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The Island Trail

The Newsletter of the Maine Island Trail Association • Fall/Winter 2001

Refuge Reflections

College Island Use Guidelines •

Counting Terns Can Be Treacherous!

Day use only by small groups of 2-3 people; no camping.

Step only on bare rock surfaces to avoid trampling plants and lichens.

by Lauri Munroe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Any signs of nesting bird activity on College should be reported to MITA’s Portland office.

This is the first in what we hope will be a series of articles by Lauri Munroe, Outdoor Recreation Planner at Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge encompasses Bois Bubert and Halifax Islands (among others), which are open to careful use by MITA members cruising the far Down East coast. Reprinted with permission from The Free Press, Rockland, Maine.

No pets, no smoking, and no fires.

First, put on a hat, an old hat that you don’t care about, because it’s likely to be decorated with whitewash (as are you) at the end of the day. Next, secure a long stick to the back of your head (duct tape works well). Finally, fill your pockets with wooden sticks (like the ones that hold frozen treats).␣ Now, you’re ready to count terns. Earlier this year we conducted the annual tern census for the Gulf (continued on page 10)

In this issue: Members, Ready About! ......... 3 Great Gear ................................. 4 Volunteer Vacation ................... 5 An Island To Remember ......... 6 Notes on Jewell ........................ 7 The Island Trail Workout .. 8 - 9 Ebb & Flow ............................. 13 Acknowledgements ............... 14

Crow – Cranberry Island Use Guidelines •

To be used primarily as a stopping point for those traveling east or west along the outside route around Mt. Desert.

Please limit stays to one night and do not exceed the island’s recommended camping capacity of 5 people.

Set up tents on the SE edge of a spruce grove on the S end of the island.

Please make sure to pull all hand-carried boats well into the grass.

Late-Season Largess Owners Share Two More Islands with MITA


hose who haven’t yet packed up their boats for the season have two more good reasons to put off the dreaded day a bit longer: College Island and Crow – Cranberry. Thanks to the generosity of their owners, both of these private islands are now available for careful use by MITA members.

Members Accepted at College College Island is a rocky islet located just off the southwest shore of Long Island in Casco Bay. The island has beautiful but fragile patches of goldenrod, rugosa rose, and bayberry. Plus, a striking orange-yellow lichen blankets the southeast-facing ledges. It’s a lovely place for weary paddlers to take refuge from the legendary Hussey Sound currents. But don’t plan on staying overnight “on campus.” Because of the island’s small size and delicate vegetation, College’s owners – the (continued on page 11)


An Island Trail Update by Kevin Lomangino MITA BOARD OF TRUSTEES Greg Barmore • James Bildner • Kristi Anderson Bjornerud • Pat Born Smith • Bill Brown Rob Cabot • Robert Ives • William MacLeod Annette Naegel • Chuck Remmel David Shultz • Greg Shute • Steve Spencer Hans Underdahl • Jeremy Wintersteen STAFF Karen Stimpson Executive Director Deb Clark Bookkeeper/Office Manager Peg Deutsch Membership and Business Manager JoAnn Fairchild Development Officer Amy Kersteen Stewardship Programs Manager Sarah Lavigne Office Manager Kevin Lomangino Publications Editor Tania Neuschafer Education and Outreach Manager Rachel Nixon Trail Manager Sid Quarrier Project Coordinator Joanie Rhoda Membership Database Manager Gerhard Saas Casco Bay Island Caretaker

The Maine Island Trail is a 325-mile long waterway extending from Casco Bay on the west to Machias Bay on the east. Along the route, state-owned and private islands are available to members or the public for overnight stopovers where one can picnic or camp in a wilderness setting. The Maine Island Trail Association (MITA) is a nonprofit conservation organization, whose goal is to establish a model of thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship for the Maine islands that will assure their conservation in a natural state while providing an exceptional recreational asset that is maintained and cared for by the people who use it. This goal is achieved by encouraging a philosophy of low-impact use and environmental awareness among MITA’s members and island visitors. MAINE ISLAND TRAIL ASSOCIATION

Editing MITA’s publications for the past two years has been a fun and creative process that I have thoroughly enjoyed. My other career as a medical writer can be, well, a bit clinical – whereas at MITA I’ve found writing that I can truly get passionate about. Whether it’s the search for new islands to profile in the Guidebook, or the search for the perfect boat that we’ve chronicled in this newsletter, my work at MITA has always involved new and interesting challenges. And at every turn I’ve been helped along by enthusiastic MITA staff, members, and volunteers. So now is probably a good time to say thanks to all of the people who have made my experience here such a rewarding one. Because this fall, if all goes as planned, I will be taking an extended trip abroad. My wife and I plan to spend a few months in New Zealand, and perhaps other destinations in the South Pacific. We hope to do plenty of hiking, biking, and paddling, while also sitting around in our shorts thinking about the winter we’ll be missing in Maine. Needless to say, I won’t be bringing along my laptop, so somebody new will be editing the Guidebook and The Island Trail. I hope to stay involved with MITA’s publications in some capacity when I return, but for now it seems too early to predict what I’ll be doing so many months down the road. In the mean time, the beat goes on here at The Island Trail. We have some important announcements to make, so please read on.

