NON-PROFIT ORG. u.S. POSTAGE
MAINE ISLAND TRAIL ASSOCIATION
Celebrating 25 Years of Stewardship
The Island Trail T H E N E W S L E T T E R O F T H E M A I N E I S L A N D T R A I L A S S O C I AT I O N W I N T E R 2 0 1 3
58 FORE STREET, SuITE 30-3 PORTLAND, MAINE 04101 207.761.8225 MITA.ORG
MCC Rocks Jewell Island on 2013 Tour b y b r i a n M a r c au r e l l e , p r o g r a M d i r e c to r
As we approached the old wharf campsite on Jewell Island’s western shore, we noticed three bright orange, basketballsized orbs bobbing up and down on the bank. I was accompanied in the MITA workboat by Rex Turner, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the owners of Jewell Island. Rex and I had set out to check on the three-person Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) crew that had spent the past several days on Jewell. Their mission: make needed improvements to the island’s access points. Upon landing at the beach, we found that the bobbing orange orbs were in fact the hard hats of MCC crew members busily constructing a new stone staircase on the steep bank. Like construction workers at a job site, the crew was wearing matching shirts, Carhartt pants, and heavy duty work boots. Working alongside them wearing only shorts, boots, and a ball cap was Casco Bay Caretaker Vinny Marotta. MCC in their uniforms, the caretaker in his. continue on page 19
In This Issue WILD ISLANDS CAMPAIGN ....................... 2 MCGLATHERY ISLAND ...............................4 BANNING STYROFOAM ............................. 5 GETTING THE JOB DONE ...........................8 A MEMORABLE MOVE ............................. 14
Rick Paulus and Julie Guibord pictured on Black Island during their paddle from Cape Cod to the Canadian border. Via Rock Hop Photo Op.
FromtheWhiteHousetothe Sea:ACalligrapher’sJourney b y r i c k pau l u s
Editor’s Note: Rick recently shared some fascinating stories about his tenure as chief
calligrapher of the White House in a talk at MITA’s 25th Anniversary Celebration. In this
thoughtful follow-up, he describes the artistic impact of a round-trip paddle that he and his
wife, Julie, took this summer from Cape Cod to the Canadian border. It’s the story of how—after nearly 50 years of messing about in boats—one extended journey taught Rick to see the ocean in a different way.
As a traveler, I tend to give myself few objectives or assignments beyond covering ground. I enjoy letting the journey define itself as it unfolds, being open to new experiences around every corner. This summer, I made an exception by giving myself an assignment of sorts: I traveled with a purposeful sense of observation with regard to light, pattern, texture, emotion, and color. I wanted to observe from an artist’s perspective with the intention of using these observations in calligraphy projects upon my return. For example, I observed, experienced, and contemplated the wonders of fog (much more often than I expected!). continue on page 16
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Please donate to the MITA Annual Fund today! Annual Fund by people like you. the balance of the budget is supported through generous donations made to the Trail. Annual membership dues provide only 34% of MITA’s overall operating budget— Then please consider a donation to MITA’s Annual Fund and help sustain the Maine Island
“People who care about the islands will care for them.” b y d o u g w e l c h , e x e c u t i v e d i r e c to r
M I TA B OA R D O F T R U ST E E S Stephen Birmingham, Cape Elizabeth, ME Kelly Boden, Portland, ME Dan Carr, Dayton, ME Nicole Connelly, Falmouth, ME Kathy Eickenberg, Liberty, ME Mark Fasold, Yarmouth, ME Tom Franklin, Portland, ME Odette Galli, Falmouth, ME Lindsay Hancock, Gray, ME Kathryn Henry, Waitsfield, VT Rodger Herrigel, Phippsburg, ME Liz Incze, Cumberland Foreside, ME Cindy Knowles, Cumberland Center, ME Melissa Paly, Kittery, ME Joan Smith, Portland, ME Lucas St. Clair, Portland, ME Jeremy Wintersteen, Portland, ME
Since Dave Getchell and his grassroots compadres first articulated a vision for the islands 25 years ago, members of the Maine Island Trail Association have become the undisputed volunteer guardians of Maine’s wild coastal islands. What a proud legacy that is! While many “friends of” groups do similar work, I know of none that do so as independently as we do. There is no parent national or state park entity that we work to support; while partnering with nearly 100 individual landowners, MITA operates alone. That is a remarkable thing.
STA F F
Doug Welch • email@example.com Executive Director
Andrew Breece • firstname.lastname@example.org Development Director Greg Field • email@example.com Director of Finance & Operations
Margaret Gerber • firstname.lastname@example.org Membership & Development Associate Maria Jenness • email@example.com Stewardship Manager Damien Lally • firstname.lastname@example.org Membership Manager
Kevin Lomangino • email@example.com Newsletter Editor
Brian Marcaurelle • firstname.lastname@example.org Program Director
Pro-bono newsletter design services by Jillfrances Gray : www.jfg.com JFG Graphic Design|Creative Direction
The Maine Island Trail is a 375-mile long waterway extending from the New Hampshire border on the west to Cobscook 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.
M A I N E I S L A N D T R A I L A S S O C I AT I O N 58 Fore Street, 30-3 Portland, ME 04101 (207) 761-8225 • email@example.com
Vol. 24 2
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At MITA’s 25th Anniversary celebration dinner, I was honored to look back on our first quarter century of success and thrilled to make an announcement concerning our future.
Since our inception in 1988, MITA has persevered and prospered. Through constant vigilance and continual stewardship by volunteers, the islands remain as pristine and inspiring today as they were during Dave Getchell’s first eyeopening explorations in the 1980s. For our founders’ generation, we are a critical part of the fabric of the coast. And that is an accomplishment we should all celebrate! In 2013, we had: • 3 ,700 current members—about 4,600 adults (plus their uncounted children) when family memberships are accounted for • 197 islands and mainland sites— still managed through handshake agreements with public and private owners • 2,650 Facebook “Likes” • more than 7,000 people reading our monthly eBlasts • 37,200 pints of Maine Island Trail Ale brewed, branded, and consumed in five months. (Burp.) • 7,800 visitors to our 2013 Rock Hop Photo Op contest website.
Engaging Tomorrow’s Stewards
All of this activity cannot be taken for granted when we look to the future. Fewer young people are boating—they have less money to spend on recreation and more cheap distractions than their predecessors. But they are an ambitious bunch, and we are already engaging them. As the last few bullet points illustrate, we are reaching out to them on their terms while remaining true to our mission. We are confident that—with concerted efforts on our part, and the continued progression of demographic changes and the transfer of wealth—these young people will step up to fill our gumboots.
A campaign to support MITA’s endowment, dubbed the Wild Islands Campaign, has already collected more than $700,000. In the meantime, the organization must take on some additional ballast to ensure that our island stewardship programs—the heart of MITA—continue forever. In short, we must ensure that the next generation of volunteers has the equipment and coordination to do the job. So, as I was proud to announce at the 25th Anniversary dinner, MITA’s staff, with the strategic guidance of the Board of Trustees, has embarked on a campaign to do just that. This campaign, dubbed the Wild Islands Campaign, has already collected more than $700,000! These monies have been deposited into a dedicated fund at the Maine Community Foundation, where they will remain. The proceeds of this investment fund will ensure that MITA’s volunteers will always have a fleet of boats and vehicles, as well as the fuel and coordination efforts to operate them. continue on next page
I wish to personally thank everyone who has already contributed to the campaign, as you have laid a solid foundation for its success and set a tremendously generous example for others to follow.
