Damariscove Island

from Ocean Point

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Paddle Trip{short description of image}{short description of image}(A Level 3 Trip)
Damariscove Circuit: Ocean Point, Linekin Neck, Boothbay, Maine.

The Road Trip: Route 96 heads east out of Boothbay Harbor (shopping malls, supermarket, convenience stores abound). This road brings you to the tip of the Linekin Neck peninsula . I’m guessing six or so miles to its terminus, Ocean Point.
The Road Trip

The Launch: There is a concrete boat ramp that allows you to get quite close to the water (depending on tide phase) for a easy put-in. A gravelly sand beach. Remarkably undiscovered considering this area’s spectacular beauty and easy access. Helpful hint to those who transport their craft on foam blocks: bring some masking tape. Steady onshore breeze can make this a frustrating experience after a hard day’s paddle. Parking not a problem (wide paved shoulder all along shore drive).
Paddling Time & Distance: The southern tip of two-mile long Damariscove Island is 4 nautical miles from the Ocean Point launch site. Several small islands form a loose archipelago that will add a couple of miles to the 8 nautical miles circuit if visited. Should take less than three hours in a touring kayak in typical conditions (choppy seas, 10 kt onshore breeze).
Route: Basically a south-north circuit. Recommend paddling eastern side of Fisherman’s and Damariscove Islands for outbound trip, western side for return.
Paddling Tips: This is rather open ocean so I really don’t think the tide currents are a major consideration. I did notice a side current causing lobster buoys to leave a notable wake- but it didn’t seem to be a factor that I had to consciously contend with. You really feel like you’re “in the Atlantic” on this trip. It is, as I said, open ocean.
Watch out for: Remarkably quiet. Some lobstering activity and the 100- foot tour boat “Pink Lady” is a friendly presence (wave!) during tourist season. Seems a consistently frigid current, so take precautions. Beware the cluster of rocks named "The Motions" on the far end of Damariscove. I'd recommend investing in the 1:24,000 Pemaquid Point topographic map for anyone planning this trip.
Natural Features: Harbor seals enjoy sunning on the “ The Hypocrites” – small ledge-like islands off the eastern shore of Fisherman Island. They seem fairly tame and have a mild curiosity toward kayaks. Their basketball–sized heads will pop-up and watch you from 100 or so feet away as you paddle. Inner and Outer White Islands are worth the side trip. Travelling to them from the northern tip of Damariscove you will pass over a deep plain with a depth of 178 feet (I like the idea of “big depths”). Outer White is an eighty foot high granite dome of an island. The surf action on the backside is spectacular. Of course I visited it on a day of serious swells! Was in the narrow channel between these two islands at moment of high tide. BIG SWELLS. Scary, but I didn’t take on one drop. There is a large hearth and chimney at the very summit of this island- remains of a dwelling. Interesting.
Other Landmarks: Ram Island Light- surrounded my water at high tides.
Stretch Your Legs: Don’t attempt to land on northern tip of Damariscove. You’ll upset the huge colony of eiders and black back gulls. Outer Heron Island looks like it may be a good place to picnic. Not too sure of the status of these islands so I hesitate to say much on this topic.
One Paddler's Story: I live in Winslow, Maine and started kayaking two years ago with a Sevylor inflatable. On April 20 of this year I bought a yellow Old Town Egret (came with factory rudder- dealer gave me a good price on this unrequested feature- am glad to have it). I love off-shore travels and hope to check out Eagle and Jewell Islands in Casco Bay from Harpswell as my next new off-shore trip. Contributed by Robert DuBay.

The Paddle Trip

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