Friday, November 30, 2012

Wadsworth Cove to Fort Point

It isn’t always easy, on a cold morning, to have faith that once you get on the water, you’ll be glad you’re there. That’s why, despite my intentions of getting an early start, Rebecca and I took our time meandering to the put-in.

We cranked the heat in the car while we drove to Castine, and parked above the beach in Wadsworth Cove. We untied the boats a bit reluctantly. Still, the sun shone, and the lack of wind made for glassy water. By the time we launched on the falling tide, we were observed by people taking their lunch breaks in pick-up trucks facing the cove.

After a spin around the cove, we headed-up the coast, and the sky began to pale as wintery clouds moved-in. Despite the occasional numb finger or toe, we felt mostly warm. Or at least not mostly cold- as long as we kept moving.

We admired the architecture: a large old shingle-style home between Perkins and Turner Points, as well as some of the humbler cabins as we proceeded north. 

Far ahead, a puff of exhaust hung in the air above Bucksport, and eventually the bridge and the paper mill’s smokestack came into view. In Morse Cove, we lingered for photos with the Squall, the rusted hulk of an old trawler, beached there as a breakwater for the marina at Morse Cove Marine. 

The Squall, built in 1937 at Bath Iron Works, did time as a patrol boat during WWII, and later returned to fishing. Now, she’s a good photo op, as well as a point of reference, easily visible from the west bank of the Penobscot... which is where we headed next.

We aimed for the lighthouse at Fort Point on Cape Jellison, and ate a quick lunch at the point. It had taken us well over two hours to get there, and we had about an hour before sunset, but the current was with us now. It’s tough to pinpoint where the Penobscot River becomes Penobscot Bay, but it starts feeling more bay-like as the gap between Cape Jellison and the Castine peninsula widens. We headed straight for the middle, to catch what current we could. 

Those pale wintery clouds made for a moody sunset as lights around Belfast began to twinkle-on.  To the south, the water and sky reflected the same pale tone, with hardly a horizon line, and as we proceeded, distant islands emerged beyond Cape Rosier, as well as a mysterious array of blinking red lights that we later determined were Vinalhaven’s wind generators- only Vinalhaven and North Haven were still below the horizon. 

The full moon rose and we were tempted to continue-on for awhile, but the thought of the warm car and some hot gas station coffee proved too enticing, and we loaded-up on the beach in the moonlight. It took awhile, as we drove home, for the numbness to dissipate from our toes, but it did and we were glad we’d gone.

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