Sunday, October 28, 2012
How warm was it on Saturday? Warm enough that I didn't bother with waterproof boots, and waded through the water gladly.
Warm enough that folks in costume for the Zombie Walk and trick-or-treating wore only their costumes. When you live in Maine you get used to answering your door to find a princess skirt peaking out from beneath a warm winter coat and snow boots taking the place of glass slippers.
A very peaceful day to be on the water; at least here in Maine. We launched from Stockton Springs. The Harbor was busy- a lobsterboat bringing in traps and tossing them over the side.
As we crossed to Sears Island remnants of morning fog were still visible.
Folks were out enjoying Sears Island, mostly walkers and their dogs. At times it seems like Sears Island is Maine's largest dog park. There were also hunters, dressed in bright orange. Saturday was the first day of hunting season and a great day to be out.
But on Sears Island, it seems like unwary dog walkers and hunters could be a bad mix. I've never heard of accidental shootings there, but next time I drive by I might add a sign that it's hunting season and tie an orange vest or two to the fence.
Sears Island is joined to the mainland by a causeway, so our adventure included a portage; two boats at a time up a trail, one boat at a time down the stairs.
Sears Island is also a great place to scout out sea birds. We saw scoters, laughing gulls, loons,herring gulls, mergansers, ring-bill gulls and cormorants.
Back in Stockton Springs the lobster boat had delivered a second load of traps. A dropping tide had left the first set of lobster traps above water, ready to be loaded on a trailer and moved off for winter storage.
A calm quiet day, which seems especially calm in view of the bigger, more exciting seas which are due. Hopefully all affected by Frankenstorm will take care and stay safe....
Summary: Launch Stockton Springs, lots of parking. Sadly the flush toilet is closed for the season, but a portapottie remains. 8 miles around Sears island, a portage required across uneven ground. High: 9:30AM. Launch 10:50 AM, finish 1:45PM; one stop, one portage.
Friday, October 26, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
Unlike a mere shadow, shadow paddlers don't appear below you, but above. They don't just have one head, but two, an upright head, and reflecting head below. And there is no dark shade connecting you to a shadow paddler.
They are most easily spotted against a solid surface, a cliff or a wall, but can also be seen in the leaves of trees growing on the sides of rivers.
The top part of the double shadow comes from light reflecting up from the water which is blocked by your body. The upside down shadow is light blocked by your body first, or, another way of describing it, your shadow's reflection.
|This photo shows the light points creating shadows|
Whatever the cause, it always seems magical to look up and see a shadow paddler beside me, paddling through the brush and over rocks.
Magical, and maddeningly difficult to capture on film. By the time I notice conditions are right, the wake from my kayak is dissipating the shadow paddler. Wait for the water to still, and by then the sun has moved, or the wind picked up.
It's easier to see the double images in a video. The video below was created from stills, so it is a bit choppy.
Have you had any luck capturing Double Kayak Shadows?
Monday, October 15, 2012
|A structure in the Barrens|
We've avoided Derry for years; too many deaths, too many disappearances, too many innocents lost. But Halloween is upon us, and it was time to tackle the scariest waters of Maine; Derry's Kenduskeag River and the stream that runs through the Barrens.
We were lucky that the road to Derry was open. The previous night, as we listened to WKIT, the evening DJ reported on an experiment gone wrong at Derry's military facility. But this morning, there was a new report assuring us everything was okay and we should just go about our normal lives. The voice giving the report was a little mechanical, and didn’t sound like the normal crew, but WKIT soon launched into “Something in the Air” by Tom Petty followed up by Anthrax and Poison songs before playing the all-clear notice again. It's great to have a locally owned and operated Rock Station, they can play whatever they want.
We awoke early for this trip. Just after sunrise is the best time to visit Derry, the night denizens have gone back into hiding and the daylight specters have yet to awaken. Our goal was to launch at the Kenduskeag, paddle up to the stream, explore the Barrens and get out again quickly.
Monday, October 8, 2012
|Two boats on The Hop|
2. If it's moderate water, it makes a wonderful paddle; if it's still water we'll explore the keyholes. (If it's big water, we'll paddle elsewhere.)
4. A wonderful bell buoy.
5. A quiet beach to explore. To the east side of Long Porcupine waves roll in from the south, to the west they are blocked and the water calm. As a result of the active water/quiet water dichotomy; the west sides of islands tend to have gentle slopes and beaches, the east side soaring cliffs and ragged edges. We usually aim for the Hop and its wonderful beach.
|Water patterns at the Hop|
7. Check on the color.
|Nowhere near peak color. In fact the day was mostly a palette of green and gray.|
Now that the season is winding down, I hope you're able to get out to some of your favorite paddling places!
Prior visits: Bar Harbor to the Hop
Porcupine Islands - Always Amazing
Porcupine Islands with Ironbound
Summary Information: Launch Bar at the end of Bridge Street in Bar Harbor. No parking at launch: parking is available on West Street and side streets. No facilities: the information booth on Thompson Island is open through October; public toilets are also available at the town dock, seasonally.
High 2:45PM Launch 10:30AM Finish 1:30PM.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Monday, October 1, 2012
For over 200 years Phillips Lake has been providing tourists with wonderful memories of Maine. In 1812, Nathan Phillips built a farm on the land above the lake. The farm was not successful, but its location, on the stagecoach route midway between Ellsworth and Bangor, provided Mr. Phillips with a successful career as an Innkeeper. At first it was called the Mid-Way house or Lake House, but in time it came to be known as the Lucerne Inn. The Lucerne Inn and Restaurant is still open today.