Directions (from Portland, ME): From Portland take Rt. 1 South into Scarborough, turn left onto Black Point Rd. (by Amato's Sandwich shop) Drive on Black Point Road and then turn left onto Rt. 77. Cross over a bridge that goes over the Nonesuch River, As you drive you will begin to see the river behind some of the homes on Rt. 77 (on the right). As Rt. 77 begins to curve to the right the Rachel Carson Wildlife area will be on the left, just before a bridge.
(Coordinates: 43.582701, -70.257668)
Notes: I owe this paddle to Ben, a loyal blog follower! He mentioned this adventure to me and I had told him I had tried paddling here a couple of years ago and was disappointed when my friends and I got there because, at the time, there was a sign that prohibited launching from here. It was a day where my friends and I ended up paddling the Nonesuch River instead. (Click on that link for details about that trip!) Ben told me there was no longer any such sign...and he was right! (He also warned me that I would get stuck if the tide was too low and said I would be able to explore a shipwreck...yes I said shipwreck!)
After the bridge it began to open up and felt like a marsh.
The moon was still out...
The bird sightings were plentiful. I have been trying to get a picture of this bird in flight and finally did... it is a little blurrier when I enlarge it than I wanted, but love the angle!
There was some seaweed along some of the shoreline where there were bigger rocks.
This heron was between the shore and a large piece of the mud and grass that had detached... I like the shadow behind him...
They seemed to get along well...
The scenery was beautiful.
As we got closer to the ocean we came across some boats, beached, obviously, but a good sign we were in the right place. Getting to the beach was easy as the tide was going out. I thin kif the tide was high it would be a little more difficult to navigate as there are possible offshoots to the main part of the river, a good reminder to always keep track of your route to be able to return.
On the left there was a nice dock...
There it is!!! The shipwreck!! (This can be seen from Google Earth!) Ben shared with me that at high tide it is cool to paddle over the shipwreck. I am sure it is a very cool feeling. Because I am inexperienced at paddling in the ocean, I think I would be a bit nervous paddling over this area at high tide. The wreck is a little bit of a walk from the river, and I would worry that at high tide the waves may be bigger than I would want to navigate.
The history of the shipwreck, from what I learned online is this: On August 10, 1897 the Howard H Middleton, a sailing ship being used to transport coal struck a ledge and took on water and sunk. No crew died in this shipwreck. I was relieved to learn nobody lost their lives. It was something I wondered about as I explored the wreck.
Vibrant green algae grows on the ribs of the ship.
It is a good sized boat.
I kept returning to the wreck...
Looking back at the wreck from where we put the kayaks... the new and the old...
Across the river was a small airstrip from which this plane took off...was kind of cool to see that!
There is a nesting area on the beach. Please respect the rope fence and protect our endangered species.
When other gulls joined him, his feathers got ruffled!
This is one of my favorite pics of the day. I love the texture!
Looking across the river. This is where we got out of our kayaks and put back in.
Paddling back to the launch site we passed these fishing chairs... we also passed a few kayaks and canoes. I am glad people living here are using the water!
I love that the water can be so shallow and still paddle-able in a kayak.
This was a one legged bird. I kept watching it waiting to see the other leg, if it was bent up, but it wasn't... interesting...
Do you see it?
So well camouflaged!
Maine. The way life should be.
I would highly recommend this paddle for people who want to try paddling on a tidal river for the first time. It was easy to navigate and an amazing destination. Being able to get out and enjoy the beach was a lot of fun. I kept thinking that if it was a hot day it would have been so much fun to get out at certain spots to wade in the water and swimming at the beach would be awesome. (I would suggest taking some rope and perhaps a small mushroom anchor to attach to your boat(s) just in case you get so involved with the beach and swimming to pay attention to the incoming tide.) Leaving your kayak unattended at the beach could be risky. There were a good number of other people on the beach and many commented that they wish they had a kayak. I told them they should invest!
If you are paddling with the tide, I can see this would be very doable for paddlers of all ages and experience, but again, I would recommend getting to the beach at low tide and taking out before going out into the open ocean, especially if you are inexperienced or alone.
Most of the tidal rivers I have done are places where I would prefer to have paddling partners. This paddle would be a great deal of fun with friends, but I would also be comfortable doing this one solo.
Again... on the return paddle, watch for the rocks in the middle of the river, just after the pier, stay to the outer shores (right side has more space.)