Maine Island Trail shows state boat launch sites for the lower Saco River and Webhannet River. Paddling.net launch sites gave us a third option, Timber Point,(Curtis Cove) Kennebunk. And Monday worked out to be a day Mark could take off, with beautiful weather and a noon:30 high.
The parking places allow access to the Little River or Curtis Cove. The Little River is a salt water estuary, no doubt best explored on an incoming tide as well. We had planned to launch from the Cove though, which was just as well, as access to the back side was blocked by the work crew. Curtis Cove is fairly small, positioned so it is protected from southeast swells which dominate the Maine coast. It's surrounded by popular swimming beaches with wide sand expanses, such as Goose Rocks Beach and Fortune's Rocks.
|Ready to launch|
Our plan was to go down and loop through the islands, staying out of the channel.
|Shelter on Fort Island|
We picked our way between Trott and Cape, looking out to sea as we did. There are reefs beyond Goat Island, and it was entertaining to watch lobster boats crash through the breakers on their way to the channel.
So after seas which could have been used as the illustrations for Fantasia's version of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, and picking our way among the breakers and boulders between Trott and Goat we found ourselves in a quiet mill pond out on the sea, with water just three feet deep. To our south was Goat Island, home to one of the last manned lighthouses on the Maine coast. Even after the lighthouse was automated, the island was used by the Secret Service to monitor President George H. W. Bush's compound. To our west was Cape Porpoise, several lobster boats, a canoe and multiple kayaks. Noting the casual paddling styles, and frequent lack of life jackets, it became apparent that there must be a launch nearer these islands.
|Canoe approaches Goat Island|
|Sitting on Trott, looking to Cape Island|
Southern Maine is an interesting area. Northern Maine is the rock-bound coast, beaches are small and mostly rocky. High cliffs overlook the water. Huge granite drops serve as islands scattered across bays and deep inlets. Big water waits outside the bays. Southern Maine has a straighter coast line, wide sandy beaches, deep marshy estuaries and breaking waves just a short distance off shore.
|Looking for safe passage between Stage and Fort|
More About Goat Island Light
Launches in Cape Porpoise
Southern Maine Launch Sites Moody-Biddeford from Kayak Excursion (SUP and Kayaks, Trips and Rentals)
More about Timber Point/Timber Island nearby Curtis Cove. The same launch site can also be used to access the Little River, a salt water estuary which is part of the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge.
|Our charts don't name the islands, these are two clips from Google earth Fort is also known as Little Stage|