of Muscongus Bay, Maine
|Paddle Trip(A Level 3 Trip)|
|Georges Islands, East Mucongus Bay,
from Port Clyde, Maine.
The Road Trip: From Thomaston (east side of the St. George River), take Route 131 south 13 miles to the village of Port Clyde. At the "T" intersection (end of 131) in Port Clyde, turn right. The dock for the Monhegan Ferry is just a few yards down the street on the left. Just past that is a general store and then the public boat launch. Parking is available in the streets nearby -- pretty informal, no white lines, no signs, no meters.
|Trip Summary: An trip that
combines the open water with the protection of a chain of beautiful islands.
The launch is from a scenic and secluded working harbor.
The Launch: The public launch area consists of a wide concrete boat ramp. Just to the left of the ramp are public docks which also can be used to launch your kayak.
Paddling Time & Distance: 4 - 6 hours. 13 - 15 miles, although shorter trips which take you out to the nearer islands are also good options.
Route: Rather than paddling a direct line from Port Clyde to (and around) Allen Island, which would cut your distance to about 12 miles, I suggest visiting the more northerly islands of this island chain by first paddling west before heading south to Allen Island.
From boat launch area, head southwest toward the southern tip of Hopper Island (0.8 nautical miles); then paddle nearly due west during the 1.2 mile crossing to Barter Island. Skirt the southeast shore of Barter Island and continue on to Thompson's Island. From Thompsons, head southeast past a cluster of islands and ledges, and then southwest around Davis Island before heading on to the northeast tip of Allen Island (about 2 miles, by this route, from Thompsons. Conditions permitting, continue in a clockwise direction around Allen Island. Return by skirting the western shorelines of the islands in this chain.
Paddling Tips: This is essentially open water, so please watch weather and sea conditions very carefully. Seas could get very rough here in a hurry, and at the southern portions of the trip you are several hours from port (in good paddling conditions). On the other hand, by following this route you are never more than half a mile from dry land of some sort. Several of the islands are grouped in tight clusters with narrow channels running between them. Use these, and the lee shorelines, if the wind comes up.
Watch out for: Lobster pot buoys litter the waters here -- reportedly more per square mile than anywhere else in the world, and you will frequently be within range of lobster boats -- during the summer months at least -- so keep alert.
Natural Features: Beautiful, unspoiled spruce tree covered islands -- definitely Maine the way it should be! The southwest shoreline of Hopper Island is particularly rocky and rugged. Quiet narrow channels wind their way between Allen and Benner Islands, and between Barter and McGee. Plenty of shorebirds as well as colonies of warblers, which inhabit the mostly uninhabited spruce forests of these islands. Most of these islands are relatively low, and very rocky. The northeast shore of Allen Island distinguishable by a high sandy bluff
Other Landmarks: Marshall Point Light will be on your left as you head out of Port Clyde Harbor. Nautical charts of the area indicate a number of bell buoys and lights which may be useful to navigation. Burnt Island is marked by a tower.
Stretch Your Legs: All the islands along this route are privately owned; please do not go ashore. Plan for a floating lunch and -- if you need to get out of your boat -- stop at one of the ledges that is exposed at mid or low tide.
One Paddler's Story: Trip contributed by Ray Wirth.
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