Planning Your Legacy
The Maine Island Trail was not built by titans of philanthropy. It was built and sustained by continual support from thousands of people. For some, the Wild Islands Campaign may be the first or largest gift they will ever consider. While all gifts to date have been in cash, this is a fitting opportunity for those involved with the organization for some time to make planned gifts from their estates. You can guarantee that a part of your personal legacy on earth is to ensure that the Maine Island Trail continues forever. Fully aware that this is an exceedingly personal topic, I would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in considering such a gift. You can also visit www.MITA.org/ support/plannedgiving for information on planned giving to MITA. The Wild Islands Campaign is a way for all MITA members to help sustain the organization for the next quarter century and beyond. You will hear more about the Campaign in the months ahead, but we would ask that you begin to consider it now. Through the Wild Islands Campaign, we will see that the torch that has burned for 25 years now is passed. That MITA will remain an essential part of the fabric of the coast for the next generation. And that, as Dave Getchell put it so eloquently in the Small Boat Journal back in 1987, the “people who care about the islands will care for them”—indefinitely. Thank you.
Record-Breaking Trap Cleanup in Muscongus Bay B y M a r i a J e n n e s s , St e wa r d s h i p M a n a g e r
In partnership with the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) and Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation, MITA coordinated the biggest cleanup of derelict fishing gear in its 25 years of island stewardship. More than 300 traps were removed from Bar Island and MCHT’s Noyce Preserve on the south tip of Louds Island, only a few years after each island was cleaned in separate efforts.
This massive cleanup effort took place in multiple phases: in August, MITA and MCHT each hosted volunteer work days to stage the traps in single collection points on each island. The groups then worked with Maine Marine Patrol to identify any salvageable traps and obtain permission to remove all the gear. The handful of traps deemed salvageable were returned to the owners, but the vast majority were mangled beyond repair, representing an estimated $20,000 in losses to fishermen. The final phase to haul the traps off the islands came in late September, when more than two dozen staff and volunteers turned out to lend an enthusiastic helping hand. The crew spent a full day lugging the traps from
where they were staged onto skiffs, which transferred them to lobsterboats that shuttled the gear to Round Pond. There, the derelict traps were crushed one at a time with a backhoe and loaded into two dumpsters, filling the 40- and 30-cubic yard containers to overflowing. Thanks to the participation of Corcoran Environmental Services, a disposal company based in Kennebunkport, the gear was all brought to Portland to be recycled, and did not end up in a landfill. The final results were clean shorelines on these two island properties, dozens of happy workers, and five tons of recycled metal. That’s 10,000 pounds of mangled traps carried by hand in four stages!
Thank You Supporters!
The community support for the effort was inspiring— workers from Muscongus Bay Lobster Company jumped in to lend a hand when they had down time, and provided very welcome refreshments to the crew. We would also like to give a shout out to the Maine Marine Patrol, the local Harbormaster, F/V Hard to Fathom, and F/V EZDUZIT; their support and cooperation were essential to the project’s success!
At Round Pound, volunteer Dave Lenz crushed derelict traps with a backhoe before they were transferred to a dumpster for recycling. M I TA .O R G
McGlathery Island on Merchants Row B y L i z F i t z s i mm o n s
More than 50 small granite islands lie between Deer Isle and Isle au Haut. Known as Merchants Row, the scenic archipelago is a paddler’s paradise. Saddleback, Round, Scraggy, Spruce, and Rock are island names that reflect the topography and landscapes that boaters find appealing. Other names are a window on Merchants Row of the 1800s. Ram, Sheep, Potato, Millet, Wheat, and Burnt are reminders of an agricultural past. (Burnt refers to the practice of burning vegetation to improve pastureland.) Merchant was named for early landowner Anthony Merchant, and Nathan and Little Nathan Islands for Nathaniel Merchant; McGlathery may have been named after William McGlathery, a pre-Revolutionary War land speculator. While someone may have been captivated by Enchanted Island, darker associations are invoked by Hell’s Half Acre, Devil, and Wreck. Considered places of beauty for quiet recreation today, several of the closely spaced islands once were the homes and work places of fishing and farming families and quarrymen. The islands yielded granite, herring, wool, bird feathers destined for fashionable hats, and ducks for the dinner table. In the nineteenth century, Merchants Row was a busy place, with schooners, sloops, and skiffs threading their way among the islands. Three generations of Eatons lived on McGlathery Island in the mid-1800s. Peter Hardy Eaton and his wife Catherine Billings moved to McGlathery in the 1840s from Bear Island. Despite the island’s thin soil, they established a farm. They had a large family and enough children, when combined with the Barter offspring from nearby Wreck Island, to establish a school. Opening in 1847, the school alternated winter terms between the two islands for about 30 years. Tragedy struck in 1873 when a diphtheria epidemic killed 15 of the 18 pupils. 4
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Intermarriage among island families was common, and at least five of Peter and Catherine Eaton’s children married children of George and Sarah Harvey from Russ Island. A number of Eatons and Harveys moved from one island to another over the years, which was also common. Son Sam and his wife lived on the elder Eatons’ farm on McGlathery, and siblings also settled there and fished; the herring fishery was said to be especially good. Sam and his brother George built the schooner Lavinia, which they sailed downeast. According to census records, the population of McGlathery reached 20 in 1870, when four families lived on the island. Many Merchants Row residents were members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. On one of their expeditions in the Lavinia, Sam and George Eaton brought back to McGlathery an itinerant missionary, Elder Landers. He made many conversions on the islands before he and his son died in a shipwreck off Wreck Island. In 1866, George Eaton was a crew member on the Nellie Chapin, which
carried a schismatic Latter Day Saints leader and 156 settlers, mostly from Addison and Jonesport, to Palestine in the Middle East to establish an illfated colony. Upon his return to Maine, George joined Elder Landers’ church. In the mid-1870s the Eatons moved from McGlathery to Deer Isle. Levi Conary and his family, who lived on the island in the 1880s, were the last yearround residents. Eaton and Conary are common surnames in the region today. Sam Eaton’s house was still standing, but no one was living on McGlathery, in December 1928 when the schooner Wawelock, carrying granite curbing from Sullivan to New York, wrecked on rocks off the island. Today there is scant evidence of the wreck or of the homes and little cemetery of the small island community. In 1955, the Friends of Nature acquired the island, and today it is one of many preserved Merchants Row islands. MITA extends a very heartfelt thank you
to historian Liz Fitzsimmons for this latest installment in her island history series.
Remains of the wrecked Wawelock off McGlathery Island. Photo credit: Maine Maritime Museum, Capt. Roswell F. Eaton Collection.
Why Portland Should Ban Styrofoam Cups B y M at t h e w Fau l k n e r
If you live in the greater Portland area, you are probably aware by now that the city is considering a ban on polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) single-use containers like coffee cups and takeout food trays. As a member of the Green Packaging Working Group convened by the Portland City Council to study the issue, I voted with eight of my Working Group colleagues in May to recommend adoption of a polystyrene ban to the City Council’s Transportation, Sustainability and Energy Committee. Although the City Council has yet to vote on the measure, and recently sent our proposal back to committee for revisions, I continue to support the Working Group’s strong stand against single-use polystyrene containers. I hope other MITA members will join our call to ban these wasteful, polluting products.
Why a Ban?
