I had big ambitions for a four-day trip this week, but bit by bit, those plans changed. At first I planned on a paddle through the Muscle Ridge area, but car troubles put the kibosh on that (unless I wanted to spend a day paddling there and a day paddling back). I was happy enough to alter my route to a trip around Vinalhaven: over to Seal Bay and through the Thorofare to explore the west side for a few days.
But when mid-week winds appeared in the forecast, I figured I'd instead spend Monday paddling out to Brimstone and around the exposed southern end of Vinalhaven- save the windy days for the more sheltered areas. On Monday morning, the forecast looked even windier and rainier. I imagined my paddling vacation turning into a hanging-out in the tent on an island reading vacation- and possibly waiting for good enough weather to get back across East Penobscot Bay. I'm fortunate to be able to change my plans. I don't mind hanging-out on an island reading, but if instead I stayed home and got some work done, maybe I could take my paddling vacation when the weather improved. It was a tough choice to make- my gear was all packed- but I made it quickly.
But Monday still looked good: not much wind, mostly sunny, and according to the sign on the gallery, we're supposed to be closed. I asked Rebecca if she would like to paddle around Isle au Haut- after all, the tides were right. We started getting our gear together, but first, we had some gallery business that had come-up, since after all, we were there. It took awhile. By the time we launched, we felt lucky just to get on the water at all; Isle au Haut was no longer an option. As we paddled, we kept glancing over at the immense dark clouds in the west, trying not to acknowledge that yes, that was headed our way. We decided to stop at the beach on Wreck Island. At the very least, we'd get a little sunny beach time before the weather caught-up with us.
It may sound like one disappointment after another, but we were happy to be there at the beach on Wreck Island. We ate our lunch. Rebecca swam. We drank our chilled bottled beverages while the sun shone, and when the clouds moved in I made coffee. Rebecca painted, I read a paperback. We watched the tide rise and the schooners motor into nearby anchorages.
Sometime after five we relaunched and paddled over to check-out Heritage as her passengers returned from their cook-out on shore. Then we paddled around McGlathery- just enough swell to have a little fun.
And while we're at it, maybe we could check-out the unique hull shape of the Sirius:
The nice thing about clouds; they make for more interesting sunsets.
I'd like to say that I make my choices and don't look back, but I've been compulsively checking the wind data from the weather buoys. I think I would have found some relatively sheltered areas to paddle, but maybe what we really needed was a relaxing afternoon on Wreck, and a gorgeous sunset paddle back home to Stonington.