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Everything posted by mhabich

  1. Last time we tried, Stage Fort Park parking was $20 and not close to a launch spot. We went back to Pavilion Beach Gloucester (greasy pole) and did fine.
  2. from Essex Board of Health: The short version: Chebacco Lake at Centennial Grove is OPEN! A water sample was collected by MDPH at Chebacco Lake on Monday, August 10th. Laboratory analysis showed cyanobacteria levels of 8,400 cells/mL, below the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/mL. Microcystin toxin level was <1 ppb. MDPH requires two rounds of samples below the guideline level, one week apart, to recommend rescinding an advisory. As this result is the second low sample, MDPH recommends the advisory be rescinded. It is important to note that the lifting of this advisory only applies to Chebacco Lake at Centennial Grove. There may still be areas of Chebacco Lake where cyanobacteria is present at levels above the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/mL, which may cause skin/eye irritation and gastrointestinal symptoms; in addition, cyanobacteria may be harmful to pets. If cyanobacteria is observed (even in an area that was previously cleared), both humans and pets should avoid contact with the water.
  3. Dana, just register as above. See you there.
  4. Speaking of safety, I see that everyone seems to be bringing Cetuses tomorrow, and we might have to skedaddle off the water to avoid tstorms. I'll leave the plastic boat at home and try to stay out of the rocks for once.
  5. David, yes, absolutely. I didn't mention it because by now it seems like telling you that you have to wear pants. If we didn't practice safe procedures, or if I didn't think my fellow paddlers did so in the rest of their lives, I wouldn't come to a paddle, let alone initiate one. If you or anyone is uncomfortable at any point, I'd expect you to speak up without explanation or justification, and for your concerns to be met without question or comment. We care too much for each other to do otherwise.
  6. OK, let's go... We'll meet by 9:30 at Granite Pier, Rockport. Drop boats and gear near the ramp, pay $12 at the shack and get a hang tag, park up top. Clean porta-potty available. Small tides, low at noon. S wind 9 to 11 kt. A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after noon. Seas around 2 ft. Would be nice to head out to Straitsmouth, enjoy the rocks on the outside, hug the coast to Loblolly Cove to get some lee, cross to Thacher for lunch, explore, and ride the tailwind back to Straitsmouth. Weather and group will determine what we actually do, of course. Landing on Thacher is on the wood boat ramp, good at all tides. Island is open, but buildings are closed. No fee to land this year. Masks required on the island. Sign waiver and register at https://forms.gle/FqMez5PbURmyashD7 PM me with any questions or if you haven't paddled with me before.
  7. Sue and I are conspiring on this trip. We’ve launched from GP twice lately and were going to try something different, but GP is indeed an easy launch with plenty of parking, so we’ll go there again. Bring $12 exact.
  8. Thinking launch from Pebble Beach, Rockport (Granite Pier as alternate), low tide lunch at Thacher. Hard to find launch spots these days, tired of west end of Salem Sound, and don't want to climb over an acre of rockweed for lunch. Details to follow...
  9. From Essex Board of Health: A water sample was collected by MDPH at Chebacco Lake on Monday, August 3rd. Laboratory analysis showed cyanobacteria levels of 1,300 cells/ml, below the MDPH guideline of 70,000 cells/ml. Microcystin toxin level was <1 ppb. MDPH requires two rounds of samples below the guideline level, one week apart, to recommend rescinding an advisory. These results will be considered the first low sample, and MDPH will sample at the waterbody again next Monday (8/10). The advisory will remain in effect until we have those results (likely 8/11); provided the Cyanobacteria levels are below the threshold, the advisory will be lifted at that time.