Polystyrene isn’t biodegradable. Americans throw away an astonishing 25 billion polystyrene cups each and every year, according to the EPA. Whether they end up in a landfill or in our waterways, those cups are a long-term problem because they never biodegrade. With exposure to sunlight, polystyrene and other plastics will eventually break down into smaller and smaller pieces, but they never disappear completely. Polystyrene becomes marine debris. As anyone who has participated in an island cleanup well knows, polystyrene food packaging is an important source of marine debris. Polystyrene food packaging is lightweight and catches the wind easily, so it is often blown into gutters and storm drains even when “properly” disposed of. Small pieces of polystyrene are mistaken by birds, fish, and other marine life for food, and predators higher in the food chain (including humans!) may be negatively impacted when they consume these smaller animals.
Styrofoam is a pollutant. Styrofoam production and disposal are widely recognized as major sources of pollution. An EPA report on solid waste named the polystyrene manufacturing process the fifth largest creator of hazardous waste in the United States. Polystyrene has human health impacts. Based on studies of factory workers exposed to high amounts of styrene (the primary ingredient in polystyrene), the National Toxicology Program lists styrene as a reasonably anticipated human carcinogen. Exposure to styrene in factory workers has also been linked to neurological problems including altered vision and hearing loss. While there is no solid evidence that exposure to small amounts of styrene from food containers is harmful, doesn’t it make sense to limit our exposure to a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin as much as possible?
Can’t We Just Recycle It?
While technically possible, recycling of polystyrene foam remains a largely theoretical exercise for many reasons. Chief among these is the fact that ECOMAINE, the entity that handles the recycling in Greater Portland, does not accept polystyrene foam for recycling. Also, recycling polystyrene actually uses significantly more energy than making virgin polystyrene. And containers that are contaminated with food waste (the exact target of Portland’s ban) are not acceptable for recycling. The hypothetical recyclability of polystyrene foam (and other singleuse items like plastic bags from the grocery store) should not be accepted as justification for continuing to make endless quantities of it. Remember, the hierarchy is to Reduce, Reuse and then, as a last resort, when all other efforts have failed, we can attempt to Recycle an item. Most people would agree it is far better for our planet to make less of this stuff, not more of it.
Styrofoam is a major component of shoreline debris collected during island cleanups. Photo credit: Doug Welch
What Are the Alternatives?
Fortunately there are many good alternatives to polystyrene. Companies like Prime Ware (www.primelinksolution.com) and Stalk Market (www.stalkmarketproducts.com) make all types of food service items from things like sugarcane fibers and corn that are sustainable, biodegradable, and compostable.
The Bottom Line
The reality is that at some point we have to stop filling up our landfills and waterways with this stuff. It never goes away! The City’s proposed ban is aimed at the low-hanging fruit—the products that are relatively easy to replace or do without. It’s only going to get harder from here. You can show your support for this reasonable proposal by sending an email to one of the Portland City Councilors (see www.portlandmaine. gov/council.htm for contact info). I would also be happy to consult with anyone who is interested in limiting single-use polystyrene or plastic containers in their community.
Matthew Faulkner is a long-time MITA
member and Rise Above Plastics Coordinator for Surfrider Maine.
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Pack It Out for Public Health B y K e v i n Lo m a n g i n o
The sight of human waste on a pristine shoreline is enough to foul most anyone’s island experience. But it’s what you can’t see in a pile of poop that is the greatest cause for concern, research increasingly shows. More than 100 different protozoans, bacteria and viruses have been identified in human waste including E. coli, Giardia lamblia, and hepatitis A. Even when buried in catholes, these microbes can survive and even thrive for extended periods of time, studies suggest, leading to contamination of surrounding soils and potential pollution of adjacent waters.
Sampling for Salmonella
These risks were amply demonstrated in a seminal 1982 study by researchers at Montana State University in Bozeman. The researchers buried bacteria-laden human waste samples at a variety of backcountry sites at different elevations during the summer. They found that E. coli levels in the samples remained high throughout the summer and fall, and that Salmonella bacteria survived the winter in numbers significant enough to spread illness. “The idea that shallow burial renders feces harmless in a short time is fallacious,” said study authors Kenneth L. Temple and colleagues. “Pathogens might be transferred to later campers in three ways: by direct contact with feces, by insects, or by water.” Mixed results were also seen in a recent test of the “smearing” method of human waste disposal (i.e. spreading a thin layer of feces over rock surfaces in order to maximize exposure to disinfecting air and sunlight), which has been advocated by some Trail enthusiasts in the past. Researchers found that smearing did result in a nearly total elimination of bacteria from fecal samples left in alpine and arid conditions after 14 weeks during the summer. However, smears left in 6
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a moist forest actually had increases in some bacteria, including E coli and Streptococcus. The authors concluded that while smearing might be an option in very remote alpine and arid campsites, it does not seem to be viable in the conditions that you’ll find along the Maine Island Trail.
MITA urges visitors to carry off all solid human waste and dispose of it properly on the mainland. “[Smearing] must be performed only in settings where contamination of water sources, possibility of direct contact, insect transmission and visitor experience impacts will be at an absolute minimum,” said Michael D. Ells, of Ferris State University in Michigan, and colleagues.
Help Us Educate Others
When Nature Calls • Choose a site with a privy or toilet: A number of scenic island and mainland sites offer restroom/privy facilities for visitors, so if you’re not prepared to carry it out, simply visit a site where this issue has already been taken care of. Consult your current Trail Guide to find out which sites offer these amenities. • WAG Bag or Restop: These are plastic bag systems that have chemicals to break down the human waste and minimize odors. They can be used with a 5-gallon bucket or portable toilet.
Message in a Bottle Inspires Overseas Correspondence This past June, two intrepid volunteers—Chris Tadema-Wielandt and Tom Carr— conducted an independent cleanup of the Trail sites around Mount Desert Island. Along with the usual flotsam, they collected a message in a bottle dated 2002 with a return address in Germany (see scan). Given the considerable passage of time and the uncertainty of the overseas address, we had little expectation that we would ever reach these German correspondents. Nevertheless, Stewardship Manager Maria Jenness hopefully sent a postcard explaining that MITA volunteers had found the note, and she invited them to respond. The following message from the German family arrived at the MITA office a few months later. It’s testament to the lasting memories that can be created during a Maine coast camping experience! Hallo Maria, Thank you very much for the postcard!!! We all are very surprised about the meaning
• Biffy Bag: A diaper-like bag system similar to the WAG Bag that straps on for use, making a bucket or toilet unnecessary.
of your lines! It is true that we spent our holidays in Maine 11 years before. It exists
• Boombox or Scat Packer: These are portable toilet-style devices suitable for motorboats, sailboats, and some kayaks. Disposal in a toilet or marine pumpout stations.
So it is possible, that they throw a bottle with this message into the sea at this time.
Because of the environmental, public health, and aesthetic impacts of leaving human waste on any Trail site, MITA urges visitors to carry off all solid human waste and dispose of it properly on the mainland. Catholes are not appropriate. The adjacent box has some helpful tips for complying with MITA guidelines on human waste disposal.
• Crap-wrap: Developed by a MITA member and his family, this approach calls for the user to defecate onto a full page of broadsheet newspaper, which is then folded up and sealed inside a Ziploc sandwich bag. Sealed sandwich bags are then placed inside a gallon-size freezer bag for storage, and waste (not the bags) is disposed of in a toilet back on the mainland.
