at any standard pace, so I'd be looking for a range of alternative paddling options, in which case I may or may not qualify for this trip: which makes me think that the ideal group size could be greater than you mentioned, and be open to a wider range of NSPNers. Peter
  13. I had always thought the AMC cabin could be a great place for an NSPN workshop or trip or even longer (eg. 5 day) retreat. Years ago, the NSPN Board bandied about ideas for some kind of yearly grand NSPN event, and a week at AMC Knubble Bay was one idea, a potentially good place for a variety of kayak action, anything from a simple trip to club skills training to workshops including invited instructors. Georgetown circumnavigation is pretty awesome, one of the great Maine coast trips. So varied , and everything (open coastline, Popham, Kennebec River , Back River marshlands Hell's Gate etc) is splendid! : could be done either CW or CCW,: the crux point is the top of Georgetown Island, where there's a section at the top of the Back River (where it meets Hockamock Bay) which must be traversed close to high tide, both to avoid a little stretch that runs dry for a some time ( a few hours?) , and to be positioned to catch the flood or the ebb, depending on on which direction you're going. If CW, that area would want to be reached late in the day, if CCW, early in the day. I've done the Georgetown circumnavigation several times, both directions: either way is a wonderful trip, the best of midcoast Maine. Yes, I'd be interested in an NSPN /AMC KNB outing under some circumstances. As long as it's not in June/early July: Georgetown island is notorious for mosquitoes! The place has a good group kitchen which lends itself to high quality group meals. I'm sorry to hear about the lack of showers: I was there for a chunk of time years ago and honestly can't remember that: I vaguely remember showering there, but that was a while ago and I may be totally wrong...
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