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Seniors not performing their age: Little Whaleboat by land and sea

A kayaker approaches Little Whaleboat Island in Casco Bay. Ron Chase

Little Whaleboat Island in northern Casco Bay is a particular place. Really, a trio of small islands and ledges named Little Whaleboat (West), Nate, and Tuck, they’re linked at low tide. I have been visiting them since I started sea kayaking a few a long time in the past. The reason being easy; it is a ravishing location simply reached by launching from Mere Level in Brunswick or Lookout Level and Mitchell Subject in Harpswell.

Throughout my many visits, I by no means realized Little Whaleboat was privately owned and entry was because of the generosity of the landowner. When the island was positioned up on the market, Maine Coast Heritage Belief (MCHT) led an effort to lift $1.3 million to purchase and preserve the island for the general public for perpetuity. In December 2021, MCHT introduced that they had efficiently bought the island.

A paddler hauls his kayak ashore at low tide. Ron Chase

Not too long ago, my retired pal Bob Rowe and I made a decision it was time to renew our relationship with Little Whaleboat by completely exploring the newly acquired island. We elected to depart from the closest boat launch, Mitchell Subject, about 3 miles from Little Whaleboat.

This was my first expertise departing from Mitchell Subject. I discovered it to be an distinctive facility. The complicated affords alternatives to stroll, bike, swim and picnic. Hand-carry boats will be launched from two seashores. The proximity to islands in northern Casco Bay is one other profit.

We carried our kayaks right down to the shore at North Seaside. Little Whaleboat might be seen within the distance a few mile west of a lot bigger Whaleboat Island. We traveled southwest in mild swells and a light-weight headwind in the direction of Whaleboat. Rigorously avoiding lobster boats and pleasure crafts within the busy bay was a necessity all through our voyage.

From Whaleboat, we navigated west to the japanese shore of Little Whaleboat. The tide was low once we arrived at a considerable gravel seashore on the north aspect. This is a wonderful location to land kayaks at any tidal stage. Two pleasure crafts have been moored offshore and several other occupants have been swimming from their boats. Whereas strolling onto the seashore, a loud osprey circled above shortly capturing our consideration.

Adjoining to the seashore is a big MCHT campsite. After finishing an inspection, Bob and I continued our land exploration. Low tide and a rocky shoreline allowed for pretty straightforward foot journey continuing clockwise. We stopped to reconnoiter a smaller MCHT campsite on the east aspect of the island. The slender channel that separates Little Whaleboat and Nate Island was impassable at that tidal stage.

Giant boulders and intensive ledges have been extra prevalent on the south aspect of the island offering for a stimulating scramble. The densely forested inside discouraged any inclination to shorten the journey. Rounding the bend and turning north, we encountered a veritable muddy freeway between the western shore of Little Whaleboat and Tuck Island.

A hiker begins an exploration of the japanese shore of Little Whaleboat Island. Ron Chase

Surmounting a considerable ledge, we returned to the northern seashore finishing a trek across the exterior of the island. Along with the ever present osprey, fowl sightings have been plentiful all through our trek. Whereas having fun with views of the islands of Merepoint and Center Bays within the north, we have been impressed with the outstanding peacefulness of the placement.

Embarking in our kayaks, we concluded a circumnavigation of the archipelago. The quite a few inlets, coves, and ledges supplied for a stimulating investigation of the rugged shoreline by water.

After working off the north finish of Whaleboat, we encountered stronger winds and larger seas throughout our crossing to Mitchell Subject. A continuum of outgoing sailboats delayed our traverse. Whereas bobbing in swells, we exchanged greetings with the exuberant occupants as they handed.

North Seaside at Mitchell Subject was a a lot busier place once we returned. Scorching climate had attracted a large number of beachgoers. Regardless of the group, there was sufficient area to land and carry our kayaks to the loading zone.

For me, Little Whaleboat Island has been an distinctive vacation spot since I started sea kayaking. MCHT’s profitable effort to guard it for the general public is a considerable achievement. On account of our go to, we left the island with a heightened sense of the magnitude of their accomplishment.

Examine eight extra thrilling sea kayak journeys alongside the Maine coast in my guide, Maine Al Fresco: The Fifty Most interesting Out of doors Adventures in Maine.

Ron Chase resides in Topsham. His newest guide, “Maine Al Fresco: The Fifty Most interesting Out of doors Adventures in Maine” is offered at or in bookstores and thru on-line distributors. His earlier books are “The Nice Mars Hill Financial institution Theft” and “Mountains for Mortals – New England.” Go to his web site at or he will be reached at [email protected]

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