Hurricane Island and Penobscot Bay, Maine

Hurricane Island is twelve miles ESE of Rockland and a mile SW of Vinalhaven Island in Maine's Penobscot Bay. The Island was once home to over 1200 people working a granite quarry that operated until 1914. Hurricane granite may be found in the Suffolk County Courthouse, Boston; the Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis Post Offices; the Brooklyn Bridge; the Washington Monument; Philadelphia and Chicago railroad stations; and the city streets of New York, Boston, Chicago and Havana, Cuba, among many other projects.

More recently, the island served as home base to the Hurricand Island Outward Bound School founded by Peter Willauer in 1964. It was on this island that Wilderness Medical Associates taught their first courses for Outward Bound instructors in the early 1980's. The cliffs, ledges and fresh water pools left by the quarry and surrounded by a new growth of spruce forest served as an excellent proving ground and island home for Outward Bound students and staff for more than 40 years. Their small boat expeditions ranged as far east as the Canadian border, south to Florida, and up the Maine rivers a far as the boats could float. The school moved its marine operations to Wheeler Bay on the mainland in 2006.

Hurricane now hosts a training center and research station operated by the Hurricane Island Foundation, created and supported by many former HIOBS staff and alumni. The new community is dedicated to education and science including training and conferences for wilderness and marine medicine and rural EMS. The Wilderness Medical Associates WFR course in 2011 was the first multi-day residential program run on Island by the HI Foundation.

The Maine coast and islands comprise one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in the world. Sub arctic species like puffins, auks and roseroot stonecrop extend their range south with the cold Labrador current and dense boreal rain forests exist on many of the headlands and outer islands. This is a spectacular location and a near perfect training site for wilderness and marine medicine programs.

A few moorings for class participants are available by advanced reservation in the Hurricane roadstead. Anchoring in the mooring field is not recommended due to the seemingly inexhaustable supply of artifacts left on the bottom from the quarrying era. More sheltered anchorages are found to the northwest in White Islands Harbor, to the east in the Thorofare, and to the north of Ohio Island in Hurricane Sound.