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It is best to launch from Jonesport and proceed along the northern side of Moosebec Reach to explore the Goose Islands before paddling south towards Shabbit and Duck Ledges. You can continue down the string of islands-which includes Stevens, Little Drisko, and Drisko-for protection along the way and great exploring along these shores. While you do have some protection from southwesterly winds as you pick your way among the islands, this trip should not be undertaken in a strong offshore breeze (north to northwest). The stakes are too high if you must do battle against a strong wind that wants to push you into exposed waters with no bailout points available. Save this trip for calmer conditions and good visibility.
Trip Highlights: A wild and remote paddle. Scrappy islands and the impressive western shore of Great Wass Island.
Trip Duration/Length: This is a full day involving 14 or more miles of paddling to reach the Sands and return to Jonesport. Obviously, you can cut this trip short at any point before reaching the Sands, though there is no public access on any other islands along the way.
Navigational Aids: Chart 13326 Machias Bay to Tibbett Narrows (1:40,000). Moosebec Reach buoys; lighted bell buoy at Fessenden Ledge; day beacons off Pom Island.
Cautions: Offshore winds. Very exposed conditions. Fog. Current and boat traffic in Moosebec Reach.
Launch Site: It is best to use the Jonesport public boat ramp which leaves you with the shortest mileage. As you travel along the main road through town (Route 187, a clearly marked turnoff from Route 1), look for the citgo sign, Homeport Diner, and T.A. King and Sons Trustworthy Hardware. Turn onto Sawyer Square Road and head toward the water, looking for the blue boat ramp sign. You can also launch from the Jonesport Shipyard just north of town (207-497-2701). There is protected parking and a nice boat ramp (usable at all but the lowest low tides) for a fee of $5.00 per kayak and $1.00 per night parking.
Note: Launching from the mainland puts you into Moosebec Reach, where there is a great deal of boat traffic and some current that ebbs to the west and floods to the east. If you have to travel against the tide, paddle along the fringe of the channel and use the eddies. Avoid the middle of the tide. If you're opposing it, you're in for some hard work. The current under the Beals Island bridge is even stronger because of the constriction caused by the bridgeworks; it may create strong eddy lines. Again, avoid this area during the middle of the tide.
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