Sorrento to Sullivan

Ellsworth, Maine

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Sorrento sits at the southern point of Waukeag Neck at the head of Frenchman Bay. This entire area is absolutely beautiful for kayaking, but it demands good trip planning. A strong or sustained southerly blow should make you reconsider your plans for paddling in this area. We’ve sat in the parking lot at the boat ramp and watched the town floats buck and roll as lumpy conditions moved in from the south. Consider, too, the danger of a strong northerly offshore breeze. As you explore this area, you need to be very careful about placing yourself into open, exposed areas. Frenchman Bay is renowned for its ability to turn rough very quickly and while the fetch is somewhat broken up by the islands off Bar Harbor, there’s still a long stretch of water before waves spend their energy on the shores of Hancock Point and the southern shores of Dram and Preble Islands. The tidal flow through Sullivan Harbor as the bays empty from the north can stand on end when opposed by a strong wind from the south.
Guide to Sea Kayaking in Maine

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Guide to Sea Kayaking in Maine

by Shelley Johnson & Vaughan Smith (The Globe Pequot Press)

Sorrento sits at the southern point of Waukeag Neck at the head of Frenchman Bay. This entire area is absolutely beautiful for kayaking, but it demands good trip planning. A strong or sustained southerly blow should make you reconsider your plans for paddling in this area. We’ve sat in the parking lot at the boat ramp and watched the town floats buck and roll as lumpy conditions moved in from the south.

Consider, too, the danger of a strong northerly offshore breeze. As you explore this area, you need to be very careful about placing yourself into open, exposed areas. Frenchman Bay is renowned for its ability to turn rough very quickly and while the fetch is somewhat broken up by the islands off Bar Harbor, there’s still a long stretch of water before waves spend their energy on the shores of Hancock Point and the southern shores of Dram and Preble Islands. The tidal flow through Sullivan Harbor as the bays empty from the north can stand on end when opposed by a strong wind from the south.

©  Shelley Johnson & Vaughan Smith/The Globe Pequot Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Sea Kayaking
Nearby City: Ellsworth
Distance: 10
Duration: Day trip
Season: Best in summer months
Local Maps: NOAA Chart 13316 Frenchman Bay and Mount Desert Island
Driving Directions: Directions to Sorrento to Sullivan

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Apr 2018