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  1. Today
  2. Awesome trip, thanks for organizing it Cathy. i think there was a bit of lack of communication as far as the swimming went.(for me) I watched you happily jump in the fast moving water and I thought your plan was to float down stream. As I was watching you float away , I was also watching Rob calmly put his spray skirt around his cockpit. I thought "oh, ok, this must have been the plan" (for Rob to knowingly go fish you back to shore). We were watching though, and had Rob not arrived when he had we quickly would have assisted. (But as Bill pointed out, you probably would have got to shore before then anyhow). A great day had by all. Looking forward to next time. -Dave
  3. Yesterday
  4. First, it was a good trip Cathy. Thanks again for organizing and leading it Supreme Leader. Yes. I would probably have suggested I spot you while you repeated at least part of your swim if I had fully understood your experience. Panic is always a potential problem. It is certainly difficult to stay calm and think clearly when panic visits. In white-water, if you swim a rapid the basic rules are get on your back, get your feet up and downstream with your legs slightly bent, and time your breathing because sometimes your head might be underwater. The extra credit options are maneuvering to avoid running into things like rocks, and barrel rolling into eddies. However, usually you just wait because eventually the rapid ends and then either discharges into a pool, calmer current, or if you are a semi-crazy paddler playing above something dangerous like a waterfall you should soon see throw ropes coming your way. Getting a huge adrenaline rush and finishing with very rapid breathing is a typical reaction. In your case the current would have slowed and eventually discharged you into the ocean which was in a mellow mood that day. In the unlikely event that nobody ever came for you, you could have lazily swum across the mild current like dealing with a riptide, then swum in to shore and walked back to the bridge. Your PFD would have kept you breathing, and the conditions were warm enough that you had hours of functional self-rescue time available. Assuming none of the Great White Sharks nibbled on your toes. That was my plan A. Plan B was to catch a later eddy. Play C was to float the entire rapid and then treat the current like a riptide swimming across the current and then in to shore. Assuming of course none of the boaters I floated past offered me a lift. I do have the advantage of having practiced those skills during multiple swift water rescue courses, not to mention the even more numerous unplanned swims I've experienced paddling white-water.
  5. On the Baxter Scale, I'll give you a 9.2. A long and fun report about just one day. As for your swim... it made me think of how everyone up at Cobscook jumped into what I'm sure was stronger current and rode it around a rocky point. Great fun and nothing to worry about because 1) everyone was watching and onboard with the plan, 2) someone set up with a throwbag on the point to toss at the swimmer zipping by and 3) there was a backup swimmer-catcher in a kayak in case the swimmer missed the throwbag...or the thrower missed the swimmer. Silly you! Glad it turned out ok and that you learned something. Wish I'd been there. As much as I enjoy planning for and going on Big Trips, I really really really miss all the great paddles my friends are doing with each other in this great area thst we are blessed to have such easy access to. Thanks for a great report that made me really envious! Prudence
  6. Stupidity and Complacency Teach a Lesson on a Fun Day Pre-reading warnings: On the Baxter trip report scale of length, this is about a 8. Grammar nitpickers: I change tenses because in remembering, I am sometimes there and sometimes here in the present; just go with it. Lots more pics available, but still limited by picture size when uploading, so can't share all of them. I’m back at Cohasset in the summer. It’s one of my favorite kayaking destinations for so many reasons – the water is warmer than up north, Minot light, pretty coastline, easy conditions in some areas or sporting if you choose, Little Harbor current, pretty walk from the car to the launch and back with view of the fast-moving water at the lobster pound, the racing dories, the little fish in the stream, and of course, a nice bathroom at the launch. It’s been slightly over a year since I was there to do this same trip – with some of the same people. Last year’s trip was modified because we were socked in with fog, and I was too unsure of my navigational skills to paddle out to Minot light. This day, however, there was no fog and the weather looked great – we were finally going to get out to the light! As a navigational exercise, the night before I had worked out the heading I thought we should use from the last little point of land on the west side of Scituate Neck. I gave thought to the shoals between the neck and the lighthouse, possible wind and how I might adjust the heading to accommodate. I also found the heading back to land from the lighthouse. With no fog this day, on the crossing over I did my best to ‘pretend’ there was fog, not focus on the lighthouse, but instead on my compass, the water and my group. It was an interesting exercise to keep an eye on the compass and the group. It was like having a paddler that needed a bit more attention than the others. We had a discussion about the 4 star assessment and whether it would be acceptable to delegate navigation to one of your led participants. If