by Steve Moland (with additions by Judy Gannon, TT, & various internet authors)
From the January 1999 WrapAround
Click on the photos to see larger images
Well, Beal Island hasn't changed much over the years, but a trip down to the town of 5 Islands sure wasn't what the canoe purists would have approved of. On Saturday morning, we acquired a large supply of lobsters from a passing Crustacean Harvester for a great price and placed them carefully in our holding pen to await our evening feast. The day was bright and sunny but the tide wasn't exactly right so I towed three other canoes behind mine using a 2HP motor. Imagine, a 10 mile round trip against the tide and wind on a quart of gasoline. With the weight balanced, canoes tow very straight, fast and it makes for an easy tour. Fifteen years ago I remember paddling hard for hours just to get back. I'm less inclined today to think that such things are quite as much fun as they were then.
After we got down to the little marina and ate our lunch on the adjacent rocks, we ambled over to the pavilion and there in the high 80 degree heat, was Santa deck out in his winter duds handing out penny candy to all the visitors. The kids took some candy but the rest of us opted for an ice cream cone at a little shack on the pier. Before we started back to the Beal island we toured the area looking at the other rugged islands, houses and some of the more spacious water craft riding at anchor in the little harbor.
Once back at Beal we did a short drift wood search, prepared the hors d'ouvres and then finally the main lobster meal after hypnotizing some of the lobsters to delight of the kids. Plenty of corn on the cob and copious quantities of cheese, wine, veggies and Margaritas made for a delightful evening. We enjoyed it not only for ourselves but also for an early years Beal Island regular, Jim Pisari, who passed away last year. Jim was the lovable trip cook for many years.
The island boasts many osprey families and the porcupines are extremely militant and resourceful about getting into food and garbage. Any rope used to hang things from branches which is less than 6 feet is a useless token which works only in the mind of foolish campers. The raccoons are challenged but the porkies are only slowed down. A closed latchable cooler works best. What has all this got to do with canoeing? Not much other than they are the common vehicle of conveyance for a different type of camping weekend.
We stored the fresh caught lobsters in crates in the water until it was time to cook them. After dinner we all sat around 'the rock' toasting marshmallows over a crackling fire, and making símores. We all slept under a beautiful full moon, and the 'Sun Showers' were well utilized the next morning.
The following people were on the trip: Judi and Steve Moland,
Janet & Stan Robertson, Jan & Steve Robertson, Stan Solomon, Roy & Anita Silliker (Judi's brother from CA), Gordon Silliker (Roy's son), Mark Moland & his children, Samantha, Sydney and Spencer. Bruce Healey and Judy Gannon with Alex Gannon (Judy's grandson). This was Spencer and Alex's first trip to Beale, and Alex's first ever canoeing/camping trip. Don't know if Bruce thought he was much help paddling on Saturday. Next time.
Wanna come this year?
NH AMC Canoeing has been running a trip year for years. As of this writing, the date of the trip as not been set, but you can contact the touring chair, Mike Jacobs if you are interested.
Beal Island is a lovely undeveloped 64-acre island about a 20 minute canoe off shore in Georgetown, Maine. Although you have to bring your own water, there are two outhouses and two group cooking platforms. There are pleasant spots to pitch your tent in the meadow or under an evergreen looking down at the beach.
The Beal's Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery is also in the area. The 1987 founding of Bealís Island Regional Shellfish Hatchery is the first shellfish management program that uses hatchery-reared soft-shell clams. It grew out of a 1983 Jonesboro 4-H project.
Register by writing Beal Island Registrar, RR3, Box 7260, Sidney, ME 04330. (207-465-9732) or firstname.lastname@example.org.