Sunday, July 21, 2013

5 Day Coastal Maine Kayak Tour

I completed the best kayaking tour of my kayaking career during June 17 - 21. Myself and 5 other guys from the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) kayaking group along with a Master Maine guide, Karen Francoeur, and her intern completed a 5 day trip in the ocean off the coast of Maine. We launched from Castine Kayak Adventures, Castine, Me

I've attached several of the photos I took in this blog.  You can view all of the photos HERE.

and paddled through the islands to Bass Harbor at Mt Desert Island. Total paddle was 54 nautical miles.
Dave and Leon loading there boats

My first trip in my new P&H Scorpio

Karen giving us some pointers

Dave loading his hand made wooden boat

Starting off

The chart below shows the route paddled each day in a different color. 

After launching from Castine we headed south to our first stop for lunch about 6 miles out in Orrs cove.  There we encountered our first thunderstorm and were forced to wait it out for a couple of hours.  But there was a homestead there that is opened to the public and we waited in a YURT.  Kevin had a nice encounter there that made for some good fun teasing Kevin the rest of the way.  He'll have to explain what I'm talking about.  There was also a house on the property that we were able to tour and see a video and have some tea.


We camped the first night on Pond island were we had our first dinner and camp site.

Jean-Claude helping Karen cook the first night

My camp site the first night

and then stayed at Goose Cove Lodge on the second night where we had a nice dinner and a shower.

Our cabin at Goose Cove Lodge

 We camped for two more nights on Marshall Island and West Sister Island. The weather was perfect except for a thunder storm we had to wait out on the first day in Orrs cove where we had stopped for lunch. Day time temps were in the low 70s with water temp around 60. Winds were generally 5 - 10 knots both head and trailing. Mostly trailing so we were able to maintain about 4 knots during most crossings. Max crossing distance was about 4 miles and we averaged about 11 nautical miles per day.

Maine has a leave no trace policy in the islands so we had to carry in and carry out everything we needed or "created", thus the requirement for the wonderful device called a wag bag.

Karen and Kevin provided all the food and we split it up among all the boats so we had room for it all.  They did most of the cooking with some help from our french cook Jean Claude.  He also brought Karen coffee in the morning as she was not fond of our early morning rises.

Karen demonstrating the proper way to wrap 

Horderves before dinner

Don and Dave relaxing before dinner

Mike and Dave made a great fire for after dinner

 We had some really nice sunsets at dinner time which was a nice way to end the day before crawling into the sleeping bags.

 We had a nice dinner at Goose Cove lodge which along with a shower was enjoyed by all.

 A main activity on our trip was having Karen teach us how to navigate with a chart and compass.  We all found out how easy it is to get lost in those islands if you don't have this skill.
Which way should we go ???

The beaches were mostly rocky and with a 12 ft tide change we had to carry the kayaks a long way up and down the beach depending on tide height.  We had to have 4 people on a boat because of the weight and rocky terrain.  So we broke into two teams of 4 and moved all the boats some times 2 or 3 times. We all got our strength training everyday before and after the paddling.

This shows how much the tide changes each day

 There were several light houses along the way and much beautiful scenery.

Wild roses