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box C, Rockland, Maine 04841-0735 Office Locations: 328 Main Street, Rockland, Maine 04841 (207) 596-6456 • 41A Union Wharf, Portland, Maine 04101-4607 (207) 761-8225 • Web site: Vol. 13


No. 2

Tipsters Wanted After many years of faithfully providing us with great advice on navigation, gear, and other nuggets of boating wisdom, Gordon Talley is stepping down from his post as

our regular “Tips and Techniques” columnist. Gordon says he has appreciated the opportunity to contribute, and looks forward to writing again as a guest columnist a few issues down the road. But for now it’s time to let someone else have a chance – that way he can learn more. So that means we have space for new hands to give it a try. If you’ve got some new or different ideas for better boating – whether it’s in a kayak, sailboat, or powerboat – we’d love to hear from you. Send email or give us a call in the Portland office and we will work with you to develop an article.

Calling All Gearheads On page 4 we begin what we hope will be a new and engaging discussion for members: great gear for island adventures. As with our perfect boat series, we hope this will be a hot topic that will generate lots of feedback from readers. If you have an interesting piece of boating gear that gets the job done, we want to hear about it! Send your thoughts to us in the Portland office.

Corrections While the boats featured in our previous contest issue may have been perfect, the editing unfortunately was not. Wayne Fagerberg, our second place finisher, and Dino Joannides, who received honorable mention, were both identified as hailing from Portland, Maine. In fact, Wayne lives in Barrington, New Hampshire, and Dino resides in Flemington, New Jersey. Our sincerest apologies for the error. ■

Members, Ready About! Your Feedback is Critical as MITA Explores a New Tack by Karen Stimpson, Executive Director

Wish List • Workboat, 18’ or larger

As we stare down the horizon and coming winter, we at MITA are pondering some fairly heady questions for which we seek your guidance. Below, following a brief review to put things in context, we have listed three important issues that we hope you’ll take a moment to think about and respond to, either by writing us or giving us a call in the Portland office.

For the past three years, MITA has made cautious, conservative moves toward the future – a deliberate process to build and strengthen our volunteer base, island stewardship, and most significantly, our coffers. We have done this successfully by keeping our staff lean, our offices spare, and our work fleet modest. (A good deal of credit goes to the volunteers, along with staff, who have put in long, unpaid hours to bring MITA safely to where it is today!) But much of this may be about to change: MITA is poised and ready to make great strides forward. Beginning at our Annual Conference this September, and continuing with a comprehensive strategic planning process this winter, MITA’s staff, advisors, and Board of Trustees will be contemplating and discussing the Association’s next evolution. We hope you will become a part of this conversation, and in turn help shape MITA’s future, by sending us your thoughts regarding these issues: •

As a MITA member, what do you think we should be doing more of? Less of? What motivates you to renew your membership each year?

• Handheld VHF radios • First aid kits • Power Mac or better computers and monitors • $$ or painter’s time/ resources to repaint MITA workboats •

Should we consider expanding the Trail, such as linking with existing Canadian water trails to form a Gulf of Maine Island Trail Association (GOMITA) Do you think MITA should continue to dedicate time and resources to managing the public Trail islands for the good of the general public, or would you prefer that we prioritize enhancing and increasing member access to private properties?

To date, MITA’s decade-long evolution has been from access (establishing a Trail system of islands and a membership to enjoy them) to stewardship (setting up a volunteer force to take care of the islands we access) to usage management (education, and in some cases, limiting or re-directing island visitors). What’s next? ■

• Affordable office space on the Portland waterfront – 1,000 sq. ft. minimum • Plain paper fax machine • Filing cabinet, 4-drawer or 2-drawer • Camera – digital or traditional film • Pro bono bookkeeping consultant with Net Books experience • Office chairs & desk • Camp kitchen with mess kit and/or cook stove • Vacuum cleaner, tool kit, shovel & rake • Copier – high volume with sorter • Four-person tent ■

SEA KAYAKING & WHITEWATER EQUIPMENT Boats, Accessories, Tours Instruction 42 Stevens Road • Bowdoinham • Maine 04008 Telephone (207) 666-8481 “On the shores of Merrymeeting Bay”


Great Gear for Island Adventures: The Amazing Portable Boat Box In the past few issues, we’ve devoted quite a bit of space to the pursuit of the perfect Trail cruiser. While the search goes on elsewhere – as well it should – we’d like to move our discussion along to an equally important (and often contentious) topic: boating and camping gear. For our first installment, member and Monitor Skipper Ted Scharf gets us going with an account of his homemade portable storage box. We hope members will tell us about other interesting or unique gear items that they take with them out on the water. Or tell us why you go minimalist and we’ll share that perspective as well. From a distance he might appear a bit lost out on the islands, towing that luggage-looking box across a stretch of rocky shoreline. “First time camping?” you might be tempted to ask, as you size up his seemingly greenhornish choice of gear. But then, as evening draws near, you may catch a waft of something that smells pretty good coming from that novice’s campsite. “Is that a two-burner stove he’s got over there? Where’d that come from?” you ask, as you boil up some rice on your Whisperlite. Darkness descends, and you see him enjoying a glass of wine, then cracking open a book to read by the light of his Coleman lantern. The batteries in your own headlamp are soon dead, leaving you to drift off to sleep, muttering to yourself. When morning breaks, you awake to the tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed gourmet coffee. Knowing that the instant grounds in your food bag won’t be nearly so enticing, you get out of bed, mug in hand, and make your way over to the source of that wonderful scent. Alas, you arrive to catch just a glimpse of your “ill-equipped” neighbor exiting toward the shoreline, his box clanking behind him as it rolls down the path. 4

The Carry-On Luggage Camper For those of you who may have experienced something similar to the preceding fiction, I am happy to clear up the mystery of the “carry-on luggage camper.” His name is Ted Scharf, and he’s no novice. In fact, his seeming suitcase is actually a highly evolved piece of gear developed after years of island camping. Put simply, Ted’s boat box is made for convenient transport of camp cooking gear from his boat to an island campsite. It’s constructed of fiberglass-coated balsa wood with teak trim, and it’s about the size of a small carry-on suitcase. These dimensions aren’t a coincidence, because the box is mounted on top of a metal frame pulled from an actual piece of wheeled luggage that Ted bought at Goodwill. The telescoping suitcase handle takes up no room in the boat, but extends at the push of a button to make for easy transport over land. The wheels, though designed for polished airport floors, perform admirably when put to use on rocky island shores.

