Islesboro, ME kayaking

I will be in Maine to visit in early August. I would love to have some feed back on kayaking the area.

We have 2 options, first is to fly up and back and rent kayaks, the other is to take a road trip with our 17’ travel trailer and bring my own sea kayaks.

We are there to visit and kayaking will be secondary while there. The folks there have a dock on the water and I can do day trips or just morning or evening paddles from there.

I am looking at Ducktrap Kayaks as the place to rent as they are across the West Penobscot Bay and only about 5 miles as the fish swims from the place we will be staying. I am thinking of renting the tempest 16.5 or 17 or the Lincoln Isle Au Haut.

Have you
Ever paddled Downeast Maine before? Tides are big with strong currents. The water is cold(typically 55f) in the summer. Just a little different than SC. I’m sure some others will chime in with some additional advice. That being said it’s a beautiful place to paddle.


no I haven’t
That’s why I posted. I do know how to read charts and tide tables as we have up to 7 ft tides and oyster bars. Nothing like ME though. I have a dry suit I plan on bringing with me, and will talk with the rental people for paddling advice.


– Last Updated: Jul-13-16 3:07 PM EST –

Thanks for the warning. I have paddled in at least 4 kt tidal current in narrow inlets, and play in the surf. I winter camp at the coast and paddle on 55F and colder water. I carry a VHF also.

talked with Ducktrap
He said tides are 9-11 feet and aren’t ripping through West Penobscot Bay which is open water. Right now all they have to rent is a tsunami 165.

Have at least a strap on compass
Fog has not been at all bad this year so far, but when it does come in you can’t outpaddle it. Rental boats are unlikely to have a compass installed.

Thanks a good idea i have one i’ll bring
I will have a GPS and phone with a GPS app also. I have a compass on my vest or in a deck bag.

The tidal currents are not bad but

– Last Updated: Jul-13-16 10:19 PM EST –

Beware a due south wind.
It's fun to leave from Lincolnville Beach and head out to Isleboro or Warren
Do not try to cross from Rockland. Very exposed
Fog comes in with the tide. Last week was noticeable midcoast

To be clear on the compass…
I mean one that has a big easy to read number that you can see while paddling. Like either a deck-mounted compass or a strap-on version of same. GPS units and hand helds, or anything else with a relatively small screen, are not as helpful when you get hit with a fog bank and are crossing an area of tide flow.

Maine fog is not like fog I have encountered elsewhere. When the bank that sits offshore gets blown in, you can go from excellent to 25 ft visibility in all of 20 minutes. We have clocked it.

Yes i have a strap on deck compass.
I also carry a hand held with me as back up. I have some experience in fog. But it is rare on the SC coast. Thanks again for being clear about the fog. ;0)

Fog not as much of an issue toward the
Mainland which Isleboro is toward.

Vinalhaven would be far different

Boothbay Harbor often foggy as are points like and areas toward the main body of the ocean

While Boothbay is clear two miles away

Be compassed of course.

Carry a paper chart too GPS is good for the small picture but the big pic is equally important. You do need to know where the buoys are on a chart

Which you can download for free and put in a ziploc on the deck

You will be in an area that has many islands and rocks. Looks way different at high and low tide

I was fogged in for 4 days last year in Stonington. Sounds like your going to bring the boat over on the ferry with you? You can get free charts online but I purchased my own as it’s nice to know where the water drains completely at low tide. Check the marine forecast before you go out. Just hug the shore and enjoy the scenery.

Maine ferry and kayaks
Maine ferry service is usually not friendly to bringing across kayaks without some pre-planning. At least if they are not on top of a vehicle. If that is a necessary part of the plan, to go over with a kayak on a cart or similar, make some phone calls first.

(Yup, it makes little sense. But it is so.)

Stoning ton is on a point of Deer Isle
Which extends well south into the ocean.

Of course it’s foggy there often

Pemaquid Schoodic Southport the south end of MDI all prone to fog

But not so areas more toward the mainland

The only way to get a kayak to Isleboro is on top of a car

Oh and in the fog the main hazard is not being seen by lobster boats which do work in fog

This has been a good year though and we have got out often.