you did, what would you do to be sure they were navigating correctly? My answers led me to the conclusion that I would never truly delegate navigation – but that’s my philosophy of paddling – stemming from control issues. I would never hand over control to another person and let them lead me blindly - I must always ‘know’ – location, technique, plan, etc. Anywho – that’s a long discussion for another post . . . It was rewarding to keep the compass right where I wanted it and occasionally look up and see we were heading nicely to the lighthouse. I know I would not have that luxury in the fog and would be a lot more anxiety-ridden, so I enjoyed the ease of the exercise. We stopped once to wait for a boat to cross our path – and Robert reminded me to take that stop into consideration on the overall time to cross – only 35 seconds or so, but a very good reminder. We arrived safely and on time by my calculations – we were finally here! A first time for many of us! We didn’t see any sharks, but someone thought they saw a seal, so there was lots of speculation and joking around about sharks. We had been pre-advised that it is great fun to climb up the ladder and jump off. Of course, climbing navigational aids is probably illegal, so of course, we wouldn’t do that, but here are some presumably photoshopped pictures of what it would have looked like if someone had done so . . . twice. I shared with everyone that the lighthouse has a unique flash sequence of (1, 4, 3). Dan shared with us the local lore that it stands for ‘I Love You’, with the origin being the lighthouse keeper flashing this message of love and endearment to his bride on the shore. I choose to believe it because, well, love. There were lots of fishing boats around and once you’ve circled the lighthouse a couple times and not jumped off the ladder a couple times, and a couple people had done a couple rolls, it’s time to go. So now I look back towards the shore and attempt to figure out where Little Harbor is visually (yes, I can use my chart to get a specific heading, but this was now a piloting exercise). I think it’s right below the white tank between the two mounds of light colored rock, but have nothing but my gut to support this – I’ve never been this far off the shore in this area and the tank is not on my chart. But, since conditions are benign, it’s early in the paddle, there’s light boat traffic and it doesn’t really matter where we hit shore – I decided that’s a nice visually distinct spot to head to and see if I was right. Mike had taken a heading on his chart and felt my instinct was right. It was a pleasant paddle back to shore. We visited the day marker and just generally chatted and enjoyed the calm sea and this wonderful sport that we do. I tried to race a small motorized dingy and was doing well until they throttled up and outpaced me. Oh well, maybe next time. So, as we drew nearer and nearer to shore, I saw that I was indeed right. Yeay! But now here we are at the famed Little Harbor – home of the fun current, the scary current, the wave with the big hole, the messy wave train, the deceptively safe eddies, a place of learning, of conquering fear, of pride and of humility. If, as the coaches would say, “It’s just water” – how can it be all of that? But it is – and more. The ebb had indeed started – it was about 12:15 or so and high had been at 10:54. There was a bit of current running out, but not much in the way of waves, so some of the group stayed at the lower end and some paddled in to play at the bridge and have lunch. I did a roll in the mild current at the lower end to remind myself that I could do it. Robert did the same and reminded himself that he could get some air, retry and be successful! Eventually all of us ended up at the bridge and stopped on the beautiful pebble shore to have a rest and a bite. After lunch, a few headed out to play in the waves forming below the bridge. Some of us stayed on shore to bask in the sun, search for pretty rocks and dangle our feet in the cool water. A couple boats made their way out of the harbor before the water got too low. A family was having fun jumping off the rocks under the bridge, riding the current, landing in the eddies and walking back for more. It looked like great fun. After a while, a small group of paddle boarders came laughing and screaming from under the bridge and one of them was almost dumped from their board as they hit the waves. I (and others as it turns out), were silently scoffing at them for not wearing their pfd’s. But they were having so much fun and the water looked so inviting, as they passed by, I lept up from my spot on the shore, and jumped into the swift moving current to have a play. It was exhilarating – a little cool, but fun with the waves and being swept along with the current. But then, I got hit in the face with a wave and decided I should find an eddy and get out. I swam towards the shore but couldn’t get there. I swam with all my might, but could not escape the current. I continued to be swept down the small river, with panic starting to rise in my gut and crowd my thoughts. I looked back towards my companions on the shore as I rounded the corner and waved for help, but they interpreted it as a wave and one of them waved back. I was now desperately trying to identify eddies and figure my escape route because I was heading towards the wave at the entrance, which hadn’t really started it’s pourover, but I didn’t know that yet. I tried again for an eddy, and couldn’t make it. I looked upstream when I could, hoping to see a kayak heading towards me, but no one came. I looked downstream and with my focus now there, I was relieved to see the wave still had not really started with any force, but also could also now see and hear the paddleboarders. I called ‘Help’ and they turned to me. I said, ‘Please, can I hang onto your board?’