Thinking Inside the Box The box’s main compartment is accessible via a set of hinged doors that latch closed. Inside Ted stores just about everything anyone could possibly ask for on a camping trip. “People are always trying to stump me when we’re out camping by asking for something they think I don’t have,” Ted says. “More often than not, they’re the one’s who get stumped.” When you look at the impressive list of gear that Ted carts around inside, you see that he’s not kidding. The inventory includes a large cook pot, coffee pot, french press, coffee mug, cutting board, a Coleman lantern, plastic wine glasses, paper plates, salt and pepper shakers, and a whole supply of cooking utensils. Knives, forks, and other implements are stored in a zippered bag that is velcroed to the backside of one of the

Ted Scharf and his boat box. doors; once he reaches camp, Ted attaches the bag to a second velcro strip on the outside of the box, where it’s out of the way but easily accessible. Turn the box over and there is an open compartment with just enough room for a two-burner Coleman stove. Flexible straps snap together to secure the stove in place during transport.

More Functionality The box is strong, which Ted can readily demonstrate by standing on top of it. He says it makes for a good seat, too, whether at camp or on board the sparsely furnished MITA workboats. While some might marvel at the box’s versatility, Ted says he’s not satisfied and that he’s working on still more improvements. “I’ve been told I need to put a spice shelf on it, and it would be nice to have a lantern holder, too” he explains. He’s also mulling over the addition of foldable legs, so that the box can serve as a tabletop. Then again, Ted is also tempted to just start over from scratch, in order to fix the one glaring problem for which he doesn’t have a solution. “The box is about a half-inch too shallow for me to fit in a roll of paper towels lengthwise,” he says. Some things you just can’t live without... ■

Volunteer Vacation Talk to most clean-up volunteers and you’re bound to hear about how tough, but also rewarding it is to collect and load up several islands’ worth of trash. At this spring’s Stonington cleanup, however, the volunteers sounded as if they’d just been treated to a decadent Maine coast pleasure cruise. “It was incredibly luxurious,” said volunteer Mollie Mahanna. “I signed up to donate my time, but instead it felt like we got an all-expenses-paid downeast vacation.” Now, we’ve heard many different words used to describe MITA’s clean-ups, and they’re usually quite positive. Still, “vacation” is not a word that comes immediately to mind. What gives? The source of this little incongruity can be traced back to Jim and Sally Littlefield, proprietors of the Oakland House B&B in Brooksville. Unbeknownst to most volunteers when they signed up, Jim and Sally graciously offered to host the clean-up crew on the Friday evening before the event. And if the reviews from participants are any indication, hosting is something that Jim and Sally do very, very well. Upon arrival at the pictureperfect shoreline setting, some 20 MITA guests were treated to a cocktail reception, followed by a sumptuous roast chicken dinner with homemade blueberry pie for dessert. After retiring for a wonderful night’s sleep in their private suites, volunteers woke the next day to a hearty breakfast buffet before setting out to clean the Trail islands. Given this auspicious start, it’s no wonder that, over the course of the weekend, the wellfed and well-rested volunteers were able to haul some 25 bags of trash off of 24 islands, post 18 signs and logbooks on the public islands, clear blowdowns on Hen, Sellers, Potato and Wheat, and build a new platform on Hells Half Acre!

MITA would like to thank Jim and Sally for extending such extraordinary hospitality to the organization. And as for those individuals who benefited directly from the Oakland House’s generosity, their thoughts were pretty well summed up by volunteer Amy Donohoe. While we were packing up gear at the end of the event she asked, “Is it too early to sign up for next year’s clean-up?” ■

Oakland House Co-Proprietor Jim Littlefield, standing at rear, checks in as his guests enjoy a delicious dinner.

Kudos to the Crew Please join us in offering a special thanks to all of the volunteers who helped make last spring’s clean-ups so successful.

Skippers and Trip Leaders Dave Ames Olivia Atherton Greg Barmore Lesley Devoe Kim Gass Henri Gignoux Jim Owen Robby Pawle Sid Quarrier Walter Reed Ted Scharf Chris Tadema-Wielandt Steve & Terri Titcomb Rick Treiss Doug Welsh

Crew Members Noreen Delorey Amy Donahoe John Dyett Jim Flahaven

Chris Flynn Mary Kathleen Fowler Cyndi Hall Chris Hann Jan Holder Kurt Greenstone Jon & Charlotte Lawton Mollie Mahanna Andrea Mietkiewicz Susan Monnier Lucia Nixon Justine Owen Anne Pokras Gregory Rec Darcy Rollins Becky Sheehan Cynthia Simon Victor Skorapa, Jr. Jeff Strout Peter Taylor Susannah Tesoriero Michael Valentine Amy Wilson

We also appreciate the assistance of Bill Baker of Old Quarry Ocean Adventures in Stonington and the Maine Coast Experience in Brooklin. Bill once again provided trash disposal for the Stonington area clean-up, while Maine Coast Experience provided launch access and parking. And finally, a very sincere thank you to the folks at Coastal Kayaking in Bar Harbor for carrying out the first-ever clean-up on Stevens Island, which is new to the Trail this year.



