Isle au Haut-2

Much like last year's trip to Muscongus bay, we found ourselves wrapped in fog. Having learned valuable lessons from navigating in fog last year, I wasn't worried. Instead I poked around the island on which we had camped and took some photos. It's difficult to capture the stillness that thick fog creates. It dampens and distorts the sounds you usually hear on the water, leaving you disoriented and feeling very alone. A very small islet had started to peak its way through the fog and after only a few minutes disappeared again. Fog, island, adventure

Isle au Haut Adventure

Burnt Island, MaineMy latest adventure was a paddling trip from Stonington, Maine to Isle au Haut. Isle au Haut contains a large chunk of Acadia National Park but receives far fewer visitors than Mount Desert Island. The only way to get there is by boat and for me, that means paddling. I brought along my friend Dylan. You never know when you'll need someone to fight a shark. In typical fashion I loaded up my boat with camping gear, safety essentials and a select amount of camera gear. Dylan brought along an assortment of knives and booze.

The first day of our trip welcomed us with weather so pleasant that it was boring. This, combined with the hordes of pleasure boaters on the water, had me kind of disappointed. I had hoped for a wilderness adventure. Where was the wind, waves and sense of doom?

Well, the sense of doom came when we got to our campsite for the first night. The other islands that were available for camping were filled with people and we were forced to stay at a place that we were warned not to stay at. It was filled with mosquitos. Dylan said he was bitten through his wetsuit. It was absolutely awful. Only the small space we had chosen to place out tents had any respite from the little bastards. It was so bad that we didn't leave our tents until morning. Except, of course, to pop the bottle of champagne that Dylan brought with him. He filled a dry bag with seawater and ice from a thermos and we enjoyed chilled bubbly the first night.

More to follow.

Muscongus Bay, Part Four

The previous day's fog lifted overnight to reveal an absolutely stunning sunrise. The water was serene and the clouds were retreating. After Breakfast, Dylan and I set out for the northern tip of Cow Island, a crossing of about a mile and a half. The wind had picked up a bit since sunrise and it blew directly in our faces. Luckily, the water remained fairly calm. At the end of Cow Island we pulled into a small cove and took a break. We carried our boats over a small sand bar and we were suddenly at the other side of the island. Cheating can be nice sometimes.

We then went up and around Palmer Island and straight over to Crow Island. At Crow, we ate lunch and watched a group of lobster boats working. Despite moving so slowly, they create a huge wake. They were the only thing making waves in this part of the sound. We decided that we'd camp at the southern tip of Hog Island, only a short ways away from Crow.

We loaded up the boats and paddled down to Crow Island, finding what used to be a campsite. There was a large sign posted saying that no camping was allowed. It looked like they might have been rebuilding the sites. Oh well, back to Crow Island for us. On our way out we say a group of paddlers headed towards Hog Island.

Back at Crow we called up a number on a sign on the island and got a fire permit. We buit a fire below the high tide line and then we finished off Dylan's whiskey. It was a good thing we didn't have far to paddle the next day.