Thursday, October 17, 2013

A day over to Bar Haven

We crawled into the sleeping bags around 10:30 Saturday night.  It was cold; frost was starting to form on the tents.

We awoke in the morning to a coating of frost on everything including ...

... the kayak and all our gear.  I got out of the tent and got moving to get the blood circulating and some heat built up.

The water at low tide looked to have dropped 2 meters.  The water flowing out of the channel was like a river.  An exit out of the pond would be a nice little ride to get the day started.

The plan for the day was to leave the tents standing and only take supplies for a day trip over to Bar Haven Island.  A short crossing of three kilometers put us in Back Cove.

It was a sunny cool fall day.  A perfect day to paddle along some pretty impressive scenery.

Paddling up the eastern side of the island we came to an indent of the sea that sheltered the former communities established on the island.  Check out the map at the end of this post.

We paddled down to check out Western Cove first.  It was established in 1884 when the population was 46.  It was abandonded by 1966 when the last of a population of 31 left but ...

... not for good.  Former residents and family have come back and built summer cabin.  We stopped here for lunch in the shelter of one of the cabins.

After lunch we put-in again and made our way towards the north side of the arm and the former community of Bar Haven.  Known as Barren Island until 1911, it was settled by 1800.  The population reached its maximum in 1911 when 248 souls called it home, some of whom are interred in this old cemetery with broken headstones.  At the time of resettlement in 1966 the population was 188.  A sizable population but isolation and lack of services drove the last residents out.

It is also now the site of well maintained summer cabins and grounds.

This is all that remains of where the community church once stood.  I had a grand chat with some of the people who were there for the holiday weekend.  They were, in fact, relatives of my first steady girlfriend so we had somewhat of a connection.

After a visit to check out a possible campsite on Ship Island we returned to Gulch Pond for supper.  We wind had come up so we moved the kitchen area to a more sheltered spot and everyone got busy cooking supper.

The setting sun was part of a spectacular evening view of the pond itself.

Pete arranged a circle of rocks which implied that it would be the limit of the evening's fire  It was a small one at first which meant we had to stand close.  But ...

... once Pete went to bed things took a more familiar turn.  The fire grew under the watchful eye of the Man in the Moon.

The previous night the temperature had dropped to -4 C.  Only my feet were chilled so on tis night, Sunday, I was determined to go to bed warm.  I positioned a flat rock near the fire to warm and put in the bottom of my sleeping bag.  It was pure heaven as I got into a cold tent and the prelude to a most comfortable night in sub-zero temperatures and the end of our second day in Gulch Pond.

Here are the breadcrumbs for the day's paddle:


  1. Gulch Pond is such a beautiful spot. Looks like you had a great trip, what a nice way to spend the long weekend!

  2. Gulch Pond is indeed a beautiful place. I'd like to go back and spend some time playing in the tidal current. But, in warmer weather.

    Tony :-)