An Island to Remember by JoAnn Fairchild As a child, Sylvia Erhart remembers it taking two, sometimes three, days to travel from her family’s New York home to their summer place Down East. “During the War, to extend the gasoline rations, father would shut off the engine at the crest of a hill and we’d coast down,” she says, “as many other people did in those days.” At the journey’s end awaited Mount Desert Island, with its scenic views, carriage roads and tranquil footpaths – a rich reward for their troubles, especially so back then. Nowadays the island is a bit more crowded, notes Sylvia’s husband, Charles. But he says that quiet nooks remain to be explored, if you know where to find them. And tucked along the western shore of Mount Desert lies just such a spot, little Folly Island, which is owned by Sylvia and her sister Julia Coleman. “Our grandfather loved this place,” remembers Sylvia, recalling that he purchased the island for $500 just after World War II. “Our mother was known by everyone in the family as Folly” she adds, “but that’s not where the island gets its name.” According to Charles B. McLane’s book, Blue Hill Bay: Islands of the Mid-Maine Coast (Kennebec River Press, 1985), the name Folly has been in use since the middle of the nineteenth century. At an even earlier date, the island was owned by the Bartlett brothers, David and Isaac. As the legend goes, David would say to Isaac: “Isaac, I’m going to my island to cut wood,” and the other would reply, “That‘s all folly, David, it’s my island.’’ Each Bartlett thought the other’s claim was absurd. A judge, called in to settle their dispute, argued that it was “folly” to contend over so small an island. 6

The Niliraga II as seen cruising past Folly. Located at the entrance of Pretty Marsh Harbor and at the southern end of Bartlett Narrows, Folly is indeed small. “It’s six acres at low tide,” Charles says. “Don’t make it sound any smaller than it is,” Sylvia interjects. “It’s seven acres.” Nonetheless, the island offers a convenient stopping point while boating in the Narrows. No camping, no fires and no dogs are allowed, but day-trippers will have fun exploring. Much of the island is covered with shrub growth, patches of spruce and a few deciduous trees. The northern end is dense with pine, while the southwest corner of the island rises to a meadow of grass and a few blueberry bushes. “Folly used to be full of raspberries and blueberries, but they’ve long since disappeared,” notes Sylvia. The southern half was once cultivated, she thinks, and there used to be an old spring on the island. For Sylvia and her sister, the island is inextricably linked to their grandfather’s schooner, the Niliraga, built in 1926. “He lived on the boat during the summers,” Sylvia explains, “often anchoring off Folly and spending time clearing away brush on the island.” Continuing the family tradition, the Erharts named their boat the Niliraga II, which they keep in

Southwest Harbor near their Manset home. The Erharts clearly gather strength and pleasure from the company of each other and their sunny island home. They say this is where their children like to come, too. “Our children are scattered all over the world, from California to Australia, but all five of them converge on Maine in the summer,” says Charles, as he reaches down to pet one of the family dogs. Slumbering on the sofa, even Rufus seems to feel “down home” in coastal Maine. ■

Notes from Jewell Island by Gerhard Saas, Casco Bay Island Caretaker After the many months of planning and anticipation that preceded this, the inaugural year of the Casco Bay Island Caretaker Program, it is hard to believe just how quickly the summer on Jewell has come and gone. As I write this, the Labor Day weekend has just passed, and it will soon be time for me leave the island. Judging by my experience here so far, we can expect to end the season having made great strides toward accomplishing MITA and the State of Maine’s objectives for the public islands in Casco Bay. My day-to-day experience on Jewell Island certainly has been an idyllic one. Rising each morning to these dramatic surroundings has made clear the importance of the stewardship work that I am doing.␣ I have never felt quite so connected to the land, never quite so in tune with an elemental need to do right by an island.␣ Sometimes I feel as though I have forged a spiritual relationship with this place, a relationship that remains strong despite the hardships of living without running water, electricity, and other modern comforts. Observing the endless cycle of nature provides a daily source of wonder.␣ The Casco Bay islands are distinct living laboratories, as each island ecosystem can vary widely from another.␣ For example, the growing patterns on Jewell and Crow Islands are astonishingly different. Though only a mile or so of bay separates them, the blueberries on Crow were ripe several weeks before those on Jewell. I’ve had the opportunity to interact with all kinds of people, and this is something I’ve truly enjoyed. Jewell Island supports a great diversity of uses: for those cruising the Maine Coast it offers safe harbor, while for city folks it provides a rustic camping experi-

Gerhard jots down some observations as he makes his rounds on Jewell.

Leopold:␣ ”When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect...That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.␣ That land yields a cultural harvest is a fact long known, but latterly forgotten.” Those wise words are now over fifty years old, but their spirit is alive and well on Jewell Island and all of the special islands that MITA lovingly manages. ■

ence just a few miles from the state’s largest urban center. Residents of nearby islands view Jewell as a unique summer playground. I am also inspired to see just how special Jewell is to everyone who arrives on its shores, whether they have a long history of enjoying the island, or are arriving here for the very first time.␣ My task of providing low-impact education is made easier when we can approach the subject from a common feeling and appreciation for our surroundings.␣ I’m reminded of a concept that I have always held dear, put forth by the great wildlife ecologist Aldo

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The Island Trail Workout 1

Do you feel like toning up, but can’t seem to get down to the gym? At MITA we’ve got the perfect solution: The Island Trail Workout! It’s simple. Just check this newsletter for upcoming work project opportunities, call the Portland office to sign up, and then get ready to have a good time while doing good work out on the islands. Here are some MITA staffers and volunteers to show you how it’s done.

t to keep th a hearty breakfas You have to start wi the spring long. Here some of going strong all day th Sally Stonington pose wi clean-up crew from after B Oakland House B& Littlefield from the eceding pr e th kfast, as well as ich enjoying a huge brea wh of all s, accommodation e us night’s dinner and Ho d an kl Oa nated by the do ly us ro ne ge re we .) ge 5 for the full story proprietors. (See pa

2 MITA intern Channa Cummings dives right into some deep knee ben d on the Casco s as she picks up some “w Bay East clea hite roses” n-up.


eep that You can k hine in the ac gs; rowing m re it belon e closet wh A workboat, IT poling a M ated here by tr s n will as demo esoriero, T h a Susann your heart really get lso pictured !A pumping dema-Wielandt Ta s ri h C are ahanna Mollie M d n a ) k c a (b (waving).