We realize that we are “preaching to the choir” when we discuss human waste disposal with fellow MITA members. However, we hope that this information may be helpful for “spreading the gospel” to others who aren’t familiar with Leave No Trace guidelines or have been too squeamish to adopt them. Proper disposal of human waste on the islands isn’t just a matter of maintaining appearances—it’s also critical to protecting the health of other visitors and preserving the integrity of the natural environment!
• Tupperware party: A watertight Tupperware container (for individuals) or 5-gallon bucket (for groups) with a water-tight lid is lined with a plastic bag filled with kitty litter or sand and a porta-potty deodorizer. The contents are emptied into a toilet or pumpout station on the mainland.
Great Day of Events for MITA’s 25th
unfortunately only one picture with my in January 2003 deceased husband with our now 17 years old son, which were collecting mussels on the beach.
David unfortunately couldn`t remember! We would like to enjoy, getting a copy or scan about the note. We couldn`t believe it, because you will find it only in fairy tales. A lot of memories and pictures were coming in our eyes and we are very founded. Thank you very much for the contact - pictures from Maine and topical will follow!! Cheers, Martina, David and Peter
MITA Executive Director Doug Welch (on the drums) sat in with the Island Beats steel drum band to help keep the party rockin’.
On August 31, 2013, MITA marked the 25th anniversary of the Trail with a great day of activities, food, and fun on the Portland waterfront. Things got started early with free boat rides courtesy of SailMaine and boatbuilder Clint Chase, while the American Canoe Association and Portland Paddle teamed up to offer kayak and standup paddleboard demos. Representatives of Leave No Trace were also on hand to lead interactive low-impact skills sessions, and we had a fantastic slate of speakers who kept attendees entertained throughout the afternoon. As the sun dipped toward the horizon, we retired to the fabulous Room with a View for steel band music and lobster rolls washed down by Rising Tide’s Maine Island Trail Ale. We were honored to have Walter Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry in attendance to thank the assembled crowd for their work on the state-owned islands. We wrapped up with a presentation and group vote on the Rock Hop Photo Op finalists, followed by a tribute to this year’s award-winning volunteers. It was a whirlwind of a day that celebrated most everything MITA holds dear: volunteers, small boating, and – of course – getting out and enjoying the islands! And it was a great springboard to launch MITA toward 25 more fantastic years of access, education, and stewardship.
Visit www.mita.org/trail/lnt for additional details about each disposal method. A snapshot of David, our German correspondent, taken during a Maine vacation in 2002 when he left a message in a bottle (right).
Thanks to all the attendees, volunteers, and sponsors who helped make the day so extra-special! M I TA .O R G
Fort Gorges Work Day
Staff from MITA teamed up with the City of Portland and Portland Paddle for a work day to spruce up Fort Gorges, a popular Trail site just off of Portland’s East End (see left).
Our Biggest Stewardship Year Ever
MITA volunteers were more active than ever during the stewardship season this summer. From burly Fort Gorges in Casco Bay to tiny Sparrow Island downeast, you were on the scene wherever needed to help keep the islands clean, green, and healthy. Nice work!
Adams School Clean-Up
The 5th and 6th grade students from the Adams School in Castine (left and below) joined MITA staff for a cleanup of Trail islands in the Bagaduce River. An extreme low tide and extensive mudflats turned the trip into more of an adventure than the crew bargained for, and the students received an extra lesson in physics as they found creative ways to rescue each other from the mud!
IDEXX Crews Battle Invasives
Great strides were made toward the management of invasive plants on several islands in Casco Bay, thanks in large part to five volunteer crews (one of which is pictured right) that came out from IDEXX, the Westbrook-based maker of veterinary diagnostic tests. Thanks IDEXX!
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Regional Steward Picnic
A mix of island adopters, monitor skippers, island owners, and new volunteers gathered on Rock Island off Stonington for a MITA-sponsored Regional Steward Picnic (see right). It was a chance to socialize and learn about MITA’s stewardship programs, as well as discuss some of the pressing issues facing the islands in that area. These events will be held in alternating regions each season, so keep your eye out next summer for a gathering near you!
Tent Platform Repair
The platform on tiny Sparrow Island was in an unusable state, yet a float in fairly good condition had washed up on nearby Stevens Island. During the fall Downeast cleanup, a volunteer crew salvaged enough boards from the float to build the frame for a new tent platform. The next day, they went back out and completed the job, decking the platform with new boards. Be sure to put this island on your list to visit next season—the view from the new platform (see left) is unbeatable!
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Thank you! The Maine Island Trail Association is very grateful to the many individuals, businesses, and foundations that supported our operations in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2013. Those whose contributions totaled $100 or more are listed below. Importantly, this does NOT include gifts to the Wild Islands Campaign, which will be published separately. We have endeavored to make this list as accurate as possible and apologize for any errors or omissions. We would ask that you let us know of any concerns via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Maine Island Trail Association recognizes the extraordinary generosity of our Trailblazers, individuals whose annual operating gifts reached $1,000 or more for the fiscal year ending 9/30/2013. Anonymous Donna & Greg Barmore Roger Berle Stephen & Paula Birmingham Erno & Victoria Bonebakker Willard W Brown Jr Mrs Edmund B Cabot Scott Camlin & Beth Uptegrove Daniel & Pamela Carr George Cogan & Fannie Allen Madeleine G Corson Mazie Livingston Cox Sara Crisp & Gregg Lipton
J Martin Devine Richard M Engel & Barbara Chilmonczyk Bayard C Ewing Mark & Patricia Fasold Scotty Folger J Thomas Franklin & Anna Ginn James B Gagnon, MD & Margaret Hausman Richard & Cate Gilbane Mr & Mrs Herbert H Gowen II Harriette & Peter Griffin Morris Hancock & Linda Peyton
Horace & Alison Hildreth Timothy T Hilton Elizabeth & Lewis Incze Mark Isaacson & Family William & Gail Legge George R Lucas Mark Mason & Trish Oâ€™Donnell Cornelius & Suzanne McGinn Harold & Deborah Moorefield Halford Park & Annie DeFeo Michael Perry & Christine Wolfe Sara Pierce Ronald R & Mary Pressman
