This was during our pool session last Saturday in Bar Harbor. Mark sure drives us hard.
Yesterday started out calm and very clear. With five hours of paddling time before sunset, I headed east to Sheep Island (above) and continued in an arc around the inner archipelago: Eastern Mark, Saddleback, McGlathery, George's Head...
It was so calm, I started imagining an even longer paddle, but the wind hit just as I passed Shingle Island. It slowed me down a little, and made me a bit more cautious, since I didn't know how rough it might get.
What a treat though, to stop on a beautiful island and eat my lunch, have a cup of tea, walk on untrodden snow that you hate to mar with your footprints. At every juncture, I was tempted to go for more... maybe head out around Merchants (maybe not) or how about Farrell and Scraggy? These islands have a way of drawing you onward.
I had enough daylight left, but as I headed for Farrell, I went through a few bigger waves and had the inevitable reality check: I'm alone, it's winter, I'm getting tired and cold. I turned toward John Island, shortening my route. I stopped briefly: numb toes and fingers, time to switch the gloves for mitts, which I can barely get over my fingers. The bathtub at home sounded pretty nice. Good thing it was only a couple of miles away.