Thursday, March 31, 2016

Green Ledge Shipwreck

I may get to a point when I’ll stop remarking upon how amazing it is to keep discovering new places around Deer Isle, landing upon islands I’ve never landed on before, and finding surprises where I expected only an excursion into mostly familiar territory. But so far, that is not the case. 

Green Ledge lies off Stinson Neck, just under a half-mile south of Crow Island, or under a mile east of the Lazygut Islands. These other nearby islands tend to get our attention, and from a short distance away, the ledge doesn’t look like much: a pile of sparsely-vegetated gravel. It would be more accurate to call it an island, despite its lack of growth above waist-height. Low tide uncovers surrounding acres of rockweed-draped boulders stretching gradually away.

A few afternoons ago, with no other pressing destinations in mind, I found my bow pointed toward a sandy-gravelly beach on the north side of Green Ledge. The wrack line seemed inordinately littered, and as I made my way up the beach, saw that the biggest detritus were pieces from a wrecked boat: heavy welded and bolted steel in a state of almost artful decomposition, and a small section of heavily-built wooden hull.

On foot, I followed the wrack line around the island, which like some others in the area, is more gravel pile than ledge, and is in a state of constant erosion. It takes some careful stepping to get atop it without furthering the erosion process (and despite my example, should probably be avoided). I saw no signs of nesting birds, although it is still early in the season (the island is off limits from April through August, to accommodate nesting birds). Atop the island grows a thick tangle of thorny bushes. From here, Swans Island looks close - less than three miles distant across a volatile stretch of Jericho Bay.

But the real surprise lay well below the high tide line on the east side, where I came upon the wooden ribs of a wrecked boat, her gutted innards all encrusted with barnacles and rockweed: a massive engine block and a long drive shaft, as well as a plethora of rusty odds and ends that would inspire a found objects artist. I’ve asked around about the wreck, but discovered little, other than the fact that it has been there a long time, at least 30 years or so.

The island, like most that are too small or too exposed to accommodate a house (it is listed by the state at .8 of an acre) is state-owned. Unfortunately for paddlers, from tomorrow through August, it is the domain of the birds. 

As usual, I'm posting this blog from the library (borrowing access to the Interwebs) and, hey, look there on the shelf! I have to admit, it feels good.

1 comment:

John Foster said...

some day I will get to paddle the sea up that way.
Great photos once again.