Archive for August, 2012

Back From the East

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Just returned from Maine & New Brunswick. Here is the photo gallery click here. Friendly people, seafood and blueberries sums the trip up well. The following covers some memorable moments:

  • This is one of the few areas I’ve seen with a viable fishing industry. Jonesport appeared to be nothing but fishing and lobstering with not even a local sit down restaurant or hotel.  New Brunswick had more tourist business but still had an active fishing fleet.
  • Fisherman were friendly, waving all the time. Locals were friendly as well. They were also reserved. Asking no questions, they chatted but were humble and quiet about the challenges they faced. Lobster was at a low price and in the rural areas, this place is poor with people working multiple jobs to make ends meet. People not from there stood out in several ways but mostly in how assertive they were.
  • Blueberry season is huge here and was underway when I got off the water. A great way to satiate the craving for fresh food.
  • There are no sand beaches here, the best you could get was either cobbles or gravel. Driftwood here consisted more of lumber (ie 2x4s and other parts from docks) than trees. Anything made of paper left out overnight would be devoured by tiny jumping bugs.
  • Some variation of fog and southwest winds was the typical weather forecast. This appeared to be routine but had little to do with the actual weather. My guess the weather forecasters are Buddhists promoting people to live in the moment.

Some visual memories:

The dock at Wilsons Beach. Landed here at low water to get water and yes that meant climbing down the ladder (see the rungs at the boats stern) 20' hanging onto filled water bags!

 

Sleeping in on a rainy day, I heard something outside the tent. This soggy immature Bald Eagle was within 5' of the tent and hung out for over an hour. Eagles are everywhere and were once so endangered, Bald Eagles from Minnesota were brought in. (Some looked if you called out Hey Ole/Lena!)

 

Wild Roses were on most of the beaches I landed. Fragrant, hardy and resistant to saltwater, they were in full bloom and added a magic to these places.

Fog had a presence as expected. Eerie at times, beautiful at times and sensory deadening when it stuck around for 3 days.

 

Chartwork for one of the crossings done. Put fog together with significant currents and the challenge scales up. Magic though was had as this crossing had Whales, Dolphins and passing boats all heard but not seen. The Puffins and Gannets were quiet but not as shy.

 

A decomposing Whale tail. Given campsite logbook entries, it had been there for over a year and smelled better than I did.

 

A roadside takeout joint. Found everywhere, they were locally owned, offered fresh seafood and were entertaining. This place was in a trailer with a valid license plate. Another called "Yu Takeout' also had Korean food.

 

Would I go back? Not for a long trip. The area is challenging for a long trip due to private lands/lack of wilderness but this is probably the best one can do on the US east coast.

But long trips are not everything. There is a beautiful shoreline, New Brunswick does offer some of the better tidal challenges I’ve seen in North America and seafood places like Yu Takeout makes it a good place to visit and paddle. Even with Buddhist weather forecasters!

Sam