careful_ PFD thread, sort of

water too warm?
That’s a contradiction in terms here in Maine—I’ve never paddled in Muscongus Bay maybe I’ll be able to get down there some time this summer—my paddle time has been limited this spring due to working 3 jobs but I’m quiting my weekend gig on June 22 which should free up a lot more time–and I’ve got some overnight guiding trips lined up in July and Aug.

I’ve heard that the town council in Bremman passed an ordinance requiring kayaks to carry flags on 5 foot poles–is that true? Also heard that the state Marine Patrol and CG won’t enforce it—I guess that leaves the harbormaster.

Found something on that
Forget the easy way, selectmen meeting minutes. But someone on nspn was tracking it and indicated the following -

“I was just made aware that the Town of Bremen (west side of Muscongus Bay) passed a flag law this past Winter. It requires all kayaks to carry an 8” X 11" flag 4 feet above the deck. It was stated that the reason for the new ordinance was to protect lobstermen from liability, not to protect kayakers. The Marine Patrol has indicated that they will not enforce this ordinance and questioned whether or not the DA would even hear these cases. The Harbor Master said that they would probably issues warnings this season and will look again at the ordinance."

If I understand correctly, the Bremen Harbor Master’s authority stops at the boundary of tidal waters around their land? Or is it broader?

You really are worried about what
and where things go, aren’t you? Relax, dude!


I am trying to plan a trip up there

– Last Updated: Jun-17-08 11:36 AM EST –

Celia gave me some good info and I need to look into camping spots. Still trying to come up with the most economical way of getting there, pop up or tent, which boats etc etc. should still be cheaper than flying everyone up.
then..what to do with the kids and mom...I want to be out paddling!


That is a really useless analogy
driving versus paddling. First, driving a car is completely unlike paddling a canoe, raft or kayak. The vehicle and the medium are completely different. Your psychology, reflexes and physiology are evolved from land, not water. The carryover of attitudes and risk analyses from land to water is is not the same, but often practiced that way. Good luck.


What else do you need to get filled in?
Darned if I can remember anything I said. But we are doing some checking for ourselves anyway, so if thre’s something we can find out for you while we are there let us know.

As to wife and kids - we discovered a new place last year, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens just outside of Boothbay. Absolutely lovely, and can be a solid day’s walk to see it all. Lots of of places that are well shaded to just sit and look at the water, also a fairy’s garden of sorts where people are free to build personal totems from sticks and leaves and bark and whatever else is under the trees. Great for the kids, and cooler than most will admit for the grups too.

If a smidge further up Camden is a pretty good bet. Good central location for shops, day cruises on pretty much anything that floats including really nice traditional sailboats. The more kid-oriented place is Boothbay, and they also run whale watches and Puffin Tours out of ther. It’s also more touristy.

BTW, if on a puffin tour bring really good binocs. We’ve been out to Eastern Egg twice now with puffins flying around our heads, even in mid-July there are stil a few around, and the Puffin Watch ship sitting well out from the island with people trying desperately to see what are already pretty darned small birds for a penquin.

an 8" X 11" flag 4 feet above the deck.
So, I wonder if the local hardware and marine supply stores have these poles and flags… I guess it will look neat when rolling :wink:

As I recall from last year, Maine Sport had led white lights on about a 3’ or so pole with a suction cup. I suppose one could have the white light for night and the flag for day…

I’m going to go up and paddle
with jonsprag


Lucky you!

– Last Updated: Jun-17-08 1:21 PM EST –

By the way, was this thread about safety or something? Not that this isn't more fun...

I’ve just got my weekends freed
up after June 22—give me a call anytime youre in the area—I’ve sent you my phone number in an e-mail–the best areas I’ve been paddled on the coast are Stonington and Mount Desert Island in that order–

If you want to go to Stonington check out Old Quarry Ocean Adventures–207-367-8977–you can base yourself out of there and paddle the whole area, or if you want you can overnight on many of the public and MITA islands in the area–you should be a MITA member for the private ones, but the public ones are open to everybody—also there are other things to do at Old Quarry besides paddle—mountain biking on Isle au Haut, boat rides on the Nigh Duck and sailboats for rent.(shameless plug here, I do some guiding for them.) If you want to do both Stonington and Mount Desert its only about an hour drive–or 4-5 hour paddle between the two.

stops at the town boundries I believe
but I have access to a law library–so I’ll check

jurisdiction of harbor masters
According to title 38, MRSA a town can appoint a harbormaster who has jurisdiction over the territorial waters bordering that town—Title 12 MRSA sec 6001(48-B) defines territorial waters as “all waters of the State within the rise and fall of the tide seaward to the 3-mautical-mile line as shown on the most recently published Federal Government nautical chart…”

So here’s the bad news
If I am reading the map right, that means the Bremen Harbor Master can issue warning notices to paddlers in and around the following islands:

Hungry, Thief, Crow, Strawberry, Marsh, Little Marsh, Loud’s and that tiny one at the end of Loud’s with a MITA campsite. Maybe Wreck on one side, don’t recall that one for sure.

And anyone coming around Pemaquid Point.

This is not going to be an easy situation to avoid given that two of those are heavily used public islands, and many of the other private ones also have MITA campsites. Let alone figuring out how to avoid Pemaquid Point for distance paddlers.

one thing I forgot to add
harbormasters can only carry firearms and arrest you if the town council gives them special permission and they complete the 18 week basic police course in Waterville—so at least they can’t shoot you or throw you in jail.

old quarry charges
way to much to park and launch.

they do charge

– Last Updated: Jun-18-08 10:11 AM EST –

6 dollars to park and 5 to launch but it is a business and they are in it for a profit- this is about 1/3 of what you will pay to park in a major city--the alternative is to park on the street in downtown Stonington and launch at the public boat ramp---your car may not be there when you return and you will really piss off the local lobstermen who do not like people from away in "their space"

A lot of people will say they support "green" businesses and ecotourism but balk at paying for them---if you want to have facilities like OQ which really is one of the better ones in Maine, then you have to pay for it---the reality is that the free access to the water that Mainers have enjoyed for centuries is vanishing as more and more waterfront is purchased by out of state devlopers or private land owners who will exclude you and me.

PS---If you are camping there or renting the cottage, there is no extra charge for parking or launching---the charges only apply to day users or those who overnight on the islands and the parking charge after the first day goes down to 5$ a day.

BTW what do you think a fair price would be for a days parking and launching a kayak--bearing in mind the guy who bought the property and developed it has a whopping mortgage to pay and only 4 months(or less) in the summer to make any money?

Good to know!
I doubt I could get my Explorer LV into the cell with me, and I’d hate to leave her lying around.

Seriously, I’ll call Maine Sport. They used to use Crow a good bit, though we have seen them less lately. They probably have someone figuring out how to work around this. I doubt much info from the Audubon place on Hog. It’s unclear whether they still keep a kayak fleet, and the last time I tried to participate in one of their things I found them to be rude in the extreme to local kayakers anyway.