Raymond & Diane Rymph James & Lynn Shaffer Karl Sims & Pattie Maes Daniel Smith & Ms Kristen Roos Cynthia Sortwell MD Steven J Szarawarski Joan P Tilney Diane T & Ian R Walker C Gregg Williams Jeremy R Wintersteen David Witherbee & Michelle Bociek
Mr & Mrs Benjamin Fuller Mark & Betsy Gabrielson Wyatt & Rachel Garfield Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center Mr & Mrs Edmund L Harvey Jr Joseph Higdon & Ellen Sudow Dr & Mrs George Higgins Norm Hildreth Horny Toad Activewear Ogden & Nina Hunnewell John Huth & Karen Agnew Johnson-Wortham Family Lynn Kapiloff Paul & Cindy Laprise Karen & James Lee Ron Leeking & Donna Roggenthien Lincoln Canoe & Kayak Wayland F Linscott William & Beth Long John MacKinnon Malcolm W & Emily D MacNaught Maine Humanities Council Deborah Manegold & Win Quayle Michael Marino Christopher & Debra McLarnon Kevin R & Sheila McManus Mrs Manny Morgan & Chris Corbett North Shore Paddlers Network Suzi Osher James Owen Richard J Perry & Elaine Carlson Christine & Doug Preston Robert & Marietta Ramsdell Mr & Mrs Martin G Rosansky Jean-Andre & Vicki Rougeot Ann Rougle Sabre & Back Cove Yachts Walter Slocombe & Ellen Seidman Ann & Thayer Stewart Warren Valdmanis & Family Ellen & Barkley Van Vranken John & Julia Ver Ploeg
Chuck & Anne Vose Michael & Rachel Warren Howie & Sue Wemyss Edward Wendell
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Arcadia Charitable Trust Maine Division of Parks & Public Lands
$10,000 - $24,999
GE Foundation LL Bean Inc Quimby Family Foundation Sand Dollar Foundation
$2,500 - $9,999
Horizon Foundation Inc Charles L Read Foundation LandVest Sea Cliff Kayakers
$1,000 - $2,499
Anonymous Hoyt Charitable Foundation Lucy Foundation Maine Coastal Program Sellers Publishing Inc Verrill Dana LLP WestWind Foundation WoodenBoat Publications Inc
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David F Allen & Leann Diehl David & Holly Ambler Mr & Mrs O Kelley Anderson Walt Bailey Alan Baldwin Penelope & William Bardel Peter & Vicki Bartholow Drs Jane & Roderic Beaulieu David A & Maureen E Bluett Laura Blutstein & Charles Duncan Kelly Boden Dr Bobbie Brown Alexander K Buck Jr John G L & Carroll L Cabot Grant Cambridge W Morgan & Sonia Churchman Catherine Chute Thomas M Claflin II Susanne & Benjamin Clark Katherine & Thomas Clements Les & Joyce Coleman MB & Mary M Converse Richard W Couch Jr Mr & Mrs Archibald Cox Jr Hilary Creighton Joan & Robert Daly David & Lucile Packard Foundation Michael P & Jan Douglass Jeffery Dow & Family James S Draper & Family Susanna & Rich DuBois East Brown Cow Management Inc Peter Edwards Russell Emerson & Family Emsbo-Mattingly Family Joseph Faber & Family Wesley Fairfield
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Peter P Gates Alan C Gault Jr Martin Gellert Herbert Germann Dorrie & David R Getchell Sr James C & Judith W Gibbons Jon M Gibney Thomas T & Margaret Gilbert James & Donna Gilbert Bradley Gill & Mary Beth Ontkush Thomas & Jody Gill Lisa & Thomas Gilson Bonnie & Ronald Ginger Jack R Glover Jessie A Godfrey Henry Goldberg & Kim Hetherington Alice H & Stuart B Goldman Lyn Goldsmith John & Virginia Gooch John & Jeanne Goodman Jack Goralnik Jeffrey Gordon & Donna Jean Ahigian Leon & Lisa Gorman Charles W Graham Nancy Grant & Michael Boyson Timothy Grass & Family Samuel P M Gray Doug Greason & Pegeen Mulhern Richard Greene & Family Arthur W Gregg & Family Beth Gregg Brent Groce & Family Thomas R Guare Robert & Karen Gutheil Mr & Mrs Joseph Guttentag Alfons F Haffmans & Family Sandra & Arthur Hall Ed Hallett Christine Halvorson Robert & Donna Hamill Samuel M Hamill Jr Larry Hamm Kristopher Hammer & Family Dr Karen Hancock Denzel Hankinson Albert Hansen John Hansman Betty J Harris Anne Harrison Dean Harrison & Molly Pitcher Harrison Howard & Mandana Harrison Robert & Elizabeth Hart Whitney & Elizabeth Hatch Michael & Elizabeth Hatton William & Anita Haviland David & Emily Hawkins Atwell B & Elizabeth Hedly Erling Heistad Doug Henderson & Kerri Lynn Ratcliffe Kathryn Henry & Rob Center Rene Heon Richard Hero & Jane Whitney John & Kathleen Hickey Peter Hinsch & Donna Grant Jennifer E Hitchcox Caroline & John Hodsdon Jean Hoffman Joy W Hoffman Jamie Hogan & Martin Braun Franklin B Holland Gerhard Holleck 12
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Dr & Mrs Robert Holmberg Donald & Lee Holmes Edgar & Gail Holmes Paul Holmes Tim & Adrianne Holmes Robert Hopkins Michael Horn Mark & Peggy Horton Douglas & Susan Houston Marion Howard & Family Richard & Mary Howe Sue Hriciga Peter Huang Samuel Huber Stefanie & Fred Hufnagel Stephanie Huger Patrick & Carole Hughes Jim Huntington Ian Huss & Lisa Doughty Kenneth & Meredith Hutchins John Hutchison IBM Corporation Charles V Irose Jr Koto Ishida Margaret C Ives Tom & Corinne Jackson Herbert & Kathleen Janick Peter A Jay Judith Jellinek Lynn Jenness & Donald Hendrich Theodore Johanson & Patricia Lundholm Mr & Mrs Edward C Johnson IV Eric Johnson & Margaret Cox Mark Jones William M Jones Kathy & Brian Kaczor Robert & Patricia Kane Barbara Karchmer James W & Priscilla Keene Maurice J Kelleher & Family Scott Kelley & Family David & Dot Kelly & Family Ritch Kelly & Family John C Kenefick Kevin & Kris Kenlan Ron Kennedy William & Priscilla Kennedy Eben Kent R Ross & Dale Ketchum David & Jane Kidder Edmund C Kielty James & Elizabeth Kilbreth Liana & Don Kingsbury Charles Kinney & Pamela Myers-Kinney Jonathan & Cindy Knowles Hans Koehl & Christina Haiss-Koehl Denis & Donna Kokernak Gary Kraemer & Family Kroka Expeditions Bryant M Kuby & Deborah Small Stan & Kerry Kuhlman Steve Kyriakis & Matthew Donaldson Judith LaChance Geoffrey & Anne Lafond Lamb & Ritchie Company Inc Patricia Lambert Cyrus Lauriat David Lawrence & Monica Joyce Edward & Gail Lawson Dick Leask Charles & Eliza Lee
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Christina Millet Tanya Millett & Family Duane & Mary Minard Glenn & Erin Mitchell & Emma O’Dell Jeffrey & Susan Moeller Kent & Ann Mohnkern Chris Mooney Anne Morehouse & Family Daniel A Morgenstern & Moriah Moser Thomas & Marion Morris Cyndi Morse & Carolyn Stevenson Tom & Mary Moser Egbert Most & Regina Badura T Allen Mott & Pamela Barrow Dr Frank Moya William & Ingrid Mroz Sugata Mukhopadhyay Barry Mullan Stephen Mullane & Martie Crone John B Murphy & Anne W Moulton John H Murphy Wanda Joy Murphy Diane Myers Felicity Myers Stanley & Margaret Wilson Myers Ellen & Duane Nadeau Paul A Nason Courtney Neff Leonard & Merle Nelson Martha Nelson & Family Peter Nelson & Nancy Ames Robert Nelson Chip Newell & Susan Morris Dr & Mrs Neil A Newton William Newton Deirdre Nice Niel Nielsen Roger Nold Lisa & Frederick Oettinger Tonis Oja Bob Olney & Catherine Richards Al & Donna Olsen Thomas F & Maureen Olson Charles Osborn Jane Osborne Adam Owen Beverly & Kenneth Paigen Deborah Paine Jeffrey B Palmer Lucius Palmer & Sloane Lederer John Parker James Parmentier & Elizabeth Fowler Bob & Stella Patten David Patton Eric Paul Terese Pawletko David S Payne & Annie Piatt Nancy Payson Stephen Pearson David A & Julie Pease Lillian & Frederic Pease Jeff Pederson & Steffanie Coonley Marguerite Pelissier Julie & Charles S Perry Asa E Phillips III & Family Tyler Philpott John H & Theresa Pierse Leslie & Winslow S Pillsbury Katie Pindell & Robert Sabolefski Charles C Pinkerton & Deborah Lamson Joanna Pi-Sunyer & Michael Ballo
