from Ducktrap Harbor
Sea Kayak Trip(A Level 3 Trip)
|Western Penobscot Bay, off
The Road Trip:
From the South: Take Route 1 north through Camden and Lincolnville, and continue for apx. 1.5 miles north of Lincolnville Beach. On your right, just before Ducktrap Bridge (with its view of little Ducktrap Harbor) is a road which leads 200 yards down to Ducktrap Harbor.
From the North: Take Route 1 south through Belfast and Northport. Apx. 4.5 miles south of Northport, you will pass over Ducktrap Bridge (with its view of the little harbor). Take the first left turn (just beyond the bridge) onto the access road which leads 200 yards down to Ducktrap Harbor.
Park on the gravel spit at the entrance to the harbor. (Yes, its well above the tide line).
|The Paddle Trip:
Trip Summary: A scenic and varied sea kayak trip, much of it in protected waters once you make the 2 mile crossing to Islesboro. Options to overnight on Warren Island and explore various parts of Islesboro.
Distance: 10 + nautical miles (round trip)
Paddling time: 3 - 4 hours minimum.
The Launch: Launch from either side of the gravel spit (which doubles as an informal parking area). If the waves are breaking on the spit, its easier to launch on the inside.
The Route: Head east southeast out of Ducktrap Harbor, using the northern tip of Warren Island as a reference point. (The terminal for the Islesboro ferry is on Grindel Point, just north of Warren Island). You may want to cut across the ferry track (it runs every hour and at relatively high speed) at a right angle to reduce the amount of time you are in its path. Skirt the northeast shore of Warren Island, taking time to visit the lighthouse, pier, and ferry terminal on Grindel Point if you like. Continue up "The Gut" along the east shore of Warren Island (keeping Spruce Island on your left). Go ashore on Warren Island if you like -- see "stretch your legs" below. At low tide, a narrow sand bar extends between Spruce and Warren Islands. Not to worry. Haul your boat over the bar, continue across Cradle Cove, and then along the southeast shore of 700 Acre Island. Cross toward the Ensign Islands, which mark the west side of the channel into Gilkey Harbor. Circle these low, sandy islands and then head back along the western shore of 700 Acre Island before making the 3 nm crossing to Ducktrap Harbor, using Ducktrap Bridge -- visible for miles when the visibility is good -- as a reference point.
Watch Out For: The Islesboro ferry is bigger than you are. Don't mess with it!
Tips: The wind blows up the bay most of the summer. Make the crossing to Islesboro early or late in the day to take advantage of quieter waters. You will very often have a good following sea for the return crossing.
Natural Features: Ducktrap River and Harbor, Grindel Point, Spruce Island, the secluded sandy beaches of the Ensign Islands. Dolphins often play in the track of the Islesboro ferry. Blue heron nests are common. The Camden Hills will be to the east and southeast throughout the trip.
Other Landmarks: Ducktrap Bridge is behind you as you leave the harbor. Grindel Point has a small lighthouse and a pier where the ferry docks. A high sandbar connects Warren and Spruce islands. The crumbling stone farmhouse along the southeastern shore of 700 Acre Island will give you the immistable feeling that you're arrived on the coast of France.
Stretch Your Legs: Warren Island is a state-managed salt water park developed exclusively for boaters. It offers campsites, toilet facilities, and excellent fresh water. There is a fee for overnight camping.
One Paddler's Story: Ray Wirth paddled this trip in a breathless glassy calm in July of '98.
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