Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Why We Went to Stockton Springs

 (I'm catching up on some earlier paddles - this paddle took place Aug 24; it makes sort of a nice followup to the Rockport to Camden series, because if that was our best paddle of the year, this is the tale of one of our worst paddles.)
    The launch in Stockton Springs enters into a big bowl, bounded on one side by Cape Jellison and the other by Sears Island.  As a result it is generally fairly quiet water.  Not generally what I'm looking for in salt water, but after a couple of terrible paddles on the Penobscot River , any other water would do.

   It started Monday morning, with a walk at the Bangor Waterfront.  As we strolled along, I noticed a grocery bag lying on the dock next to a boat.  The bag had a quart of milk in it, along with some other things, and appeared to have been forgotten by its owner.

    "We'll be seeing that in the river."  I remarked.

    Sure enough the next day, there it was bobbing along.  Knowing Mark hates the smell of spoiled milk, I got to it first, took the plastic container out, and holding it below the surface opened it.  This is our standard practice with any non-petroleum process.  Once rinsed I added the container to my back deck.  Then I reached in to see what else it contained.  Turned out it was spoiled meat and millions of nature's tiny recyclers.   

   While I was scrubbing those back into the water, Mark spoke up; "You're not just going to let that plastic drift to sea are you?"

     I wonder if Mrs. Trashpaddler ever threatens to dunk Al.  I would have considered it, but I need to make none of those little while maggots had crawled under my sleeves.  By the time I had finished, Mark had stepped up his game and pulled the plastic bag and tray out of the water.

     The next day was hot and sticky.  So much so that we only paddled a mile before turning back.  And there, in a spot we'd gone by not ten minutes earlier was a huge oil slick and at the center a five gallon pail with some unidentified gunk in it.  Once again Mark was the hero, balancing the pail and its contents on the back of his kayak, bringing it home and carrying the heavy bucket up the long hill.  Which is why, on Thursday, we went to Stockton Springs to take some lovely pictures at the low tide.  And those are the pictures displayed here.

Summary:  Launch: Stockton Springs Harbor, lots of parking, picnic tables, portapotties and a flush toilet with one of the prettiest views in Maine.  Chart of Stockton Springs can be found here.


  1. Nice underwater shots- and good for you for picking-up other people's garbage. Some days I'm good about it... but I might have passed on the maggots.

  2. Sometimes, the expression "no good deed shall go unpunished" comes to mind. Fortunately, there's the Patron Saint of Trash Paddlers to watch over us all.

  3. Yuck! What a shame. Thank you for taking care of the garbage. I have shared your story:

    1. Thanks, if I'd have known I might have added a note for those who bag doggy waste and toss it in the river. It doesn't happen often, but it is always gross and makes me wonder why they bother with the bagging process. The Penobscot is a beautiful river, and best without these bonuses.

  4. I've been told it's Saint Scroungelucius who cares for the pickeruppers.