” erally “feel the burn Gregory Rec can lit m fro log g in ok e sm as he clears a massiv it on Little Snow. ep fir d ize or th an unau

It’s better than the old medicine ball! Walter Reed (right) pushes a wayward truck tire up to where he and fellow volunteers Andrea Mietkiewicz, Henri Gignoux, and Noreen Delorey pose in front of their clean-up booty (below). Bill Baker of Old Quarry Ocean Adventures in Stonington graciously carted away the trash to the dump.



Don’t forget to work those ch eek muscles! From the top left, L ucia Nixon, Joanie Rho Kurt Greenston da, Cindi Hall, and e (front) pose with a boatload of tr ash on the Mu scongus Bay Clean-Up .



9 “Hammering on Hells” isn’t quite the torture that it sounds, but it’s no picnic for the upper body. From the left, Mollie Strout, Jim Flahaven, M ahanna, Jeff and Leanne Dech de monstrate tent platform construction on Hell’s Half Acre Islan d.


ow give me ue, fellas. N iq n ch te e ic “N BPL’s Ralph t!” says the se re o members m e n o fellow crew d n a e H . n ielandt, Wilkinso s Tadema-W new ri h C , n n a Chris H eautiful arf built a b . and Ted Sch Chebeague last spring e tl it L n o y priv

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REFUGE (continued from page 1) of Maine. Researchers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Audubon Society, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Canadian Wildlife Service, and the private sector fanned out along the coast and looked for terns. Staff from the Service and National Audubon conducted careful nest surveys on the six islands in Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge that are managed for common, Arctic, and roseate terns.

The Methods... Tern nest censuses are conducted in a similar fashion to eider nest counts. Researchers walk in a horizontal line through the colony, looking for nests. Terns lay eggs in shallow depressions, or bowls, created among small rocks or in short grass. On rocky islands, such as Matinicus Rock, the birds will even lay eggs in a rock crevice. The eggs are well camouflaged, about the size of a small stone and colored brown with dark splotches.␣ Depending on their location, they can be very hard to see. Researchers stay close together during a tern survey, usually no more than an arm’s length apart. When a surveyor finds a nest, he or

A stick on the back of the head acts as a lightning rod for tern assaults. she calls out the number of eggs it contains. The recorder repeats the information to confirm that it’s been heard. As with the eider nest count, the line moves across the island from one side to the other then pivots on the end person. This continues until the whole island has been checked. Surveyors mark each nest by laying a stick beside it.␣ This prevents it from being counted twice. It also provides a way to correct the final count for human error. After the entire colony has been checked, one person walks through in a random direction tallying marked and un-

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marked nests. A correction factor is calculated by dividing the number of unmarked nests in the sample by the number of marked nests in the sample. The total count for the island is then increased proportionally to account for nests that were missed.

...and the Madness A tern census is not a civilized affair. At the first sign of trespass, the adults take flight and begin a noisy, aerial assault on any intruder. Their staccato calls bring to mind machine-gun fire. They dive and attack, hitting researchers on the head with their sharp bills, sometimes drawing blood. Terns aim for the highest point on their victim. This is where the stick on the back of the head comes in handy; it acts as a lightning rod for tern assaults. There’s no way to avoid fallout from the flock, however, and one can only hope that it lands on clothing and not down the back of the neck. The eggs of the three species of terns nesting on Maine’s offshore islands are very similar in appearance. For this reason, the census figures indicate the total numbers for common, Arctic, and roseate terns. An estimate of the population of each species is determined later in the nesting season by identifying a representa-

tive sample of adult terns on an island and applying the species proportions in the sample to the whole island population. Census results from the six Refuge restoration islands showed a total of 5,164 tern nests, or pairs, a net increase of 320 over last year. Petit Manan and Seal islands and Matinicus Rock continue to support large colonies. Ship, Pond, and Metinic islands, all more recent restoration sites, had significant gains.␣ Results from all islands in the Gulf of Maine will be reported later in the year by the Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group. Counting tern nests on one of Maine’s offshore islands is not an easy job. It takes concentration, patience, and a certain amount of courage. It is gratifying, however, especially when the total indicates an increase in nesting pairs. At Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge, we believe one good tern deserves another. Strung along the Maine coast like a strand of pearls, the islands of Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge protect precious habitat for nesting seabirds, wading birds, and bald eagles.␣ The Refuge’s mainland units complement the offshore gems by supporting migratory songbirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl. For more information, contact the Refuge headquarters in Milbridge, at 546-2124, or the satellite office in Rockport, at 236-6970. ■