Stephen & Cynthia Pitcher Edmund Plackwic Steve Plissey & Cathy Mandis Gail & James Plotts Pamela Plumb & Family Suzannah Pogue & Sandra Jones William Pohle & Sarah Allen Art & Jayne Posey Steve & Rebecca Powell Thomas Powers & Patricia King Powers Robert Pratt Michael Prior Trudie Prior Michael Prokosch & Rebecca Pierce Alex Prud’homme Sidney S Quarrier Jr & Eliza Bailey Tom Quinby & Family Nathan Raab Craig Raabe Martin Rachels Jennifer Raudonis & Family Abbie & Bart Read Ernest D Reamer & Family Daniel & Elizabeth Reardon Robert & Susan Reece Martha L Reeve John Reid David Reinholt Kathryn Rensenbrink & Jon McMillan Steve Reynolds W Edwin Reynolds III & Family Margaret Rhinelander Mr & Mrs William P Rice Robert E Richardson Martha Riehle & Janis Childs Darden Rives & Family Bruce & Virginia Roberts Michael Roberts & Family Janice Roberts Paul Robie & Karen Young Mr Andrew C Rockefeller Douglas Rogers & Susan Eggenberger Lyall & Ralph W Rogers Matthew & Sheila Rogers Roderic & Ann Rolett Gary D Rose W Allen & Selina Rossiter Victor & Barbara Roth Andrew & Nina Roth-Wells Kristen Rupert & John Foote George Liam & Constance Russell William & Karen Rutherford Elizabeth & Philip Ryan Paul & Julia Sampson Nancy & Malcolm Sandberg Chuck & Cathy Sanders Piero Sarti Karen K & John R Saucier MD William & Sandra Savage Michael Schaad Gillian Schair & Seth Rigoletti Susan R Schnur & Family Amy Schrag Carter Scott & Family Joe & Elizabeth Seamans David & Valerie Seaton John Sedgewick & Family Richard & Rita Seger Kenneth D & Linda P Senne Robert Sessums & Susan Inches James M & Sophie Sevey Charles Seyffer
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Boat Donors Peter Carleton Gerhard & Edith Schade Vaughan Smith & Family Memorial and Honoraria
in memory of Matt Abercrombie in honor of Maxcy/Chang wedding in memory of James Rasmus in memory of Judith Rutter in memory of Georg Rymph
Adventurous Joe Coffee LLC Angela Adams Old Quarry Ocean Adventures Breakaway Books Cabot Creamery Cadillac Mountain Sports
Castine Kayak Adventures CHART Metalworks Cindy & Jon Knowles Cyrus Hagge Devenish Wines Duckfat Eastern Mountain Sports Ember Grove Foodworks Garbage to Garden GrandyOats Greener Postures Gulf of Maine Lobster Foundation Hamilton Marine Heather Foran Hennessy Hammock Henry Isaacs Jeremy Wintersteen Jillian & Rodger Herrigel Jon & Charlotte Lawton Kamasouptra Kenan Rubenstein Kokatat Lincoln Outdoor Center Lindsay Hancock Lititz Sign Company LL Bean Local Muscle Moving Co Longfellow Books Maggi Blue Mahoosuc Guide Service Maine Audubon Maine Glass Art Maine Magazine Maine Rock Gym Maine State Sea Kayak Maine Wilderness Lodges Maria Boord Mark & Patty Fasold Michelle Leier Mr & Mrs Benjamin Fuller MTS – The Red Line & TowBoatUS Nan Cumming New Meadows Marina Inc Northern Outdoors Ocean Navigator One Longfellow Square Patagonia Peloton Labs Portland Paddle Portland Power Yoga Portland Trails Rising Tide Brewing Company LLC Rosemont Market & Bakery SeaCliff Kayakers Seatosummit Shulte & Herr Sidney LeFavour Sopo SUP Suzanne Blackburn Ted Danforth & Andrea Stevens The Standard Baking Company Thorfinn Expeditions Tidal Transit Kayak Tom & Jane McKinney Waste Management WCLZ 98.9 XYZ Restaurant M I TA .O R G
Moving Downeast, the Old-Fashioned Way B y A n d r e w B r e e c e , D e v e lo pm e n t D i r e c to r
It feels just shy of a minor miracle to be writing this from my desk at the Maine Island Trail Association’s office in Portland. A little over a month ago, I was sitting at a different desk, one located in Mystic, Connecticut, trying to coordinate a move that would take me back to my home state and to a job I have long coveted: Development Director at MITA. Getting from there to here proved nearly as challenging as that old New England saying would have you believe. But in the end, I did get here! I have collected a car, a sailboat, and an above-average amount of “stuff” throughout my post-college years. So naturally, the two biggest questions facing me when I learned about my new job at MITA were, “What’s going to Portland?” and “How’s it getting there?” After sitting down and creating a moving priority list, I decided that the top three things to be moved were: 1. sailboat, 2. clothes, and 3. some personal items, including a computer and a few pieces of art. I realized I could work with this—and thus was born the notion of moving to my new home in Portland by boat.
An Unconventional Move
With only three days to sail my 1982 Shannon 38 cutter, Grace, from Connecticut to Maine, I knew that this would be no lazy pleasure cruise. After studying the charts, my route became apparent rather quickly: Day 1, Mystic, CT to Marion, MA; Day 2: Marion through the Cape Cod Canal to Gloucester, MA; and Day 3: Gloucester to our new home in Portland. “Okay,” I thought, “let’s do this!” Given the daunting stuff-to-space ratio, I had to get pretty creative with packing: favorite artwork in the quarter berth, suitcases of clothes in the sail lockers, and my ukulele stored in the v-berth. The day before departure, Thursday, September 5 to be exact, I filled both the diesel and water tanks, and fell asleep in the v-berth next to the ukulele. I drifted 14
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off feeling a kinship with the explorer Christopher Columbus—both of us would be voyaging to our new worlds by sail.
The Voyage Begins
The first two legs of the voyage went beautifully. From Mystic to Marion, the weather was perfect but the wind was light. Every time the boat would consistently drop below four knots, I would crank up the old diesel to keep boat speed up. A good friend lent me a mooring for the night in Marion, and by 6:30 the next morning, we were already underway. Following the advice of many wellseasoned sailors, I timed the tide and my transit of the Cape Cod Canal very carefully and managed to get it just right. Had I mistimed it, the Canal’s six-knot current would have perfectly counteracted Grace’s six-knot motoring speed, trapping me in the canal and greatly delaying my passage.
I drifted off feeling a kinship with the explorer Christopher Columbus — both of us would be voyaging to our new worlds by sail. Once out of the canal, with a beautiful 12- to 15-knot breeze out of the southwest, Grace was under full sail galloping closer to our final destination of Portland. At that point it dawned on me that I should probably check the weather. So with the VHF radio tuned into NOAA, I listened with mounting dread to the following day’s forecast: small craft advisory, winds 20 to 25 knots, with gusts to 30 knots, seas four to six feet. Very different from our current sailing conditions! I think it was Mark Twain who once said, “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes.” I learned on this voyage that the reverse is just as true!
