This trip is a nice 6 mile tour that should be made during calm weather. The route we took was quite scenic and very beautiful. It should only take 2-4 hours to complete (see route below). Find more info on Ram Island Ledge Lighthouse here.
Launching from Willard Beach in South Portland, Teton and his comrade, Animal, headed WNW to the north side of Cushing Island through the Whiteface Passage. The north east side of Cushing features some magnificent cliff faces that are a must see when in such close proximity on the water.
After hitting the corner of Cushing Island, we made the short open water jaunt to Ram Island. We stopped to check it out. Ram doesn't have much for breathing room outside of the normal island brush and shrubbery. It seemed to be a popular bird haven and nesting ground as well. The whole place was littered with newly hatched seagull and duck chicks while aggressive parents kept a close eye.
Due to the bird activity, we made our stay short as it was obvious that we were not welcomed guests. We drank some water and headed back to sea. While making our way to Ram Island Ledge, Animal got to witness the brutality of nature unfold right in front of his boat. Four ducks were corralled around a couple of ducklings in the water and they were trying to defend them from three seagulls harassing the ducklings from the sky. In one swift motion, a seagull swooped into the group, grabbed a little duckling and took off with it. In a moments notice, the gull swallowed the entire duckling whole in mid flight! It was amazing to watch two species with the same goal on the same land be in such constant battle with one another.
The ledge itself is quite small but incredibly beautiful; we paused on the rocks to eat lunch before exploring the abandoned lighthouse. Although it is not used as a lighthouse anymore it is still used as a horn signal which blasts with frequent repetition.
Once we had our fill of the place, we headed back towards Willard Beach. We paddled the open water west towards the southernmost tip of Cushing and then headed NW back to the beach. NOTE: The Whiteface Passage north of Cushing and the open water section south can get notoriously rowdy in low to high winds, this is why any level paddler would be better suited to wait for a nice day to tackle this route. Along with the exposed water, another concern is the jagged rock landings that are required; fast moving water will make these very dangerous and difficult!