Acadia 2012 – Pirates of Acadia Sound

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Ed Note: It’s not actually Acadia Sound.  It’s correctly named “Somes Sound”.  All references to Acadia Sound have thus been edited.  Is it weird that I write these editors notes, even though I’m both the editor and the author?  Meh.

Mike owns a Kayak. I’ve mentioned it, and some of the adventures that have occurred within its inflatable hull, before. But when we were talking about when to head up to Acadia, we realized the scope of what this inflatable kayak actually mean – we could explore any of Acadia’s waterways, without worry of trying to find a place to rent the kayaks.

Thus, on Sunday morning we pulled out a map. Actually, first we went and hiked up The Beehive, a mountain hike that involves a lot of steep rock scrambling that’s aided by large iron runs in the cliff. But after that, we pulled out a map and started ticking off places we’d already been, and places that kayaks weren’t allowed. In the end, that left us with about half a dozen spots that we could explore, not including the outer coastline – we decided against that since neither of us really wanted to test an inflatable kayak in ocean swells.

Since we had a half dozen possible spots, we went with the scientific method to choose our launch point: we’d start driving, and drop into the first one that looked cool. Simple and efficient, and that’s how we found ourselves walking into an extremely high-class art boutique, asking the owners if we could park in their lot while we explored Somes Sound.

Unfortunately they did mind, since they’d technically be liable for both the car and us launching from their docks, but they were nice enough to point us towards a local boat launch that bordered on the marina at the end of the sound. We drove over, inflated the Bogmaster 3000, packed in our lunch and camera, and headed out into the “open ocean”.

Our travels took us through many adventures, but the first was the most dangerous… not in terms of getting hurt or anything, but in terms of self control: we were paddling through one of the major marinas, and there were boats tied up all around us. Tied up and just waiting to be plundered by a pair of buccaneers such as ourselves. See, I had my hat. And that hat? That hat is awesome. And with an awesome hat, comes a strong urge to become a pirate… and if you happen to be on a “boat” already? Well, that urge becomes almost too much to handle.

Thankfully, Mike kept us true to course by distracting me with the one thing that could distract me from good piracy: Rock climbing! The opposite shore was almost all perfect straight-sided cliff faces, and Mike and I aimed the Bogmaster 3000 for a small spot that looked like a low enough angle for us to clamber up and tie up to for a bit of land-based exploration.

The clambering around on rocks and ledges was quite fun, but The Captain (Mike) and I quickly longed for a return to the nautical life. And so, after failing to find the playboy mansion (which we totally expected to find) we returned to the Bogmaster 3000, untied from the cliff, and headed back into the “open ocean”.

As we paddled away from the cliffs we set our scopes on a medium-sized island shoved right in the mouth of the bay that we were in – we had been getting a bit hungry, and it seemed as good a spot to land and have some lunch as any. Unfortunately, we weren’t the first to decide that island would be a good spot… as we pulled into a small cove, we saw a large sign barring our way,

“NO ENTRY! BALD EAGLE NESTING GROUND!”

Damn. So instead, we charted a course around the island, and into the open waters of the main bay of Somes Sound.

Out here the water turned into the kind of chop that a pirate lives for – not enough to make the paddling hard or dangerous, but just enough to make us feel like we were actual sailors on the open sea. We were aiming for a small beacon in the distance… a small little buoy gleaming orange against the dark blue of the water. As we sliced through the oncoming waves we started singing a bit of a sea-shanty, falling deeper and deeper into the dangerous waters of “pirate talk”.

By the time we moored up to the buoy (that’s right. We moored to it. I pulled the anchor line and lashed that thing to a bolt on the buoy like a true sea dog) we were completely infected by Pirate Talk. Mike actually recorded a few minutes of our trademark inane banter, where I called out what was happening and possible piracy targets (in an excellent pirate accent, I might add), and Captain LeVasseur bellowed out orders with authority that rivaled that of Barbosa himself.

It was such a level of inane fake-piracy that I could feel Blackbeard rolling in his grave, getting the Queen Anne’s Revenge ready to burst from the waters just to shut us up.

And so, since the first-mate’s job is always to protect the captain and ship, I called for us to cast off from our mooring and continue our nautical adventures… to the tune of slightly less piratical banter.

The hour was starting to get late, and more importantly it was starting to get cold, so we headed back towards the small local dock that we’d launched from. On the way we attempted to board a sailboat that was cruising around between Eagle Island and the shore… but unfortunately a kayak can’t really keep up with a sailboat, much less run it down when the wind is blowing strong. After two failed attempts at pulling along side and demanding their wine and women, we turned towards the nearby shore to do a bit more exploring before heading back to dock.

This time, we stayed and paddled around a small cove instead of actually going ashore. The reason for not going ashore? We were in the middle of a small “kelp forest”, where the seaweed grew thick in these awesomely cool pillars that you could see through the clear water of the bay. Mike pulled out his GoPro camera (waterproof, of course) and took a few most-excellent underwater shots while I paddled around the small cove.

The kelp entertained us for almost 15min, but unfortunately it was in the shade… and the day was starting to wane quite chilly, especially for those of us on the water without jackets on. And so we started making a beeline for the docks. On the way we tried pirating another row-boat that we saw cruising around, but his head start left him docked before we could get close enough to shout a challenge… and challenging a docked boat just isn’t the same as a boat on the water, so we held off our assault in favor of simply getting to shore.

The nice thing about an inflatable kayak is that it’s easy to store in a smaller car. The bad thing about it is that, instead of simply washing it off and putting it on a rack, it takes almost half an hour to deflate everything and stow it away in its travel bag. Thankfully we weren’t in any rush though, and packing the Bogmaster 3000 away gave us just enough of an extra appetite for the meal of the night: heading into Bar Harbor and devouring an entire rack of ribs, a 1.5lb lobster, a plate of fries, a beer each, and a plate of Quesadilla’s as an appetizer. A worthy meal of worthy pirates. Or, at least, attempted pirates.

Map for the Map:
A = the Marina
B = our tie-up point and land-based adventures
C = Eagle Preserve Island
D = tying up to the buoy and playing pirate
E = Attempted piracy numbers 1 and 2
F = exploring the kelp forests
G = Attempted piracy #3

4 responses »

  1. Turns out your blog is indeed optimized for Blackberry…just have to use column mode. Sounds like an awesome day…especially like the “mooring” on the buoy!

  2. Who could resist doing full pirate routine? I am poor landlubber who stumbled across this whilst Checking out inflatable kayak info. Waiting for the next installment!

    • If you’re debating getting one of those Kayaks – Do it! Mike got the Sea Eagle 330, if I remember correctly, and it’s definitely amazing to tool around & play Pirate in 🙂 Though the sail’s kinda a waste of energy…

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