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With knowledge of the deteriorating weather ahead, I decided to take advantage of the favorable conditions and sail past Gloucester. We pushed on another 25 miles to the Isles of Shoals and picked up a mooring off Smuttynose – appropriately the southernmost island on the Trail. We passed Gloucester at 8 p.m., and pulled into Smuttynose just after 11:00 p.m., having spent 16 hours underway. The v-berth never felt so comfortable!
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My White Squall Moment
Day 3, our final and shortest-distance day, was supposed to be our easiest day. Up and underway at 8 a.m., the conditions were somewhat surprising— no wind and flat calm seas. With the mainsail up, Grace and I were motoring peacefully towards Portland when, just like a scene out of the movie White Squall, the wind went from nothing to 25 knots off the beam. We made the most of the changing conditions: with the jib out, a reef in the main, and the engine off, we were making just shy of eight knots towards Portland, and the GPS had us getting to Cape Elizabeth by mid-afternoon—well ahead of schedule. All good things come to an end, however. And sure enough, the building winds slowly clocked around from the northwest to the north—the exact direction I was heading. The waves, too, shifted from four feet off the beam to six feet off the bow. With Grace sailing close hauled and pounding into these steep breaking waves, the ride became uncomfortable and our speed went from just shy of eight knots to just over two knots. My heart sank, and Portland now seemed like an increasingly distant destination.
Marking a Milestone
Grace’s 31-year-old, 40-horsepower Perkins 4.108 diesel engine, while reliable, is at this point too tired to push the 20,000 pound boat directly into high winds and steep waves.
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Caring for the wild islands of the
The author aboard Grace transiting the Cape Cod Canal.
Trail can be tough work, and MITA is always thankful for the generosity of our friends in helping us get it done. Below is a current list of items we could use for our boats, in our office, or out on the islands. Please contact us if you’d like to donate any of the following. As always, thank you for your support!
Our only option was to sail–just like they did in the old days. I was forced to take very shallow tacks, causing our “distance made good”—that is, the distance in the direction of our final destination—to drop considerably. We were sailing northeast by east, and for every mile over the ground we sailed, we were getting closer to Portland by only 0.3 miles.
much more significant milestone than I originally had expected: not only did I successfully battle high winds and seas, but Grace and I finally arrived at our final destination, our new world, our new home.
Andrew now lives in the East End of
• Hand tools: clippers, loppers, foldable pruning saws
As they say, persistence pays off. And by 9 p.m.—six hours later than the GPS originally indicated—I rounded Cape Elizabeth and sailed to the entrance of Portland Harbor. Our arrival was a
exploring Casco Bay aboard Grace, he can
• Cookware for the island caretaker
FOR our boats
• Gaff/boat hook
• Throwable buoyant cushions
• Boat fenders suitable for skiffs
FOR THE trail
• Weed wrench or root talon
Portland. When not at his desk at MITA or
be found reading WoodenBoat magazine, alpine skiing, or applying a never ending
amount of varnish to Grace’s brightwork.
• Landscaping tools: leaf rake, flathead rake, spade shovel
FOR THE office
• Small/handheld vacuum
M I TA .O R G
In Memoriam Judith Rutter: Guide, Photographer, Trail Enthusiast
continued from page 1
I learned that it is not always as still and serene as we imagine it to be when sitting in our armchairs. There are never any hard edges, and rarely are there any dark blacks, or bright whites. Certain lichens and mosses become almost luminescent as they near dayglo brightness in the dull light. In the fog, I sensed fear, wonder, anxiety, the unknown, serenity, and hope—the hoping that it would break! Many, many times I’d sailed and kayaked in the fog without consciously defining all that I saw and all that I felt, until this past summer on the coast of Maine.
Layers of Complexity
We are saddened to report the tragic passing of member Judith Rutter, 60, who died in an accident while hiking with friends in the Dolomite Mountains of Italy in September.
programs for Outward Bound and the University of Southern Maine. Her teaching techniques, safety skills, and patience instilled confidence in her students, both on and off the water.
Known for her wilderness leadership skills, Judy pursued many different careers that spread her infectious love of nature to others. She was employed by L.L. Bean in the Creative Department for 10 years, led summer bike tours, and became a much sought-after nanny renowned for her creative style of childcare.
Her legacy is in her photographs. Through her artistic and keen eye, Judy captured timeless images of children and nature. Many images are lovingly displayed in friends’ houses, and will serve as a gentle reminder of the kind, passionate, and remarkable friend that she was to so many people.
As a Hurricane Island Outward Bound instructor for many years, Judy led kayak trips along the Maine coast and in Puerto Rico. She then went on to facilitate professional development
MITA was grateful to be named as the beneficiary of donations in Judy’s memory, and we thank the many individuals who gave generously in her honor to support MITA’s mission.
Give the islands to the ones you love.
What better gift than 200 wild Maine island and coastal sites? Look no further than a gift of membership to the Maine Island Trail, America’s first water trail! All memberships come with a complimentary set of note cards featuring art by MITA members and the 2013 Guide as a placeholder until spring, when your recipient will be one of the first to receive the 2014 Guide! Add a MITA hat to any gift membership for only $20 (call 207-761-8225 to complete)!
www.mita.org/gift Be sure to check the priority shipping box Dec 16-Dec 20 to ensure holiday delivery!
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This summer, being intimately close to the water, I learned to read patterns on the water as I had never understood them before. This was a result of my “purposeful observation” assignment. This was different from the tactical observations that we make for the sake of safety. (Forget the beauty in it all, just read the water and get there alive!) It is an artist’s way of looking at things, which consciously notes the visual and emotional experience. I have for a long time known that there are several stories being told on the surface of the water, yet I have never had the pleasure of observing these stories from a height of three feet every day for eight weeks. There are often three and four layers of texture interacting on the surface of the water: the ocean waves, coming in from far off-shore; the regional weather system; the random puff from another direction that tells you things are about to change; or that wind bending around a headland that suddenly, when it hits, changes your environment in a significant way. These layers were exhibited dramatically on the day Julie and I rounded Petit Manan Island on our way east. Looking at the charts, which indicate a long string of rocks and ledges from Petit Manan Point to Petit Manan Island, we decided it safest on this particularly rough day to stay clear of all of that and round the outside
of the island. It was blowing 15 knots, with gusts up to 20 from the south and very large rollers coming in from off shore. Within these large swells were smaller, but significant one- to twofoot waves coming in from a point 20 degrees different than the rollers, not quite parallel—a residual of yesterday’s weather, perhaps. Within this smaller set was yet another, much tighter pattern of waves being created by the new wind. These three layers, all notquite-parallel to each other, dancing and intersecting, were creating a fantastic layout for a calligraphy piece! Observing with attention to light, I realized that if I looked to the south, the sun was dancing brightly off those waves, and that the layers of waves were compressed and silhouetted against the bright, white sky, rendering an almost black-and-white image, with sharp contrast and a flat depth of field. Then, as I looked to the north, those same ocean swells rolled onward to the north in large, distant parallel lines— big, sweeping slopes of dark blue water under a cerulean sky. The compression of waves created by the strong contrast of looking toward the sun was now gone, and each roller looked as if it spread out in front of us for a quarter mile. The smaller, mid-sized waves were about the size of, and looked like, moguls on the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain. As they intersected and crashed together, they created reverberating waves headed in still new directions. And we, the paddlers, had to choose our line on a constantly moving mountain!
