Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bathed in Solitude

Bath, Maine- 2 nights on my boat on the Kennebec River.

Wild wind, surging currents, cold temps, rugged coastline. What's not to love?

Perkins Island

10/20/18, Saturday- I boat down the Kennebec river to kite at Popham Beach but it's too windy to cross the last half mile where the river widens into a small bay. The SW cross wind is gusting to 35MPH. I can see the fort where I was planning to anchor but I can't make it. How's that for irony?

I take a break from the wind and chop to dock in the lee of Perkins Island. Nice spot! Public dockage, small pine needle campsite, unmanned lighthouse. I have it completely to myself. Things seem a little quiet around here this time of year. I have no idea know why.

Perkins Dock

I have fun crossing Merrymeeting Bay where the Kennebec joins the Androscoggin. Fierce current and chop with 25MPH gusts. It's too shallow to hug the upwind shore. But I make it to Swan Island to tie up to their kayak dock overnight like you're not supposed too. No matter. I never see a ranger or even another person.

I see some friendly white tailed deer though. One comes right up to me and licks my hand. When I bend down it tries to lick my face. I'm pretty startled but I ask myself, am I really scared of Bambi? Maybe.

Beaver work
I also see some beavers slapping their tails for warning around my boat at night. Different from the usual fish jumping sound. Yes the river is fresh water, with 4' tides up here. Go figure.

Temp is down to 39F Sat night, plenty warm for my synthetic fill mummy sleeping bag with my long sleeve shirt and bathing suit. High temp of 45 Sunday is cold but doable as long as I stay out of the water. Falling in is not an option.


On my way back on Sunday the howling NW wind is blowing with the ripping current, (luckily). It's gusting to 35 again. I turn off the motor and clock myself drifting/blowing at 5.8 MPH.

Places I wanted to visit but didn't-

Popham Beach State Park- Looks like a beautiful beach for kiting! And nearby hiking.
Maine Maritime Museum- $17 includes museum entrance, overnight dockage, shower.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens- Free dockage, mooring, complimentary dinghy, (seasonal?).
Bath Town Dock- 3 hours free dockage, (docks were pulled out already for the season).
Popham Fort- Might be interesting.

I've got to come back here! But not this year.

Swan Island

Friday night- South launch boat ramp, near Maine Maritime Museum, south to Morse Cove, anchor for night.
Saturday- South to the beginning of Atkins Bay, north to Perkins Island, way north to Swan Island kayak dock.
Sunday- 9 mile hike on Swan, South to South launch boat ramp.

54 miles, 8 Gallons gas.