Bangor lawyer Jeffrey Silverstein set off on a 250-mile journey from Kittery to Lubec on July 3 to honor his deceased friend Julio DeSanctis and raise money for cancer care.
He expected the trip in the 16-foot kayak with two hulls, a mainsail and a jib to take a week to 10 days, but Thursday night — eight days into his journey — he had only made it as far as Newport Cove on Mount Desert Island after heading out of Manset, a village in Southwest Harbor, that morning.
“Late afternoon the wind died, not increased as expected, and I found myself drifting off the southeast side of Mount Desert Island and was not going to make it across to Winter Harbor or to Bar Harbor,” Silverstein posted early Friday morning on the Facebook page he created for the trip.
He still needed a place to land, though.
“So, I looked at the only two options — Otter Cove or Newport Cove as indicated on the chart — both south facing coves” off Mount Desert Island, he wrote.
Otter Cove “did not look inviting and didn’t show a good landing spot,” he wrote. Newport Cove, on the other hand, had “a nice and long sandy stretch of beach which looked placid.”
Silverstein, 58, of Bangor had hoped for a day of rest on shore while he waited out Friday’s rainstorm. Plus, he lost a box of electronic equipment trying to come ashore that needed to be replaced.
But that “placid” landing spot turned out to be Sand Beach in Acadia National Park. Landing any sort of boat there is illegal, as Silverstein, a well known criminal defense lawyer, found out when park rangers arrived.
“They agreed to not cite me under the circumstances, but neither I nor the boat was welcome for the night,” Silverstein said.
The boat stayed the night, Silverstein said, but the rangers “put it to me this way: ‘Stay at a campground, stay at a friend’s house, go home, but you’re not staying here.’”
So Silverstein’s son, Mitchell, picked him up at Sand Beach and returned the lawyer to his Bangor home.
Silverstein planned to be back on the beach for high tide at 8 a.m. Friday to get the boat off the beach and to a boat ramp for what Silverstein called “a haul-out.”
Efforts to reach Silverstein by phone and on social media were unsuccessful Friday morning. By that evening, he had a new phone. Silverstein said in a text message that the “haul-out” had been delayed until Saturday morning due to Friday’s downpour.
The media liaison for Acadia National Park did not immediately return a phone message inquiring about Silverstein’s landing on Sand Beach.
In spite of his travails, Silverstein said on Facebook that he is determined to complete the journey even if it takes him longer than planned. The lawyer estimated he had five full days of sailing left before he had to return to a courtroom.
“This venture has taken a toll — lost wallet, cellphone and two cell battery boosts, two shore supply trips and family angst,” he said. “On the bright side I did seven sailing days — the last two very trying but the first five were good to great. I covered from Kittery to the eastern-most point of MDI, [which] looks to be about 3/5 of the coast.”
He also raised $8,235 for Champion the Cure, which benefits the Northern Light Health Foundation. That far exceeds his goal of $5,000.
DeSanctis, who gave Silverstein the daysailer he is using for the trip, died of cancer in September 2011 after a nine-year battle. He was 67.