Monday, August 8, 2011

Naskeag Point, Brooklin Maine

Basics: Best for a Sunday, Launch on Naskeag Point Rd in Brooklin, about 35 parking spaces and one portapottie. Launch 10:30AM, finish 2:30PM 8 miles and a long stop. Potato Island completely loses its beach at high tide.

Yes, there is a Brooklin Maine; it’s a tiny coastal community which bills itself as the boat building capital of the world, a distinction earned mainly through the efforts of the Wooden Boat School. Driving to Naskeag Point takes you right by the Wooden Boat campus, and the launch is impressive right from first sighting, a lovely spit of salmon colored granite gravel edging into green waters filled with lobster boats, a cottage-filled island just off shore.

Across from the parking lot, and just inland from the dock is an apple tree speckled picnic area. A granite marker reads “Battle of Naskeag, reenacted 1976” making it unclear if the park honors the battle of 1778, or the reenactment. link There is also a tribute to fishermen, and a memorial to fisherman.
The launch gravel is compacted well enough for trailers near the dock, but becomes looser further out. This is another harbor used heavily by commercial fisherman. When we’ve been there during the week it’s generally pretty packed. But on Sunday morning, when we arrived just after 10AM, the lot was nearly empty.
Less than half a mile off Naskeag Harbor, tucked behind privately owned Harbor Island is the adorable Seller Island, owned by the Maine Bureau of Public Lands. Camping is allowed there, and it is probably occupied every weekend all summer.

One of the challenges of Naskeag is that there are two busy throughfares nearby, if you head east to Pond Island, you will be crossing into the traffic coming in and out of Blue Hill Bay, if you continue south you’ll cross Eggemoggin Reach, a busy throughfare as well.

Can marking Eggemoggin Reach, Isle au Haut in the distance

We paddled south, crossing Eggemogin Reach near its buoys and continuing on to loop about the Lazygut Islands. There’s something irresistible about paddling in a narrow channel between two islands.

By Stinson Neck

Between the Lazy Guts
Then we headed back to Potato Island for lunch. Like Sellers, Potato is a Maine Bureau of Public Lands Island, but being further out, it sees less use. Sellers and Potato are both islands which demonstrate bigger isn’t always better. Both are small, surrounded by ledge and loose boulders, so that if you are nimble and willing to scramble a bit, you can quickly circumnavigate either island on foot touching only rock surfaces.

Potato has a beautiful shell beach connecting it to ledge, which unfortunately, near high tide was completely underwater. Instead we landed in seaweed and tied our kayaks to rocks.

The white beach is visible, but not available
These are a few shots taken on Potato.

The area has a reasonable number of seals, we spotted a few at a distance. There's also an assortment of seabirds.

In addition to Maine Bureau of Public Land islands, a few privately owned islands in the area allow access by Maine Island Trail Association .
Heading back in was more of a challenge. Not too surprisingly Eggemoggin Reach was busier than when we’d headed out. We waited for a few sailboats to pass, then angled so as to cross behind this red-sailed boat.

A different party was on Sellers when we went by, this time two very serious looking paddlers with enough gear on their decks to imply they were doing a long section of trail.
And, also not too surprisingly, the launch was busier as well, with skiffs ferrying adventurers and their gear in from weekend adventures in their island cottages, and Sunday afternoon paddlers heading out. All in all another wonderful day on the Maine coast.

You can see a portion of Lazygut at the bottom left

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