Wednesday, March 13, 2013
The Southwest Corner of MDI
At the launch in Bass Harbor as we got our boats ready, a fisherman rowed in and tied his dinghy to the dock. He saw our kayaks and told us “the seas are runnin’ big out there.”
“We’re just heading up the shore,” I told him. “Staying in the lee... but thanks.”
He looked at our boats. “I suppose that oughtta work.”
I was grateful for the affirmation. It had been plenty windy lately, but that day it had died-down some, still coming from the east, and it seemed like a good day to follow the lee shore for a bit and get up into some coves at high tide. Still, I found myself looking out toward the islands, wondering. The seas looked flat enough - the classic lure of the offshore breeze that draws unsuspecting paddlers into quickly-changing conditions (see the latest Sea Kayaker).
We wove our way among the lobster boats in the harbor and followed the shore out toward Lopaus Point. The swell increased gradually. Out at Weaver Ledge, waves seemed to appear out of nowhere, stand up tall and explode onto the shallow rocks. We paused at the point, watching a few waves come in, but once we got around the point, all was calm.
The southwest corner of Mount Desert Island has plenty of private, oceanfront real estate, much of which is occupied by large homes. But there’s also plenty of undeveloped shoreline. We followed the contours of coves, meandered into a large salt marsh and ate lunch on a rocky beach. The sun came out.
We critiqued the architecture as we paddled. Rebecca leaned towards places with plenty of windows and porches, while I gravitated toward the occasional grandfathered boat shed or waterfront guest house- the more rickety the better. Nobody was home. Which made it easier to find a spot for our next break.
At Dodge Point, we turned around and headed back. We pulled out for a quick stop for the view at Rumell Island and hoofed it back to Bass Harbor, arriving shortly before sunset.