Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Our" Islands..Sears...

Dear Islander, I envy you: I'm very fond of islands, too.."  Edna St. Vincent Millay
It wasn't that long ago....
Has it really been that long a leap from the warmth of summer to the cold of a January day, in the new year? Not a long leap at all but more of a quick jump from July to January, or so it seems.  Back on those high days of summer, plans were being made... routes drawn... ferry schedules perused... tide tables considered.  All of this considerable "work" , is really more a labor of love. And love it we do. Whether we travel to the islands on our boat or as passengers on one of the many ferries that ply the coastal waters. Either .. or .. is good in our book.
So I thought that since it may be a while before we get to feel the salt spray in our face, I'll spend sometime reviewing a few of the islands that we, as Millay says,  are "very fond of" as well.

It's always best to start closest to home and since we call Belfast home , that starting point will be our "go to" island when time is short... Sears Island.
Sears Island is only 5 miles by boat from the Belfast Public Landing and usually it's a very pleasant boat ride but when the ocean breezes pick up those measly miles can mean a wet, bumpy ride.
We usually head over to Searsport first to check out the ships docked at Mack Point and then follow the westerly shoreline of the island. Years ago, before the causeway was built, there was just a gravel bar that was exposed at low tide. And I've heard tell that some intrepid souls actually drove over the bar only to get stranded on the island after losing track of time and tide. At high tide small boats could actually shoot over the bar and make it to the backside of Sears. It was shallow and rocky in spots but it could be done.
Often times we will beach our boat on that western shore, hopefully on an incoming tide which eliminates the potential of being one of those stranded, lost souls as in days of yore.
Our pups love to run around a bit and do some exploring on the mix of mud, sand, seaweed and rocks.
Boyd on Sears Island (fly removed) 
And since that side of the island doesn't seem to get as many beachcombers as the eastern side,  we pretty much have it to ourselves.  One of the many great things about salt water boating is that you never know what a new tide has brought onto shore.  We will spend some time strolling around, looking for bits of sea glass or a shell of some sort,  enjoying the great view of Turtlehead to the south.
Turtlehead 08 
And on a warm summer evening its a great spot to watch the sun dipping below the Belfast horizon.
The waters surrounding the island is a favorite of the local fishermen to set their lobster pots, with a good cluster of them hugging the southern point of the island.
On the eastern shore you can find one of the better beaches around, which over looks Cape Jellison and Stockton Springs Harbor. This is a fine spot to hang out. And on those really hot summer's days, take a dip or rest in the afternoon shade.  
There are also the remains of an old wharf which is used as a nesting area for local seabirds including ospreys. 
So Sears is our first go to spot and we are very fortunate indeed to have it in our own backyard.

Next up Islesboro..