This is part of a series of posts about my 200 mile trip up the coast of Maine by the Maine Island Trail. Previously: Kayaking Across Penobscot Bay and Stonington, Maine
Day 5- Another uncommonly gorgeous morning. How lucky can I get? The ocean was glassy and the wind was non-existent. I went through my morning routine and prepared to make the crossing to Swans Island and onward to Mount Desert Island.
View Maine Island Trail: Mount Desert Island in a larger map
Last year, also about this time I was circumnavigating New Brunswick’s Grand Manan Island just off the coast of Lubec where I encountered similarly difficult conditions. Winds, waves, chop and of course those wild tides made for a tough trip. All of these things were on my mind in the planning phase of this trip and I would have never guessed that I would not have to deal with so much as a whisp of fog.
|Classic profile of MDI which can be seen from miles out to sea|
Swans Island was a sleepy little island without much in the way of resupplying so I had to head further to Southwest Harbor. While the conditions were great, the boat traffic was as heavy as it was in Casco Bay. Cruise ships, tall ships and clippers were all coming to MDI and I don’t exactly show up on radar. I had to plan my crossings carefully. The narrower channels between the Cranberry Islands were absolutely overrun with traffic. Nevertheless I was still able to enjoy the gorgeous view of Somes Sound which people say is the closest thing to the Fjords of Norway on the US east coast. I pulled in to Southwest Harbor and re-supplied.
|Regular scene on the Southeastern side of Mount Desert Island|
It is a stunning but somewhat peculiar sight to see. Larger currents and waves collide with the jagged cliffs which have been shaped by the eons. Just above the cliffs are walls of pine trees as thick as any rain forest. Then, every so often, there’s a sprawling coastal mansion. It is just so strange to see the summer retreats of celebrities, politicians and American magnates dispersed along one of the more rugged coasts I’ve ever seen.
|There are even a few beaches to land upon|