Thursday, August 30, 2012

Sorrento to Staves

 To be human is to be curious and to seek beauty.
Paddling on the river is good exercise and, oh so convenient, but it is neither the ocean, nor new territory.  So when Wednesday dawned bright and clear, we took advantage and drove to Sorrento, with a goal of circumnavigating Staves Island.

Sorrento is a tiny town north of Ellsworth.  What a gorgeous launch;  fine boats, multiple small islands just off shore and the hills of Mount Desert Island as a backdrop.  Beside the pier is a crescent beach of fine rock bordered by summer cottages.  The beach is perfect for strolling, or in our case, launching.  A covered picnic table is available for dining at the pier.  There's also this unexpected reminder of days gone by:

We planned a simple looping, Preble, Calf, Little Calf, Thrumcap, Stave, and back along the other side.

Wind was from the west, so it was a quick journey out, with a few lovely views on the way:

The boxy fractures of Preble.
Little Calf with Mount Desert in the background.

I've often admired Staves from across Frenchman Bay.  It's an easy spot from the Hop, at the end of Long Porcupine.  Why?  It's golden shoreline:

On this windy day, with a steady breeze from the west, it was choppy water along the west side.

The backside of Staves was tame;  what a difference in boat glide on the quiet water.

   Three hours after high, we were able to cross over the bars between the tiny twin  islands and Staves easily. 

Past the islands, Black and Schoodic were our backdrop.

After our swift ride down, the paddle back was more of a slog, against wind and outgoing tide.  Bars between Eastern and Sorrento Harbors were barely passable.  We arrived back at the launch covered with the white speckle remnants of salt water droplets, but deeply refreshed by our explorations.

Summary:  Our launch was from the Sorrento beach; we parked at the town pier.  A sign at the pier states:  "Non-Resident Commercial Vehicles May Not Park Anytime in Town Pier Parking Lot or Along Waterfront".  It could well be that next time we are there it just forbids non-resident parking. Off to the side is a portapottie. High 9:15AM.  Launch 10:45AM, finish 2:30 PM 10 miles.


  1. Now, to ask the question that is on all your readers' minds... did the payphone have a dial tone? Inquiring minds want to know! :-)

    1. Wish I'd thought to check! It's been so long since I've seen A pay phone, much less use one. And to have it just hanging out in a pavillion by the shore; just a shock.