I longed to get back to my studio and put into action what I had learned. Almost equal to the influence of the natural beauty that we experienced was the inspiration of artists whose work we saw in galleries along the way. From Rockport (MA) to Jonesport, Julie and I enjoyed a summer of incredible art. Of course, there are the classics: N. C. Wyeth, Winslow Homer, Maurice Prendergast, and Frank Benson to name a few. And then there are the contemporary artists capturing the coast of Maine in countless new and unique ways. As a calligrapher, I seek words with which to work. In Maine, I am fortunate to have a treasure trove of writers to draw from. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that some of my life-long favorite authors and poets come from Maine. Henry Beston, to name just one, shared my love for Cape
Cod, as witnessed in his classic journal, The Outermost House. And one of my favorite poems of all-time, “Exiled,” was written by Maine’s Edna St. Vincent Millay. Today, I am sitting in my re-opened studio, our trusty tandem kayak is in the yard being neglected, and I have plenty of blank paper on hand. It is now time to reap the artistic rewards of our paddle along the coast of Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. The time for observing is over and the time for creating has begun. The journey continues! Rick Paulus was chief calligrapher of the White House under Presidents Clinton and Bush (43), and now works out of his private studio on Cape Cod. View his calligraphy art online at www.rickpauluscalligraphy.com. To see more member stories like this, visit MITA’s new blog at talesofthetrail. wordpress.com.
Waves on a Page
I can see the calligraphy layout now: the large waves being comprised of boldly shaped, yet neutrally colored letters taking a position in the background of the piece on hand-made blue paper, or maybe a watercolor wash background. Those smaller, wind-driven wavelets would be a fun place to write some spikey pointed-pen letters, representing the meringue-topped waves and the feeling of exhilaration we felt on that day. As I grew closer to my environment,
An example of Rick Paulus’s nautically themed hand-made calligraphy designs. M I TA .O R G
Network Aims to Curb Growing Invasives Problem B y M a r g a r e t G e r b e r , M e m b e r s h i p a n d D e v e lo pm e n t A s s o c i at e
As most MITA members are aware, invasive plants such as Asiatic bittersweet are increasingly common along the Maine Island Trail and the coast. Many of these species were originally introduced as imported ornamental plants and have been spreading unchecked ever since. But in recent years, a growing number of groups have begun to pay more attention to the ecological and recreational impacts of invasive plants. These groups are now starting to come together collaboratively to study and address the problem. In the greater Portland area, for example, numerous organizations have joined forces to create the Casco Bay Invasives Species Network (CBISN), which held its first meeting in August. Sponsored by the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Casco Bay Island Development Association, and the Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative, CBISN brings together a number of conservation-minded member groups, including MITA, to identify challenges and share solutions for invasive species management.
experience to the table, which can only advance the invasives work that we are all confronted with.”
Insufficient funding is a common obstacle in invasive species management, as is identifying and matching willing volunteer groups with suitable projects. On the bright side, corporate partners, including IDEXX, are increasingly supportive of their employees participating in work service projects on the islands. Battling invasives is often a great way for these volunteers to make an impact. Currently Maine does not have a list of prohibited invasive species, making the presence of groups such as CBISN all the more important. It provides a space for organizations to share their effective practices to curb the spread of invasives, whether it’s through education, providing native species planting alternatives, or early detection and rapid response methods.
The Network can also help get resources into the hands of those who can make the most use of them. To facilitate invasive species removal, for example, Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative offers use of hand tools from its Tool Library. These tools are available to Casco Bay groups and members of the Collaborative free of charge.
If You See Invasives on the Trail...
Please contact the MITA office before taking any action to remove them. In most cases, we need permission from the island owner before starting any removal work or other management, and we need to confirm that the plant is an invasive before we approach the owner with such requests. Thank You! For more information about MITA’s invasive plant management and ways to get
involved, contact Stewardship Manager
Maria Jenness at 207-761-8225 or stewards@ mita.org.
Following the initial gathering of the network, CBISN is hosting a series of Work and Learn days where groups can come together to learn from each other and get some projects done at the same time. While boats have been pulled from the water and many of the invasives will soon be blanketed by snow, look out for the first such opportunity with CBISN and MITA in the spring.
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Rex and I disembarked and had a look around. The new rock steps were halfway complete and were already a significant improvement over the crumbling stone steps that clung precariously to the wave-battered bank. Visitors to this popular camping spot soon would have safe passage from campsite to shore again. Vinny beamed with excitement.
Calling in the Experts
The Maine Conservation Corps is a program of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, within the Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry. Their mission is to advance conservation throughout the state of Maine, something they accomplish by taking on work projects, creating conservation employment opportunities, providing environmental education, and engaging volunteers. Using field teams made up of volunteers from the AmeriCorps National Service Program, they construct and rehabilitate recreational trails and related trail infrastructure for partner organizations ranging from federal agencies to municipalities and nonprofits. MITA usually tackles trail work projects on the islands using a combination of volunteers and staff. But for technical projects that require specific skills or equipment, we’ll call in the experts. Given their wealth of specialized trailbuilding knowledge and their capacity to supply the right tools for the job, we enlisted the help of the MCC to tackle a few of the more challenging trail work tasks on Jewell’s project list. Our greatest needs were as follows: a new stone staircase at the old wharf campsite, reinforced rock steps leading to the main landing and to the campsites rimming Cocktail Cove, new water bars to redirect rainwater away from wet trail sections, and access improvements at both Punchbowl trail entrances.
Work and Learn
Maria Jenness, Stewardship Manager for MITA and a member of CBISN, remarks, “Through the Casco Bay Invasive Species Network, there is an opportunity for invasive species management to be tackled through coordinated effort, and to leverage the work that these groups are currently doing independent of each other. Each group brings knowledge and
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A Bates College invasive plant ecology class gets a hands-on look at a real-world invasive plant infestation on Little Chebeague Island.
For nine days in mid-June, Vinny and the MCC crew toiled away on these tasks, stopping only occasionally for nourishment or to escape the constant swarm of mosquitoes. Using human-
BPL’s Rex Turner (foreground right) helps an MCC crew member transport rocks to the site of a new staircase at the old wharf campsite while caretaker Vinny Marotta and the rest of the crew set stones in place.
powered tools and lots of grit and muscle, the crew worked at a steady, deliberate pace. The rock work was often tedious, but fortunately there was an abundance of ready-to-use material nearby. From our vantage point, the work had been progressing smoothly and with no major hiccups.
venture out to Jewell should seek out the new trail features and join us in thanking MCC for their hard work. To that end, here’s another hearty (and fitting) salute to the 2013 Jewell Island MCC field team—you guys rocked!
Mainland responsibilities forced me to return to Portland soon after our cursory inspection, but Rex opted to spend the night so that he could lend his brawn to the stairway effort. Casco Bay Lines would be his transportation home in the morning from adjacent Cliff Island. Six weeks later, Rex and I returned with MCC Senior Team Leader Elise Giasson to survey the completed work and review the project. The stately new rock staircase at the old wharf campsite was clearly the crowning achievement, but the crew had also managed to make important trail entryway improvements around Cocktail Cove and the Punchbowl. Without MCC’s help, it’s unlikely that these projects would have been completed this summer. Those who
Those interested in learning more about the Maine Conservation Corps or about
opportunities to get involved should visit www.maine.gov/doc/parks/mcc/.
Make a Splash in The Island Trail We’re always looking for contributors with interesting stories and insights. If you’d like to write for The Island Trail, send an email with your article idea to email@example.com. We’d be glad to talk it over with you!
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Member story, 2013 stewardship season recap, Judith Rutter (In Memoriam), etc.