Jewell Island, ME June 27-29, 2012

Upon our arrival at Jewell Island, we were eager to explore. There was a cove beckoning just ahead of our anchorage, accessible due to low tide exposing the beach, and so we decided to take the kayaks for a spin to get a closer look. Fortunately, with the addition of a ladder, we were able to board the kayaks with ease. As dusk fell, we enjoyed beautiful horizon views of the island and we were even able to sneak up on two herons who were hunting in the cove. (The photos are dark, but there are two herons in the first photo…one in the tree and one on the shoreline. Just one heron in the second photo).

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The next morning I awoke ready to get the day rolling…but…wasn’t really sure how exactly to do that. It felt as though I was on vacation but didn’t have any plans! I washed my hair, which was exhilarating, and then completed a quick varnishing project (the plywood support underneath the propane tank box) while the captain was getting his beauty sleep. We ate a light breakfast in the cockpit. Percolator brewed coffee is mighty tasty and sure does help the captain to get a good jump start! Brian had reminisced so about Gene’s bachelor party that took place on Jewell Island. He shared that it had nice hiking trails and several campsites. We planned to hike on Jewell Island for most of the morning and so packed a lunch, water, and the camera. The kayaks were launched off the deck and we headed out for adventure!

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We clamored up the side of the rocky beach, once again accessible due to low tide. Conveniently, at the top of the beach was a campsite with labeled trails. Our first destination was the Punchbowl.

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A rocky beach, the Punchbowl was lined with beach peas. We found our next trail toward the south side of the island and ventured toward the tower.

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As soon as we left the beach, the mosquitoes came out in full force! Our hike became more like speed walking as we hustled to avoid as many mosquito bites as possible. We found the tower, a WWII submarine spotting tower, and took refuge. The tower provided a cool temperature in a bug-free zone and had a glorious view at the top.

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After taking in the view, we hustled once again down the trail on the southeast side of the island. We came across a familiar campsite, Gene’s bachelor pad, and took another mosquito break by detouring to the beach. Those buggers are so blood thirsty they follow you! We walked the beach as long as possible then put on our game faces and battled the mosquitos on the shortest possible route back to the kayaks.

Well, we didn’t really start the day with a plan A and were now moving onto plan B. We kayaked right past Rode Trip and headed toward our westerly neighboring island, Cliff Island.

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Cliff Island had no mosquitos! We walked the main, dirt road for a while and got the feeling that we were back in PA. Each local that passed by gave a wave and those within hearing distance said hello. We strolled past a pick-up game of basketball played by some children on the court of the one-room schoolhouse. As we had learned from the guide book, the Cliff Island School is one of the few remaining one-room schoolhouses still functioning during the school year.

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Remember that lunch we packed when we set off? We were able to eat it, bug free, at Griffin’s Cove with a great view of Jewell Island.

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After lunch, we kayaked back to Rode Trip. I was able to articulate to Brian that I was entering vacation mode but searching for a plan, routine, etc. We spent a few hours charting and pre-planning for the day ahead. We decided we would try to leap to Bar Harbor in hopes to meet with Ryan, Jocelyn, and Steve during their July 4th vacations. PHEW! Some plans were achieved! We had appetizers and cocktails in the cockpit, and made a toast to Cocktail Cove.

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We set out for yet another dusk kayak before our early morning departure.

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