The main activity on Wednesday and Thursday involved being on the water… finally!
Ever since we got our Advanced Elements kayaks we’ve been greatly enjoying any chance to get onto the water, but having the opportunity to get them wet in Maine, wow! Our initial launch was straight into the bay from our campground. Given how northern this location is, special attention has to be given to the tides. I really wish I would have managed a high/low tide comparison picture but trust me, it was quite dramatic. If we launched at the wrong time not only would we have a bit more of a current to paddle against, but if we tried to come ashore during a much lower tide then we’d have a lot of walking through mud to do. The general recommendations provided to us was to launch 2 hours before high tide, and be back no later then 1 hour after the crest of high tide.
The water proved to be brisk and even in the bay quite clear. We followed the coast line a bit as it wound its way up a narrower inlet heading inland. We had the great fortune of coming across a curious seal while on the water. To my great disappointment it never stayed above water long enough in one spot for me to get the camera on it and get a picture but just like the bear before, you’ll have to take my word for it.
After getting out, we took some time to relax and eat before going on a bit of an exploration drive of parts of Mount Desert Island we hadn’t seen, with exception to our first stop, Jordan Pond House. We so greatly enjoyed this location just south of Jordan pond that we wanted to visit it again, this time with zip lock bags! Once there the kids immediately abandoned me and Wendy and headed to the blueberry patches where they picked enough blueberries that we were able to make blueberry scones the following day (yummy). After that stop we visited Seal Harbor and a number of other locations on the ‘quiet’ side of the island. We drove through one section on the island where I’m pretty sure the median home price was well over a million dollars (later confirmed with some research). Wrapping up our exploration we found a promising location to do some kayaking the following day and headed back to the cottage under the setting sun.
Thursday started early (something the kids were real excited about) and found us winding our way to Long Pond. Located on the western side of the island this ‘pond’ was over a mile long and in excess of a hundred feet deep at the center. The real benefit of this location was good parking, lovely clear water, and since this pond is not part of the water supply system for the island we can actually swim in it.
The first part of the kayaking had us brushing against quaint (and smaller) summer homes along the shore before finally the houses ended and some wilderness begun. After being on the water about an hour and a half we found a quiet corner where there is a bit of a fish hook section of land (no more then about 25 feet wide at parts) that stretches out to provide a nice sheltered and hidden section of the lake. We found the perfect spot to pull the kayaks up and then gazed at the incredible view from our break location. There was almost no touch of humanity where we where. We couldn’t hear a sound other then then the water, wind, and birds. Additionally there was almost no visible sign of humanity either, with the exception of of a small cabin on the far side of the lake, and a small unmanned boat tethered about a third of a mile away. This proved to be the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat and do a bit of swimming. It really was a treat to have a section of the lake to ourselves as the kids frolicked in the water.
Later that evening we headed back into Bar Harbor to check out a couple more shops. Sam and I enjoyed that part of the day so much that we spent most of our time sitting out on the street waiting for the girls to finish their browsing (note sarcasm). We ended the day with some ice cream and then hopped the bus back to the campground.