Day 3, In which we log some miles
On day 3 I awoke – still groggy – at 7:45! I didn’t get on the water until 10:00, a pretty poor performance. The rest of the day was to make up or it.
My original plan was to paddle up some intriguing looking narrow passages to Friendship, then head west back into the main body of the bay and up the Medomak River to Hungry Island. I set out as planned between Friendship Long Island and Cranberry Island, the first narrow passage I had seen. The tide was dead low, so it was an especially narrow waterway, but no problem for us. It was one of those gunkholing experiences that make camp cruising so exciting. When I got to the end, though, and glanced to the east and realized, in consulting the chart, that the northern set of Georges Islands were not far away. I decided to follow the next narrow passage, between Friendship Long Island and Morse, and the circle around the north side of Morse to emerge back in the same bay by Gay Island. This I did, feeling excited that the weather was again letting me get further afield.
As I passed south of Caldwell, enjoying the day fully, I again looked east and saw that Port Clyde was not a great stretch more. I needed water anyway, and, in stopping there, I could tag the eastern edge of Muscongus Bay. I pushed on and bummed water, inadvertently, from the owner of a private dock. Not my fault you have your own dock that looks like a small marina, pal! Actually he was very gracious and impressed by my voyage.
I spun back out of Port Clyde in a freshening breeze and hard a long pull across the mouth of the St. Georges River. I had noted another interesting narrow passage, Pleasant Point Gut, and the tide more than made this stunning channel accessible to me. I still had barely stopped for a rest, never mind lunch, but I pushed on towards Friendship as the afternoon was creeping by. I finally grabbed a quick bit at the northern tip of Friendship Long Island, gazing out at the only Friendship Sloop to be seen there.
Under still sunny skies and a solid afternoon breeze, I headed through Friendship Harbor, buzzing a nice-looking motorsailer, and west to Martin Point and the Medomak. There I turned mostly down wind and had an easy final couple miles to Hungry Island, arriving at 5:30 tired, but not exhausted. Again I was alone and again the spot was pretty, with views across to some small islands and, to the side, down the bay.
I unhurriedly pitched camp and then glanced through the trees to the west to see ominous clouds. NOAA was reporting severe storms to the south, but I just got rain and nearby thunder. The weather coming in created some amazing clouds, though.
Day 4, In which we steal away, again, to Thief Island
Day 4 dawned foggy, but, with the sun clearly peaking out, did not remain that way. I headed north up the Medomak River as far as Havener Island, a small MITA island that looked really cool but would have been hard to land on with AL DEMANY CHIMAN. I spent the rest of the morning heading down Hockomock Channel, staying on the Bremen Long Island Shore, before getting to Strawberry Island for lunch before noon. Tons of mussel shoals exposed at lower tides there made the area particularly interesting (and muddy when one stepped off the boat). I set off with a stronger northwest wind mostly behind me, crossing down to Thief Island again with little issue.
Thief is a stunning island, particularly in a nice, clearing northwesterly. It is in the middle of the bay and is high enough to afford views well up the bay and off to the east and west. I was alone, as before, and was able to select a lovely camp site right on the bluff above the rocky beach. I walked around the island, greatly annoying an osprey on the nest, and catching sweeping views to the south. I got treated to a lovely sunset before climbing into bed and falling asleep to a loon calling.
Day 5, In which all good things…
Day 5 was again calm, but more overcast. I got ready and headed southwest through Marsh Harbor, around Ross Island (toward the mouth of the bay) and then north along Louds Island toward Round Pond. I dawdled, trying to find interesting wildlife amidst the kelp beds, but nothing showed itself. At mid-day I paddled into Round Pond again, ogled some nice boats, and brought to end, nearly 55 miles later, one amazing voyage. I strongly recommend others try this kind of trip.