Matinicus Day 3: Matinicus Harbor to Matinicus Rock Light
Given the delay in getting to Matinicus, we were left with two days to explore the area before heading back to Tenants Harbor. The weather on the third day was clear, calm and very hot, which meant dressing for immersion was not particularly fun. Since we had two days, and the weather was cooperating, Matinicus Rock Light would be on the agenda for this day.
We launched at 0900, taking a right out of Matinicus Harbor with No Mans Land Island as our first destination. Leaving No Mans Land, we made for Whaleback Ledge, Two Bush Island, and then across to Matinicus following its western coast towards Ragged Island. Going around Black Rocks, we arrived at the southern tip of Matinicus and made for Criehaven on Ragged Island.
Matinicus has the farthest from land year-round population on the Atlantic seaboard, but Ragged has the farthest from land summer population. Prior to coming over to Ragged, we had received mixed signals from the others guests about how welcoming the people of Criehaven would be towards kayakers, since in the past kayak tours that had landed there had not followed Leave No Trace practices. It turned out that the folks on Criehaven were very welcoming, although there was a comment from an elderly woman that she was glad to see we would be taking all of our things with us when we left.
Given the intense heat of the day, and not knowing whether we would be allowed to land on Matinicus Rock, we opted for an early lunch in the shade of the town's library. The rockers on the steps of the library provided a great place for lunch and the elevation provided a wonderful view of Matinicus. We were joined by Oakley the elderly Golden Retriever who spent the time rolling in the clover next to the library. With our outfits and the overall lack of visitors to the island, we were curiosity of the day. Everyone who walked by welcomed us and a few chatted with us about what we doing and about the island itself.
After lunch, we headed out of Criehaven, following the coast of Ragged Island until we could see Matinicus Rock Light. The crossing was clear and calm, with swells eventually picking up on the seaward side of Matinicus Rock. We circumnavigated the island clockwise, noting a few Puffins, Roseate Terns, Common Eiders and Common Murres. After rounding the southern tip of the Rock, the researchers at the lighthouse took note of our presence and politely reminded us that we could not land on the island.
With no landing possible, we turned and headed for the northeast part of Ragged Island, following a northerly route back to Matinicus Harbor, passing Brig, High, Seal and Green Ledges, landing at Seal Cove for a bit of a rest. We then rounded Wilson Head, passed Shag Ledge and the Hogshead before entering Matinicus Harbor. A hot, but beautiful day on the water.