Walking Walking and Walking
I feel much better now that my water quest is complete and manage the short trip back to Abbie B, carrying a little over thirty pounds of water back through the muck to get to her, Yuck! (again). She slips over the wet seaweed and back into the water with ease. The full bladders are stowed inside her. (It’s weird putting water inside my kayak but so far there have been no leaks.) I remove the stinky slime off my boots before squeezing into Abbie B’s cockpit. She won’t allow such filth within her domain. This brings back memories of home on the farm. All boots off on the porch. No exceptions! Believe me. You wouldn’t want to break that rule. Time to head back to Jewell Island.
I paddle into a light breeze and against the now rising tide but feel little resistance. I’m not in a hurry so Abbie B and me play hit with the waves by hitting them head on splitting them at the bow and then dropping into the little troughs. A lone lobster boat moves through the narrow channel between the islands. We pause to watch. The people here live such a different life from mine or have ever experienced.
We return to Cocktail Cove where the water is so still it looks like a mirror. Oops! I put the tent in the wrong spot for Abbie B. It’s high up, very high, above the cliffs. Gee Abbie B where ya gonna park? So, off we go to find a more suitable campsite. First stop is the far end of the cove where there are some stone steps and a gravel bar connecting to Little Jewell (Harbor Island). I exit Abbie B, scramble over the loose stones and tie her off. The site here is farther from the water than I want so I return to Abbie B where I find her afloat and being bumped into the cement retaining wall. [more about the history here in a later post]. Sorry! This sudden turn of events always amazes me. When the tide decides to roll in, it does so rather quickly. The gravel bar is completely underwater and there was a lot of it exposed when I hopped up the steps. I was gone about ten minutes and poof! Where did all the land go?
We head out of the cove and follow the western edge of Little Jewell continuing on a southern course. The site is over at the “Old Wharf.” It was built by the government to haul in trucks etc. during the WWII era of the island. There isn’t much left to it now. A decent sized beach runs below grassy cliffs covered with a dense stand of trees. The tide line leaves enough room for me to tie Abbie B off without worry of her being slammed into rocks and cliffs. Solidly built rock steps lead the way up to the campsite, nice. There is a bench, fire ring, what’s left of the dock, and a lovely view of the islands to the west. Yep, this is the place. Now, all I have to do is go get my tent and gear and haul it all the way over to this site.
I walk to the top of a steep trail to a height of land where I pick up the trail that leads to where I hastily set up my tent and dropped gear inside in the wee hours of the morning. The island is a mile long which means that the round trip from “The Wharf” to the site where my stuff is a half mile. Oh, boy! I walk and walk and walk. I grab two gear bags from inside the tent and walk some more. I spy a flotilla of kayaks through the trees and begin jogging. Now way. Now way, are they going to snap up my new home! I beat them there drop my stuff in the open and head back for more stuff growing hotter by the minute.
The weather forecast is just that, a forecast. The early morning craziness settled out and the leading edge of a front moved out to sea instead of making landfall. The sun was out in full force making the inside my paddling gear a warm place to be. The work of walking and carrying stuff from camp to camp stoked my body’s furnace as well. At least, I could leave my jacket behind but I still had on my wetsuit and long underwear beneath it. I was sweating more than “like a pig,” but stopping to change would take too much time and add another half mile of walking, walking and walking. I had to beat the flotilla. No more moving!
I completed my second trip upon arrival of the large group of kayaks. The leader came up the steps, hello. A somewhat dreary hi passes through my lips. I’m Scott and we are from Rippleffect which is located on Cow Island. I see your kayak and gear here so we’ll move to a different campsite. (My internal response, Whew!). Is it okay if the kids come up for lunch while I check the other two sites? Sure. Twelve kids and another adult, Emily, climb the steps with lunches in hand. I enjoy some time with them laughing and carrying on. Scott returns within fifteen minutes and has chosen the site I rejected. I walk away to walk, walk, walk, one more time back to my “old” campsite to bring back the tent. My, my, what a busy day!
The kids are still there when I return and watch me put up my tent. (Man, I gotta get out of the gear I’m wearing.) Wow, you can put up a tent fast. I explain that me and and my tent have been pals for many years. We’ve got the groove dudes. The kids laugh and have finished their lunch. I watch them head back down the steps, climb into their kayaks, and paddle out after Scott pushes each one through the surf. I’ll visit them later.
I walk down the steps after the group is out of sight and into the water, standing a moment before diving beneath the surface. I pop up quickly feeling the cold water inside my wetsuit, soaking me to the skin. Ah, that’s much better. Back up the steps, strip, do my spin move to get inside the tent to dry off and change. I lie down for a bit after drinking a bunch of water. It’s a good thing I tanked up on the stuff as this body is now dehydrated and I’m feeling the effects. One more job to do. Get it done and then rest and relax for the rest of the day.
I spin my way back out of the tent, walk down the steps, open up Abbie B and grab the water bladders. I place them on the steps to keep off the sand and then secure Abbie B for the duration.
Posted on February 21, 2015, in Casco Bay, Jewell Island, Maine, Kayaking, Maine Coast, Photos, Solo Journeys, Twenty One Days at Sea and tagged Atlantic Ocean, Jewell Island, Sea Kayaking. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.