Crowding/not in Maine

I am (reluctantly) back from midcoast. I was pleasantly surprised to see the same patterns as usual, while there clearly were boats somewhere on the water given the empty racks at launch points, I/we did not encounter the crowds on the water commensurate with the number of empty racks. (I was able to hook up with a couple of folks one day this year.)

It may have been the difficult paddling weather this year, at least for conservative solo paddling. I found fewer good days to get decently offshore than usual. Once in a while Ma Nature has to even the score and I have had back to back day after day of very good paddling weather the last three years.

But the only place that there were more than two other paddlers visible on the water was at Muscle Ridge, on possibly the most perfect Saturday of June and July combined. And then I never bumped into them, saw two small groups at a distance is all. I would not have been surprised to find a short queue lining up at the eastern day mark to cross the channel given how perfect the day was. Swimming beach on the mainland was crowded as heck, but all I had to do was walk thru them. And talk with one of the kids - haven’t come in there yet without a kid ten or under swimming up to chat.

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That is good to hear.

Perhaps ALL the shark reports are helping reduce the numbers a bit.

I’m not local, but we’re hearing about those even all the way out on the Pacific Coast, almost daily, but certainly at least 3+ times a week, from NY to Maine.

We’re having a major great white shark boom here on the left coast too, due to the larger seal population, and with waters warming the juveniles are being seen much further north, in Central California, than in their more traditional Southern California waters.

Aerial drones with cameras on them are helping boost sightings of shark too, which no doubt have always been there, but more concealed, back in the day before they were so popular.

Actually I did have a conversation about sharks on that paddle. Since last summer’s fatal attack in Maine there have been increased efforts to figure out where the Great Whites are. They tagged about 70 Whites and are tracking them from Cape Cod thru Maine.

What hasn’t changed is that the Great Whites’ dinners are usually lot further from where people are swimming in Maine than in Massachusetts. At this launch point, the major seal haul outs were 1.75 miles out in the archipelago.

When I was paddling in and had a kid swim up to talk to me - always happens here when the beach is crowded - he asked me if I had seen the shark. Turned out that a fisherman had come in closer to where people were swimming and told everyone he had seen a fin. Dad’s opinion was that it was probably a minor shark, they do exist in Maine. It was interesting that everyone is so jazzed up about the Whites this year he had bothered to come in and talk to the swimmers.

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I like when a sunfish empties the water of swimmers then the news turns it into a Jaws headline.

Seems like Mary, a tagged GW, comes prowling the Jacksonville shoreline on her way north and south to/from Maine each year.