LARGESS (continued from page 1) Oceanside Conservation Trust – request that members access the property during the daytime only; camping is prohibited. They also ask that those visiting the island do so only in small groups of 2-3 people. The Oceanside Conservation Trust is an organization that fosters protection of undeveloped open space, scenic areas, and historic landmarks in the Casco Bay region. Trust officials very graciously sought MITA out to help manage increased boater access to the island. But they also highlighted a few concerns that we hope members will take to heart. In addition to the camping prohibition, the Trust requests that members step only on bare rock surfaces and not soil, lichens, or other island plant life. Members should also be aware that College has in the past been home to nesting terns. While no terns have nested on the island for many years, please be alert for indications that the birds are reestablishing a presence. Any signs of nesting bird activity on College should be reported to MITA’s Portland office. Finally, given the island’s close proximity to nearby houses, members should try to keep a low profile during their visit. Neighboring Long Islanders have a long history of enjoying College Island, and their traditional use of the property should be respected. ␣ ␣ ␣ ␣

when the owner of Crow Island approached MITA’s booth at the Northeast Paddlesports Show and asked how he could put his property on the Trail. We were understandably eager to answer his query, and the end result of our discussions is that members can now share in a meadowy acre of paradise just south of Mt. Desert Island. Crow’s position – about halfway between Swans Island and Schoodic Point – makes it an important new link for boaters navigating the “outside route” around Mount Desert. Crow’s owner has asked that the island be used primarily as a stopping point for those traveling east or west along this route. Best access to the island is on the northern side, to the east of the bar to Great Cranberry. (Landing can be difficult when a southerly swell is running.) The island is clearly visible from several residences on nearby Isleford, so please minimize your visual impact when landing and make sure to pull all hand-carried boats well into the grass. If you plan on staying the night, please set up camp by tucking in close to the southeast edge of the spruce grove on the south end of the island. Please also respect the island’s camping capacity of five people, and lastly, no fires are allowed on Crow.

Cruise to Cranberry

Magnanimous Motivations

MITA was pleasantly surprised

GREAT BOATS FOR THE COAST! At Stetson & Pinkham, in Waldoboro, we understand the challenges of the Maine Island Trail, because for seven years we have supplied and serviced the Mercury outboards that power the MITA fleet. To our fellow association members, we offer a range of seaworthy, dependable boat-and-motor combinations that are well suited both to crossing open water and to close-in anchoring or beaching. Whether you’re interested in a deep 14’ aluminum skiff and economical 9.9-h.p. outboard, or a fast, rugged 20’ fiberglass center-console rig, we can help. Just visit our Route 1 dealership, or call 1-800-564-5857.

Stetson & Pinkham Route 1, Waldoboro, ME 04572

With the bounty of new islands and mainland sites that have come onto the Trail recently, this seems like a particularly appropriate time to pay tribute to MITA island owners. The owners of Crow – Cranberry and College, like all MITA island owners, receive no financial remuneration for allowing members to access their properties; they do so out of conviction that these special places should be shared. We hope that members will recognize and respect the generous spirit in which these properties are offered to us. Please treat these islands as though you were a specially invited guest, because in a are! ■


Another Lund on the Way, Thanks to the Ailes Family In 1995, the Ailes Family of Bethesda, Maryland, graciously offered us the use of their 22’ Rosborough Sea Skiff – a finely crafted and sturdy boat ideally suited for the Maine coast. This was a critical contribution to a newly independent MITA, which relied on the boat for donor cultivation and volunteer transportation. Today, the growing scope of MITA’s stewardship and management commitments has made it necessary for us to purchase a new Lund aluminum workboat – one that can maneuver easily in the shallows and be beached directly on the islands. Which is why we’re very grateful that the Ailes family has given us the goahead to sell the Rosborough and use the proceeds to purchase a new Lund, which we’ll name “Nellie,” after Richard Ailes’s mother. This is truly a gift that keeps on giving, because the Rosborough was sold to a Penobscot Bay fisherman whose father had a Rosborough, and for whom the boat holds great sentimental value. Members, please join us in thanking the Ailes Family for these wonderfully generous donations! ■

Friendship Harbor House B&B ~ On the Ocean ~ Bradford Pt. Rd. Friendship (207) 832-7447 12

Katahdin Kash Protects Coast MITA is very pleased to announce the receipt of a $53,000 grant award from the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund. The money will be used to fund management planning for a sustainable future on the public Trail islands. Originally conceived by the Maine Audubon Society and the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund was established into law by the State legislature with a mandate to conserve wildlife and open spaces through the sale of instant Lottery tickets. (The outdoor-themed tickets, marketed under names like “Katahdin Kash,” are available at convenience stores and gas stations throughout the state.) With proceeds from ticket sales, grants are awarded twice a year, totaling approximately $1.5

million annually.␣ The Fund has distributed some $7.1 million to 256 conservation-related projects since its inception. The Fund’s grant to MITA will be pooled, along with other support received from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust, the Kenduskeag Foundation, the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation, the Davis Conservation Foundation, and the Dead River Company, to support public island management initiatives. Specific projects to be undertaken include testing of impact-reducing techniques, expanded data collection, and continued cooperation with island stakeholders at public forums and working group meetings. We would like to extend a very sincere thank you to the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, as well as the many other institutions that help us carry out important stewardship activities on the public islands. ■


Ebb and Flow Leanne Is Leaving With equal parts sadness (for MITA) and enthusiasm (for her), we announce the departure of our Stewardship Programs Manager, Leanne Dech. During her three-year tenure, Leanne has, among many other things, managed our Monitor and Adopt-an-Island Programs, maintained our fleet of workboats, and organized work crews for island projects. In addition to her “official” responsibilities, Leanne was always the first to volunteer for whatever else needed doing – jobs like staffing the outreach booths, keeping the office supplies well stocked, and helping proofread this newsletter, to name just a few. Under Leanne’s supervision, MITA’s stewardship programs have grown dramatically. This growth can be attributed in large part to her skilled and enthusiastic management. Among her many other accomplishments, Leanne’s organization of the grueling 17-day Perkins Island bell tower restoration stands out as a particularly remarkable and lasting achievement. Leanne is a true team player whose presence will be missed by MITA. We wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors.

