Muscongus Bay, Part Three

FOG! Lots and lots of fog. Waking up in the morning of the second day was an "Oh shit" moment. The clear bright day we previously had turned into a murky, foggy mess. Visibility was about 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile. There was no sign of it dissipating. After some consideration, Dylan and I decided to set off a short while before high tide. The hope was that there would be a minimum of current running to throw us off course. We had to paddle by compass bearing to find the islands we were heading for. We also decided to make it a short day. There was no sense in paddling around in dense fog any more than we really had to. We were to paddle out to a buoy and would then take a turn and head down to Harbor Island.

Getting to the buoy went smoothly. We found it without any problems despite not being able to see land or any other navigational guides for most of the crossing. At the buoy, I decided on a new compass bearing to follow and we paddled out. Soon, a lot sooner than I expected, we saw land and made our way to an island in the fog. We found a rocky beach and got out of the boats to explore. A short ways away we found a sign bolted to a tree telling us we were at Black Island. Whoops. We wanted to go to Harbor Island. Black Island was where we were planning to stay for the night after exploring Harbor Island.

Dylan and I went back to the boats and I looked at the chart. Turns out that I hadn't accounted for the difference between magnetic and true north correctly. I had subtracted where I should have added. After that mistake, I'm now able to finally wrap my head around the concept and I shouldn't mess it up again. We were lucky to paddle to an island so easily identified and the mistake didn't have severe consequences.

We set out into the fog again, this time on a proper course and found Harbor island without a problem. On the way we encountered several seals. Dylan explained to me that they're the dogs of the seas. I think he wants one for a pet.

We pulled up on the beach at Harbor Island and I tried to make lunch. Somehow I ended up burning Cous Cous, then instant oatmeal. I ended up settling for some beef jerky and Swedish Fish. Dylan ate a Cliff bar. He probably didn't need to eat for the rest of the day.

After an unsuccessful lunch, we started exploring the shore of Harbor Island. We stumbled across a huge amount of trash, including several lobster buoys. Further down the shore at the southern end of the island there was a collection of buoys, all of them strung up on drift wood and rocks. We saw a path leading into the woods and decided to follow it back to the boats. The path quickly disintegrated and we were left wondering where to go. We ended up stumbling through dense woods, only following small white rocks that had been placed to show the way. We passed a dozen or more strange creations on the ground. They looked like houses that were built for small animals. Dylan decided that a feral child was living on the island and built them, perhaps after a day of trapping and eating seabirds. We didn't pause for photos. The little hike wasn't very enjoyable anymore and we were beginning to feel like we might never get off this island. Thoughts of a feral child sneaking through the woods, following us and waiting for the right moment to trap us kept us moving quickly.

Eventually, after making a couple wrong turns and being lost in the foggy woods, we made it back to the boats and paddled back to Black Island. We made camp here, using an old wooden box as a table, and we explored the island. On the western shore of the island there were huge rocks on the shore that we climbed around. The fog was oppressing and we hoped it would lift by morning.