By now I had come to understand that I was not the only one reading the blogs and guidebooks, and thus not the only one who knew that Thunder Hole is best visited in the one or two hours before high tide. And, of course, there is usually only one high tide during daylight/waking hours… so it’s gonna be crowded. Indeed, every parking area up and down the coastal trail was nearly full – but I snagged a lucky spot and walked a kilometer along the trail to join the throngs at the famous Thunder Hole.
According to the NPS web page, “Clara Barns Martin’s 1867 ‘Guide Book for Mount Desert Island,’ mentions ‘Thunder Hole or Thunder Cave, a deep chasm into which with every returning wave the water rolls and swirls, and when wind and tide conspire, the wave is thrown against the overhanging rock with a blow that makes the whole cliff shake and the air tremble as with the crash of thunder. The wind should be south of east and the side just at the point to throw the wave under the rock. Failing this, there will be disappointment.'”
Today was somewhat disappointing, but the waves were nonetheless impressive and, for a few foolish souls, quite risky. I was particularly intrigued by a large group of women from a convent(?) who sat very close to the surf. Below, the last two hang on to the bitter end.
See the photo gallery for some movie clips – this scene is far better in video!