September 13, 2008 by Bethany
Here we sit at Burwaldo’s Laundromat in Bar Harbor Maine. We made it to the harbor around 4:00 yesterday after a really hard paddle in 15-20 knot wind for miles and miles and miles. It was our biggest paddling day yet, having to round the infamous Schoodic Point, the place to go see waves crashing in Acadia. o boy.
We started our trip 11 days ago in Lubec. The first day of paddling, we made over 25 miles of bold coast shoreline, truckin at top speeds of over 7 mph! Thank you tide! After that perfect and beautiful day of paddling, everything every day after seemed really really hard. On day 3 we camped in Starboard Cove, Maine and met our first “Main-ers” since Lubec. We stayed in Betty’s backyard and had dinner with her and her son Toby, who are also adventurers! They drove around the whole USA for 7 months, taking it all in! How fun does that sound? The next morning we met Mary Beth, who drives the Southport to Fort Fisher ferry in NC! She took care of us and gave us lots of yummy food, water, and encouragement.
That day we paddled to Jonesport Maine, on what should have been a 12 miles day but ended up being a long 20 mile day, filled with big ocean swells, long crossings, and fog. We are actually doing a lot of big crossings. “It’s only 4 miles… the winds not THAT bad is it?” ugh. Finally arriving in Jonesport we settled down at the campground and slept slept slept.
Jonesport is actually just over the bridge from Beal’s Island, where the story gets good. Judy and Oscar, the campground hosts, drove us to the closest hotel, Rose Marie’s, where we decided to ride out “Hanna.” The mobile home establishment pushed my comfort zone a bit but it had to do, since it was all there was. Dan and I started walking the 5 miles to the IGA grocery store when Barbara, a lifetime resident of Beal’s Island, decided to give us a ride. She picked us up for church the next morning, where we met her husband, Osmond, and the rest of their church family. Afterwards, we went to Tall Barney’s for lunch with Barbara and Osmond, as well as Jenny and Nathan. Look up Tall Barney of Beal’s Island when you get a chance. He’s the Paul Bunyan of Maine. Later that night they picked us up again for another church service, and we got to meet Barbara’s daughter Pam, who drives the ambulance AND… get this… works for the funeral home. yes. They prayed for us and sang us a farewell song. Dale offered up his home if we ever came back and lots of hugs were given all around. Barbara and Osmond had us over for cake and ice cream and then we avoided saying goodbye for quite some time. Jenny picked us up the next morning to drive us to the campground where our boats were, and Barbara and Pam showed up to see us off. We hugged and paddled away… only to see them again along the shore later one, taking pictures and waving goodbye.
We stayed two nights on Stevens Island, riding out some big winds and it was there we stumbled upon a dead whale! It was wild. sad. scary. and… HUGE. We called NOAA and will send pictures sometime because they need them.
Again we made some more big crossings through waves and wind and camped the night before last at the Ocean Woods Campground, near Corea, where we met Ed and Ellie from upstate NY who shared some cold beer with us… wow.
So now we are here. After some of the hardest paddling days of my life. All in a row. Bar Harbor is the perfect place to re-coup and we have already been met with great help from the paddling community.
Until next time! Thanks for the well wishes and the prayers. It means more than you know.