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Hurricane Island Kayak Trip, Penobscot Bay, Maine





Paddle 'til You Drop (Or Where a Guide Goes on a Day Off)

It had been a day set aside to do some work around the house, but when the forecast came in -- temps in the high 80's, sunny skies, 5 - 15 knot breezes out of the southwest, 0 percent chance of precipitation, 1-3 foot seas -- it became clear that this would be an ideal opportunity to do what I call a "one day blast." On a summer that is going by all too quickly, this would be summer's summer. The goal was to be on the water at dawn and off the water at sunset . . . and to see what I could see.

After having some quality map time, scoping out places I hadn't paddled yet, and reviewing the calculus of driving time and paddling time, a destination emerged, as if from the mist, Hurricane Island , off Vinalhaven Island, in the center of Penobscot Bay. Hurricane Island looked far, even very far, for a day trip. But remember, the weather was going to be ideal, and I wanted to paddle all day.

The rest of the story soon, but in the meantime, here are the numbers and a slideshow:

Hurricane Island by the Numbers:

36.1 Distance of trip (in land miles).
12.75 Total time of trip in hours.
3.5 Hours of sleep before the trip.
5:15 AM. Arrived at launch site.
5:22 Time of sunrise.
4.8 Longest crossing in miles.
4 Number of crossings of that length (round trip).
3 Sets of porpoises sighted.
3 Dozens of seals sighted.
2 Other kayakers encountered.
0 Other kayakers encountered on open water.
20 Islands paddled past (apx.)
5 Islands set foot on.
196 Photos taken
4 Applications of sunscreen
1 Gallons of liquid consumed.
2450 Calories consumed
1200 Estimated calorie deficit.
8.5 Time spent paddling in hours (estimated).
3 Attempted power naps on islands.
7.3 Maximum speed (mph).
2.8 Average speed of trip (including stops).
9.5 Hours of sleep after the trip.