New Faces Abound Thankfully, we have four extremely capable new recruits to help shoulder the office workload

now that Leanne is gone. Sarah Lavigne is a Maine native who joined MITA recently as an Office Manager. She’ll be a primary contact for many members as she answers phones, greets walk-in visitors, and handles much of the paper and email correspondence in our Portland office. Sarah is a recent graduate of the University of New Hampshire, where she obtained a B.A. in political science with a minor in philosophy. In addition to serving as Drum Major for the UNH marching band, Sarah was also a House Manager for UNH’s Department of Theater and Dance, where she gained solid experience supervising a staff of volunteer ushers. JoAnn Fairchild joins us as MITA’s Development Officer. She expects to help grow the Association’s financial resources through her gift and grant cultivation skills, as well as her marketing and public relations background. Before coming to MITA, JoAnn was Director of Development and Promotion for Kent County – a Chesapeake Bay community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There, she gained extensive experience with ecotourism planning, heritage area management, and balancing resource conservation with economic development. She has also served as Director of Communications at St. Andrews School in Delaware. JoAnn holds a master’s degree in psychology and is also a founding

board member of two non-profits: The Chesapeake Fields Institute and Eastern Shore Heritage, Inc. In addition, she has served as board member, fundraiser and media contact for both the Kent Hospice Foundation and the Mid-Shore Symphony Society. A native of Pennsylvania, JoAnn now lives in Portland with her fiancé, Michael Valentine. When she’s not in the office, JoAnn says she likes to head outdoors for hiking, biking, boating, and skiing. We are also pleased to announce that Amy Kersteen has joined the MITA crew as the new Stewardship Programs Manager. A recent graduate of Boston University, Amy brings to this position a wealth of saltwater boating experience, event planning skills, and a deep love for the Maine coast. Her responsibilities at MITA will include the management of all MITA volunteer programs, including the Monitor Skipper and Adopt- An-Island Programs. And finally, Deb Clark is coming aboard as the Bookkeeper/Office Manager in the Rockland office. A long-time resident of Chelsea, Maine, Deb had been volunteering at MITA for several months, pitching in on a variety of office and clerical tasks, before she was hired to help with the day-today management of the office and our accounting system. Deb is an avid kayaker who has paddled extensively in Penobscot and Muscongus Bays; she says this experience has made her a “true believer” in MITA’s stewardship mission. It should also make her an excellent resource for responding to the many kayak-related queries we receive from novice paddlers. Sarah, JoAnn, Amy, and Deb all say they were drawn to MITA because of its connection to the islands. They look forward to getting out on the water in the coming months (before the snow starts falling!) to see more of the places they are helping to protect. ■


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS MITA depends on volunteer help and donated goods and services for its island stewardship efforts. Here we express our most sincere appreciation of those who’ve contributed to the cause from June 2001 through the beginning of September. Contributions made from September on (including those related to the Annual Conference) will be acknowledged in our next issue.

Office, Publications, and Marketing Support These are the people we call when we need talented, creative, and knowledgeable individuals to assist with projects in our Portland and Rockland offices. For general office work, we are grateful for the consistent help we receive from Kim Gass, Jenn Kuelz, and Louise Libby. On the technical side of things, our web design guru (and unofficial MITA photographer) is Jim Dugan, while a la carte services of Portland built our incomparable Annual Conference database. Charlie Clement and

Chas Jacobsen provide expert software support, and McCabe & Duval Advertising and Melissa Mirarchi have been tremendous assets in the writing and design of MITA’s fundraising materials and publications.

In-Kind Donations We are very grateful to those who provide us with goods that, whether new or “pre-owned,” are always put to good use in our offices or on the Trail. These generous individuals include: Michael and Julie Miller, Pat Rossi, Diane Harley, and Joshua Bate, all of whom donated computer equipment; Chris Hann, who gave us two “Howda” seats; Mike Groff at Phillips Environmental Products, Inc., as well as the good folks at Restop, who provided samples of waste disposal methods for use in educational training seminars; and Bayview Gallery in Portland, which donated attractive island notecards for use in volunteer acknowledgments.

Meeting Space and Trash Disposal Lots of different people come

together when decisions about the islands are concerned. Thankfully we’ve been able to rely on the Casco Bay Lines of Portland, Chewonki Foundation of Wiscasset, and Charlie Poole of Union Wharf in Portland to provide meeting space and parking. Waste Management of Maine also contributes to the cause through their continuing donation of dumpster trash removal for our Portland office.

Outreach Volunteers Our warmest, most sincere thanks go out to the people who often spend long hours and travel sizable distances to represent MITA at trade shows and other boating-related events. This list of dedicated volunteers includes Nancy Crowell, who set up a booth for us at the Maine Libraries Conference, as well as Win Pillsbury, who was at the Portland Yacht Services Small Boat Celebration. Charlotte Lawton helped out at the Bangor Paddle Smart Event, where she was accompanied by her husband Jon, who also volunteered, together with Kristen Woodberry, at the L.L. Bean Sea Kayak Symposium. Meanwhile, we were ably represented by Bill Legge at the L.L. Bean Family Fun Day. We would also like to acknowledge Portland Yacht Services of Portland and L.L. Bean, Inc., of Freeport, for donating booth space to us at these events.

