One of essentially the most attention-grabbing and lesser-known sea kayak locations on the Maine coast is Thrumcap Island. Situated between outer Johns Bay and the mouth of the Damariscotta River, the diminutive atoll is the final cease after passing a collection of rugged ledges named Thread of Life.
The Thrumcap Island space has a number of the richest historical past in America. Previous to the arrival of European explorers and settlers, Native People lived for hundreds of years in settlements on the shore of Johns Bay and alongside the Damariscotta River, the place they traveled the waterways in canoes.
Explorers akin to John Smith and Giovanni da Verrazzano visited the world within the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In 1688, a fort was constructed on close by Pemaquid Neck in the course of the French and Indian Conflict, a battle that continued for 9 years.
After I lately introduced a Penobscot Paddle & Chowder Society sea kayak journey to Thrumcap Island, two longtime buddies, Dave Boyle and Ken Gordon, enthusiastically signed on. All being over 70, we constituted a severe senior threesome.
Ron Chase and his companions launch their boats (left) at The Intestine in South Bristol. They later handed underneath a bridge (high proper) on their means out of The Intestine (backside proper). Credit score: Courtesy of Ron Chase
Prior to now, I’ve began my Thrumcap Island journeys from the boat touchdown at Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Website on the mouth of the Pemaquid River. Dave urged a comparatively new launch space extra conveniently located on the Intestine in South Bristol.
The three of us met on the small touchdown on the east aspect of the bridge over the Intestine. We had been greeted with an excellent, heat, sunny day with mild winds. A paved ramp and enough parking make this a great place to start and finish a sea kayak voyage to Thrumcap Island.
Paddling three solo kayaks, we benefited from an outgoing tide when embarking into the Intestine. The sheltered channel was incessantly used as a secure passage by Native People throughout prehistoric occasions.
At the moment, the tiny harbor is bustling with exercise. Fishing vessels and pleasure craft motored from side to side as we traveled east.
The waterway widened as we kayaked between Witch Island and Davis Level into Johns Bay. Restored Fort William Henry was seen within the distance on Pemaquid Neck. Angling south, we progressed previous the rugged jap shoreline of Rutherford Island with Johns Island within the middle of the bay on our left.
Continuing south, we arrived on the northern finish of Birch Island, which parallels and hugs the jap shore of Rutherford Island. At nearly low tide, we speculated concerning the feasibility of traversing the attenuated route between the islands.
Our nautical charts had been unclear. We gambled and received as we had been simply barely capable of negotiate between some historical pilings, underneath a bridge and thru the slender hall.
After passing Hay and Crow islands on our left, we entered the Thread of Life ledges, which start reverse the southern terminus of Rutherford Island. For the reason that seas had been calm and winds mild, the generally treacherous ledges supplied a stimulating alternative for exploration.
Shortly past Thread of Life, we arrived at Thrumcap Island. A small seaside on the southern arm of the island presents a handy place to land. After carrying our kayaks excessive onto the seaside to guard in opposition to the rising tide, we hiked an irregular path to the scenic, rockbound shore on the south aspect of the island.
When leaving Thrumcap Island and departing north, an incoming tide and a delicate tailwind helped propel us between Inside Heron and Rutherford islands into the outer Damariscotta River. We quickly handed Christmas Cove on the western aspect of Rutherford Island. The cove was reportedly named by explorer John Smith when he moored there on Christmas Day, 1614. Some sources dispute that.
Cruising blithely together with the help of the wind and tide, we by accident handed the doorway to The Intestine and continued north on Damariscotta River. Unfamiliar environment indicated there was an issue.
Ken’s GPS confirmed we had missed our vacation spot. Backtracking to The Intestine was needed. On such a wonderful day, we embraced the “free mileage.”
The bridge connecting South Bristol to Rutherford Island was raised for tall boat visitors after we entered The Intestine. After the congestion abated, we rode a robust present via the slender opening, finishing an outstanding day of kayaking to Thrumcap Island.
My e-book, “Maine Al Fresco: The Fifty Most interesting Out of doors Adventures in Maine,” relates eight extra thrilling Maine sea kayaking adventures.