. One of them turned to stay in place in the current and I started to swim with the current towards them. I took in a little water as I hit the rougher water at the entrance and was coughing when I got to them. I thanked them between gasps of breath and coughing, relieved for this relative safety. As I caught my breath and looked around, I see Robert come around the corner, racing downstream to my rescue. I feel even more relief and he is soon at my side. I thanked the paddle boarders again, and Robert directs me up onto his back deck, where I lay low, and he paddled back against the current to bring me to shore. He’s glad I’m safe, but he’s mad – a little a me and a little at the group. It turns out he was facing away from the group getting into his kayak when I made my impetuous leap into the current, and did not know what I had done. Once he was on the water, I think they mentioned that he should go find me – and he was surprised to learn what I had done. Why had they not come after me? Well it turns out, they all thought I looked happy and in control – and I was when I was still near them. I think we were also lulled into complacency: because we’re all skilled at being on top of this current in our kayaks; because the swimmers were having so much fun; because it was such a beautiful day. If you know this area, you know it’s really a short stretch of river I’m talking about. If I had to guess, this all took place over 2 minutes at most – maybe 3 by the time Robert go to me at the mouth. It was still some ways out to the island – which was my next thought of safety if the paddleboarders had not helped me. The irony of the boarders without pfd’s rescuing the person with the pfd, who had just silently mocked them, was not lost on me. I had lept into the water without a vessel or plan and in hindsight, the pfd actually probably hindered my ability to navigate the current in some ways. The swimmers were unencumbered and could maneuver more easily. In one of my attempts to swim towards an eddy, I briefly thought the pfd was hampering my ability to swim. My pfd was also more easily swept along by the current. I AM IN NO WAY ADVOCATING GOING WITHOUT A PFD. What I do need to do, as Bill pointed out, is take a swift water rescue course and learn how to swim in fast moving current, learn how to ‘roll’ into an eddy, etc. I know about that roll technique, but have never done it. It did not occur to me, nor did it occur to me to use my whistle or use my radio – all happening so fast. I wonder if the paddle boarders had not been there, if Robert hadn’t been on his way and I had more float time out to the island, would I have thought of these things? Would the current have lessened enough out there that I could get out of it? I wasn’t in grave danger, but I wasn’t in a very good situation. I had put myself there. I have thinking to do. So, after Robert dropped me off and paddled back up against the current, I walked back along the pretty stone shore, too tired and wound up to see those pretty stones. I shared some of my tale with the group, but I downplayed it a bit, still in a bit of shock and processing. I think this writing is probably the first time they will understand what it was really like. The day continued on with folks playing in the current at the bridge, which does have a temporary bridge set up, but nothing hindering play there, at least for now. Bill, who has excellent white-water experience, walked up and over and lept in with the swimmers, and rolled beautifully into the first eddy. Soon, we all moved down to the outer wave and it was really going by the time we got there. The hole looked huge as we swiftly headed downstream, but we all crossed it with ease and no falling over. Dave, Bill, Dan, and Mike attacked the wave, taking turns attempting to get right up to the top. There’s a somewhat scary eddy in the middle that you can’t really see that sucks you right towards the hole. I made one good attempt and once I got to the other side, was happily, and somewhat cockily, playing on the eddy line, when I suddenly went over. I was too surprised, so had to wet exit. I had my scaredy pants on by the time Bill got to me for the rescue and was done for the day mentally. I enjoyed watching the others repeatedly try to conquer the water, with lots of great rolls and rescues when those did not work. 3pm approached and the water was getting shallow; it was time to return to the land. We paddled back against a mild ESE wind that had recently appeared (but as forecasted) and passed the pleasure boaters in the harbor entrance, all the while hoping to see the ice cream boat. I’m beginning to think that experience of a past trip was a dream, that I imagined a small dinghy pulling up with Haagen-Dazs in a cooler; but I hold out hope that I will encounter it again, dream or not. We returned to the launch and slowly returned our belongings, boats and beings to their respectful places. It’s always a bit of a tough mental transition for me, mixed with joy and tiredness. After everyone is changed, dinner was discussed and we settle on Stars on Hingham Harbor, as recommended by Mike. It did not disappoint! Another day on the water. Another great day. Another fun day. Another day of learning. Another day of living. Thank you to Jill, Dave, Judy, Bill, Mike, Dan and Robert for joining me on this adventure. I hope we can do it again next year.