Island Work Projects A very special thank you to the crew that put up a privy on Little Chebeague last spring, including Chris Hann, Ted Scharf, Chis Tadema-Wielandt, and Ralph 14

Wilkinson. The same goes for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, whose volunteers sealed the new tent platform on Hell’s Half Acre. We also appreciate the help of Ben Getchell, Samuel Morse Mauhinney, and Shannon Carroll – students at Cape Elizabeth High School who, for their senior project, collected trash from College Island in advance of its placement on the Trail.

Caretaker Kudos To help “jump start” the new Casco Bay Caretaker Program, Bob Ramsdell and Sid Quarrier helped rig the new caretaker boat and prepare the tent platform for on-site construction, while Cliff Islanders Ben O’Reilly and Peter Benoit donated many hours “walking the island” and sharing their historical expertise. In addition, we’d like to thank Tom Martin and Neil Carroll of Lucky Catch Cruises in Portland, for transporting a hefty load of lumber out to Jewell for construction of the tent platform.

JOIN IN! Yes, I want to enjoy and help Maine’s coastal islands. I know that my annual dues help sustain the stewardship education and programs of the Maine Island Trail Association. Good stewardship of the islands will help assure access to Maine’s magnificent coast. Please check one of the following:

■ New

■ Renewal, member # __________

Individual/Family Membership:

■ $45

Business Membership:

■ $100 ■ $250 ■ $500 ■ other______

■ $100 ■ $250 ■ other______

Name(s): ________________________________________________________________ Street: ___________________________________________________________________ City: _____________________________ State: ___________ Zip: ________________ Tel: _____________________________ E-mail: ________________________________ Method of payment: ■ VISA

■ MC

■ Check (payable to MITA)

■ Credit Card

# _____________________________________________________

Signature ________________________________ Expiration Date ________________ ■ Please do not exchange my name with other organizations. Mail to: MITA, P.O. Box C, Rockland, Maine 04841 Questions? Call 207-596-6456, fax 207-596-7796, e-mail:

Marine Fleet Support It takes a lot of time, money, and elbow grease to keep our three Lund workboats steaming ahead every summer. And nobody knows that better than the generous folks who donate their services for maintenance and upkeep. We’d like to extend a most gracious thank you to Stetson & Pinkham of Waldoboro for donating the Mercury outboards that power our fleet. We also appreciate the help of Loon’s Cry Campground in Warren, as well as that of volunteers Robby Pawle, Chris TademaWielandt, and Henri Gignoux, for donating boat storage space. Plus, SEA\\TOW of Walpole is always on call to help if we get in a jam out on the water, thanks to the memberships they contribute. ■

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MITA SCHEDULE Winter/Spring 2001-2 CLEAN-UPS.␣ Each spring and fall, MITA organizes work parties to clean trails, shorelines, and campsites and carry out work projects on the islands. Everyone is welcome – with or without your own boat. Contact Amy in the Portland office for more information or to sign up. Reserve your spot early, as spaces fill up fast. OUTREACH EVENTS. Every year MITA participates in or is represented at various boat shows, fairs or conservation-related events. We are always seeking volunteers to run our booth and inform the public of our mission, values, and goals. If you are interested in helping with any of the scheduled events, please contact Tania in the Portland office for more information. PUBLIC FORUMS. MITA hosts public meetings each spring and fall to invite feedback from members and the general public on island access and management issues. Please join us and help guide MITA’s policy-making decisions as we continue to proactively manage increased use on the coast of Maine. Contact Rachel in the Portland office for more information.

Maine Boatbuilders Show Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March 2224, Portland. We are looking for volunteers to work our booth for one or more days. Contact Tania in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign-up. Western Rivers Clean-Up Saturday, May 11. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign-up.

Stonington Clean-Up Saturday and Sunday, June 1 & 2. Join us for one or two days with optional campout. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up. Casco Bay West Clean-Up Saturday, June 8. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up.

Muscle Ridge Clean-Up Sunday, May 12. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up.

Maine Mountain Works Demo Day Saturday, June 8, Portland. We are looking for volunteers to work our booth. Contact Tania in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up.

Muscongus Bay Clean-Up Saturday and Sunday, May 18 & 19. Join us for one or two days with optional campout. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up.

Casco Bay East Clean-Up Sunday, June 9. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up.

Penobscot Bay Clean-Up Saturday, May 25. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up.

Downeast Clean-Up Saturday & Sunday, June 15 & 16. Join us for one or two days with optional campout. Contact Amy in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign up. ■


NON-PROFIT ORG. MAINE U.S. POSTAGE Boston Show PAID ISLAND ThePaddlesports Newsletter of the Maine Island Trail Association • Summer 1998 MAINE ISLAND TRAIL Friday, Saturday & Sunday, March TRAIL ASSOCIATION 8-10. We are looking for volunteers

to work our booth for one or more days. Contact Tania in our Portland office at 761-8225 for more information or to sign-up.

Oceanfront Resort overlooking Maine’s historic Eggemoggin Reach. Enjoy delicious meals, island hikes, harbor tours, kayaking, birding, and much more. Allow our experienced staff to make your vacation a memorable one.

HCR 64 Box 380 ▲ Brooklin ME 04616 Phone & Fax: (888)559-5057 ▲ Local: (207)359-5057 E-mail: Web site:


P.O. BOX C ROCKLAND, ME 04841-0735

Winter 2001  

Contains an article about the loud, messy and potentially dangerous job of counting terns, and an entertaining exercise regimen developed es...

Winter 2001  

Contains an article about the loud, messy and potentially dangerous job of counting terns, and an entertaining exercise regimen developed es...