Saturday, July 19, 2014

Low Tide at Lamoine

Lamoine State Park is a lovely location, fields and forest beside the sea, the mountains of Mount Desert Island as a backdrop.  Picnicking, camping, swimming and boating are available activities.  My favorite is exploring at low tide. There's so much life available to see.  Crabs, sea stars, urchins, periwinkles, shells in abundance; and a few rarer sightings of anemone and brittle sea stars.  It's an ideal place for cold water snorkeling, and it's fun for paddling, or even just wandering along the water line.
   Now, we've been paddling this spring and summer; mostly on fresh water and mostly in kayaks.  But we haven't done anything particularly photogenic.  So I thought it was time to break from routine- and Lamoine would be a great place for our first salt water paddle board adventure.  We were there fairly early in the morning, so winds were down.

   It took no time to pump up the boards and launch.   Though our long fins mean we need to stay in deeper water than a kayak would, the bottom was easily visible.  Sea star, barnicles and periwinkles dominated on the floor.  But higher up it was jellyfish; moon jellies and lions mane; pulsing and rotating in the water.  Enough jellyfish  so at times it felt like I was paddling through an aquarium exhibit. 
shot from underwater

   There was also this fairly odd creature; which might be a plant or an animal.  It was furled on the rock and looked like thin packing sheets of foam.  When I looked closer it appear to be clear with rows of bubbles within.  (The photo is not as clear as I'd hoped.)   (I'm fortunate that Janet Gagnon from An Ocean Lover in Maine identified this as a tunicate, possibly a didemnum.  Didemnum vexillum is an invasive also known by the unpleasant name, marine vomit.  This particular variant seemed to be whiter and cleaner than other species.  Since I haven't noticed it before, I think it is likely an invasive.
   Ocean Lovers, and Maine Ocean Lovers in particular are missing out if they don't check out Janet's engaging blog.) 

    It was a lovely day, great temperature, not much wind.  We paddled upwind first, the downwind.

    The park is a backdrop for this photo.

    We continued downwind, past the park, admiring the seaside cottages, visiting with a total of six  kayakers out paddling as well.  As it grew closer to lunch we headed back to the park.
   Here our boards, stripped of their fins, are drying in the sun while we're enjoying the view from the shade.

   Summary:  Lamoine State Park   Lots of parking, beach, picnic area, pit toilets, water.  Camping available.  Fee fpor entrance, additional fee to camp.  Launch 9AM, low 10:15AM, finish was 11AM.  Not a lot of miles, but an awful lot of fun.


  1. Looks like a great park and beach to visit. Nice to see you enjoying sea kayaks and paddleboards! Both are awesome, except the kayak wins on long trips and windy days :) Summer days are great for SUPing, less gear to haul. Cheers from Canada.

    1. Very true; if we were looking at lunch on an island, it would probably be kayaks. And for less gear the paddleboards are definitely tops. Especially these inflatables. We rolled them up, threw them in their bags - nothing to lift after getting home! Hope all is well with your adventures!

  2. I think your mystery creature is probably Didemnum, an invasive colonial tunicate!

    1. Thank you very much for this info! Those of you not reading An Ocean Lover in Maine are missing out on a great blog!