  7. If weather looks good, I'm thinking about joining. What is estimated length of entire trip?
  8. Last week
  9. until
    Camping trip with two night reservation on Butter Island west of Deer Isle. Have reservation at Old Quarry in Stonington for night of July 27. Paddle from OQ on morning of 28th to Butter (11 miles) and spend two nights at Orchard Beach campsite. Spend Saturday exploring area with day's paddle from Butter including Beach Island were owner will give us a tour of family owned island. Paddle back to Stonington on Sunday morning.Contact leader for more info.
  10. Capellas are still available, email me mikecrouse at yahoo.com
  11. Have a great paddle, everyone! Wish I were with you, but other shores call...
  12. Andy, were bringing them back as a backup but as of now I plan to wear bibs with a semi drytop.
  13. Thanks Yong, see you up there!
  14. Sounds good,Kelsey, thanks. Are you guys doing drysuits today?
  15. I m on my way up as well. Have safe drive everyone.
  16. Pretty sure it's still on and launching from Westport island, wright landing links from Jason's earlier message: http://westportisland.us/community/wright-landing http://westportisland.us/images/site/body-images/Wright_Landing_2015v1_OL.pdf We are on our way up there.
  17. Just confirming: Tomorrow meeting or launching at 11 AM? Wright Landing = Muni Landing off Wright Road on Westport Island, correct?
  18. Sunday, July 23rd 10am - 3pm at Maine Island Kayak Co, Peaks Island, Maine Nigel Dennis Kayaks, Tiderace Kayaks, Rebel Kayaks. Our entire demo fleet will be on the beach for test paddling. Special prices on paddling gear and used boats. 10% off all new NDKs purchased Sunday!
  19. I wondered about all the kayaks I was meeting as I headed home from Brooklin after a six day journey. Once I saw the School Bus, I knew it was a collection of NSPNers. From pictures it appears you experienced classic Stonington fog as well as great sunny days for paddling. In other words, the whole deal. As Huth indicated on another thread, MCHT provides some very nice places to camp and visit with Saddleback being right up there. Ed Lawson
  20. Judy - I'm emailing you now with the launch info. Everyone - please send float plan info to me. Thanks!
  21. Hi Cathy - I'm interested in joining you, too! And I'm kinda uncertain where the put-in is ... Thanks, Judy
  22. There is a public free parking and a ramp right next to the boating club. One does not need to be affiliated with them at all. Between the two lakes. Plenty of mini parking lots alongside Mystic View parkway. There is another larger parking lot at the upper part of the Mystic lake as well, near the beach area.
  23. Parking is on Harris Island Road along the street, but not in the permit spaces - so it means we're a little farther down, but it's easy to drop boats and then drive a bit down the street. Google view here: https://www.google.com/maps/place/Harris+Island+Rd,+York,+ME+03909/@43.133447,-70.6478925,193m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89e2ba405abe38a1:0x26f0211fca4c0277!8m2!3d43.1313337!4d-70.6475809?hl=en
  24. More photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/9TiD9C13WPSOERLi2
  25. Are those dowels holding the two halves together that slide into holes to accommodate the tapering of the hull? If so, wouldn't a hard push break them apart?
  26. She believes it is, I'm sure she has them lined up properly as much as she is in her drysuits, I think she said her second one was worse than the first.
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