Kittery to Jewell

Little Harbor is mirror smooth at sunrise. Another beautiful day is upon us. We departed at 7:30 and met our friends on Sea Dweller and Changing Course at the harbor entrance. We plugged in the waypoints to Jewell Island on the outer fringes of Casco Bay and were on our way, dodging lobster pots every 100 yards, forever it seemed. Seas were calm with 3 foot swells at 8 seconds, nice ride. We pass Kennebunkport and are passing Portland when a fast moving cold front blasts through and the rain begins. We did a circle or two waiting for this cell to pass before heading into our anchorage at Jewell Island. Fortunately it is past us in short order and we didn’t get much rain, no lightning, and the sea state remained calm.

We rounded the last red nun and turned into the long and narrow harbor. Another boat was already at anchor so the 4 of us seemed to fill up the small bay. We quickly dug out our hiking boots and some warm clothing and headed to shore for a hike. Tying the tenders to shore is an art here where the tidal range in 10 feet. A circular loop of line 200 feet in length is fixed to the tender and run through the anchor. One throws out the anchor in water you hope will remain when the tide runs out; then motor to shore and exit the tender. Then you use the line to pull the tender back offshore to its anchor. when the tide drops 10 feet the tender will remain afloat. When you return you simply pull on the line to bring the tender back to shore. Nice trick.

We hike a mile or two through thick woods to visit the Towers. These concrete towers were built in WWII and used to spot German submarines off the coast to protect the port of Portland, closest US port to the European theater. The views from the slits in the concrete walls were worth the climb.

It has been several years since we’ve hiked in pine forest; ferns are in bloom, bright green moss covers patches on the ground. The trail is frequently interrupted by rock ledges and tree roots. The scent of various flowers lingers in the air. Saw a couple mosquitoes too. We hiked to the Punchbowl on the east side of the island.

Interesting geology here. At low tide rock ledges completely circle a broad beach and a shallow body of water. The rocks appear to have been layered seabed a millennia ago. Beach roses line the island side and are in bloom. Off shore one can see lighthouses, islands, rocky coast…..we are a long way from Florida! What a spectacular day!


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