Friday, December 31, 2010

Stockton Springs - An Ideal Year End Paddle

Just one boat left in the harbor
Basics: Plowed parking and access to ramp. No winter facilities. Low 1:38PN. Our paddle noon-1:30PM

Forget Christmas; all week long we’ve been anxiously anticipating the return of warm weather. Sure we went to Bangor woods and did some short skis, but they seemed to aggravate my back. What I wanted was to get back on the water.
At last Friday arrived and it was all we were promised; warmth, sunshine, low winds!  We left our ice bound river and headed to Stockton Springs, launching from the beach to the distant chatter of eiders.  We followed along the shore into the sun.
At the end of Cape Jellison is Defence Island, where a lone eagle guarded a nest.
From the island it was just a short distance to Buoy 4.
In the distance a large tanker and its tugs is making its way by Fort Point and into the mouth of the Penobscot River.
On Buoy 4 was a sticker. I guess our old friend Marcus Hanna  has been tending to it.
We glided back on an incoming current, enjoying the visual feast of low tide in Maine; periwinkles, mussels, urchins, and long stretches of sand dollars.  Here a periwinkle wends among the sand dollars.
As we were pulling out, lots of beach walkers were arriving. A truck pulled down the ramp, depositing this wonderful 65 pound rowing dory. We changed out of drysuits and into a more typical outer layer, and Mark chatted with the builder, who’s built several boats including a few kayaks.
What a beautiful boat!
Just a short paddle, and a bit embarrassing how stiff my legs were at the conclusion. But it was wonderful, like finding a lost present as you put away the tree. I love viewing low tides, my favorite paddle of the year was Lubec to Eastport, because it was new (to us), and because it was at low tide, in an area renowned for extreme tides.
Tomorrow starts a whole new year!  Best wishes to all!

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