Monday, October 8, 2012

Seven Reasons to visit the Porcupines

Two boats on The Hop
1. Gives us a chance to serve as goodwill ambassadors for Maine. Even though the Bar was much emptier than usual, while launching (and landing) from the Bar Harbor Bar we met people from Iowa, Vancouver, Calgary, Virginia, and Delaware. They come by to chat about paddling, to ask where we're headed and where we're from.  We tell them it's the best time of year to be in Bar Harbor, encourage them to ride the park loop and visit Mount Cadillac.  (We tell them its the best time of year to be in Bar Harbor no matter when they come.)

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.)
3.    It's already Fall.  Mark has begun his annual petition to move south for the winter.  Our skirts and PFD's come inside to dry. Our water shoes linger on the porch, perpetually damp and cold.  Post dinner paddles?  Only if we're committed to paddling in the dark.   Days suitable for ocean adventures grow farther apart and our selections seem more important.  This might be the last day in 2012 where our availability and weather allow a trip to the Porcupine Islands.  Can driving a long distance to test a new harbor compete with a known quantity a little over an hour away?

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
6.  An opportunity to see interesting boats.

7.   Check on the color. 
Nowhere near peak color.  In fact the day was mostly a palette of green and gray.
Do we need a reason to visit the Porcupines again? Not really.  I just had some great pictures and wanted to share them.
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.

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