  10. 31 July 2020 Friday Forecast NNW wind 5 to 8 kt becoming E in the afternoon. Mostly sunny. Seas around 1 ft...this was about right. HT 9:15A 8.6' LT 3:06P .7' Gaia didn't track today, but tracing the chart afterwards has us at 9 nm for the day. Tim Roberts, Sue Hriciga, Mike Habich Tim wanted to do about 12 miles, ideally on lumpy water. I suggested Granite Pier - Straitsmouth - Salvages - Thacher -Milk and back, since we don't get there often enough. Millions of other people chose to go to work instead of paddling, so it was three to sea. Granite Pier was peaceful with lots of parking...bring $12. We launched before 10. As we passed the pier, we stopped and matched what we saw with the charts to get our bearings. Sue noted that even on such a calm day the shoals NE point of Straitsmouth would be active. We crossed to the tip of Bearskin Neck, and went along the coast and crossed to Straitsmouth. Indeed the point was delightfully active, promising opportunities for play. Sue rounded the corner and headed down the coast. I could see where the day's plan was heading, but said nothing. We found passages and slots, and took our time watching the sets, evaluating routes behind the rocks, and testing our speculation. Near high tide the passages were many, but full of barnacles. Once we got to the south end of the island I noted that we'd left the Salvages and a boring crossing behind; no one seemed to regret. Crossed back to the coast and investigated Whale Cove and Loblolly Cove. Before crossing to the dock on Thacher Sue pointed out the channel markers, hard to see. I suggested using the house behind the ramp (our target) as a transit. As we crossed, we could see that we were being set to the south by the falling tide. We hauled boats to the top of the ramp and off, and had lunch among the views. We dared the gulls on the handrails of the boardwalks, and toured the island to see the railway and whistle house, but the lighthouses are closed this year. Lots of tempting swash on the outside of the island. We launched and proceeded clockwise around. Near the north end, we started seeing harbor seals breaching and bottling, Seals everywhere, looking back at us. As I rounded the point there were six seals looking up, all so close I could have bopped them on the nose with my paddle...but I was outnumbered, so held my fire. Again, we explored every nook and cranny on the outside. Reaching the south tip, we looked across at Milk. It was 2:15 by now, so we chose to forgo Milk so we could revisit Straitsmouth at lower tide with better upholstered rocks. Either the passages weren't as good with lower water or we'd had enough fun, so a faster visit this time. Crossing back toward the pier we saw a junior sailboat race organized, but not making much headway in the light wind. One of the crews was practicing rolling, but with a different technique than we use. Back to now a busier ramp at the pier and packed up. We agreed that having just the three of us made for a great day exploring the coastline, with no one on deadline. Millions of people can be wrong.
  11. See you there. I’ll bring the shark.
  12. I had a look at the boat ramp and the beach in the cove where we practice. I saw no Cyanobacteria (misnamed blue-green algae) there either in the water or along the shore. I wasn't able to get access on the other side of the lake at Centennial Grove where algae have been reported, as it's an active Y camp. Essex water treatment plant is also there. Current advisories: https://www.hamiltonma.gov/government/board-of-health/harmful-algal-bloom/ https://www.essexma.org/health-department-board-health/urgent-alerts/chebacco-lake-harmful-algal-bloom Background info from EPA https://www.epa.gov/cyanohabs and CDC https://www.cdc.gov/habs/materials/factsheet-cyanobacterial-habs.html
  13. Sue, Tim, and I are launching Friday from Granite Pier in Rockport, and there's room for a couple more paddlers. We're thinking down to Straitsmouth, out to the Salvages, Thacher, maybe Milk, looking for about 12 miles and what rocks we can find in expected mild conditions. This is a led paddle. PM or email me if interested.
  14. Ed and Paul are correct. A new boat with a new paddler will be unstable. As the boat spends more time in the water, the hull absorbs water and becomes more stable. If the hull is stressed by force on the knee braces, the hull will not be able to absorb enough water to become stable. It may instead be the case that it’s the paddler that’s absorbing something.
  15. I paddled and swam there Friday morning. Didn’t see any algae bloom at our end. Hasn’t killed me yet, but there’s still time. Guess we’ll be doing strokes and no rescues until further notice.
  16. There's lots of interest in kayaks built by infusion rather than hand layup these days. Here's a great explanation of the techniques and what it means for boat weight and strength: https://joeyschott.blogspot.com/2020/03/closing-gap-how-your-kayak-is-made.html More on resin and fiber choices and the evils of too much gelcoat in other posts there too.
  17. The intent of this thread is to inform each other of the current restrictions on travel within Maine and Massachusetts, not to discuss the logic or lack of same in establishing those restrictions.
  18. More insight: https://bangordailynews.com/2020/07/06/business/why-maine-isnt-treating-massachusetts-tourists-like-others-and-when-it-might/ Last I saw, MA is now at 1.8% positivity, so there's reason for hope. If they don't let us in soon, AFP (Beverly, Swampscott, many others) is offering quick tests to asymptomatic people for $139 with no appointment now.
  19. West Beach is only open to members during the summer. Lynch Park is open to Beverly residents.
  20. Would like to join. Any day ok.
  21. The Thacher/Straitsmouth Island Town Committee (Town of Rockport) and the Thacher Island Association are pleased to announce the reopening of both Thacher and Straitsmouth Islands effective immediately. However, while the ramps and trails will be open to the public, all buildings, including the towers, keeper houses and restrooms will be closed. Visitors arriving by personal watercraft, such as kayaks, should have a mask or face covering with them and endeavor to keep six foot social distancing from other visitors. We will maintain all CDC guidelines. The standard $5.00 landing fee will be waived for this season.
  22. As well as the tidal considerations, parking at Island road is limited. Be respectful of locals. 133 around Farnham’s is a good place to get your car towed, as the signs suggest. There are significant currents between Pavilion Beach and the tip of Plum Island. You two would do well to practice rescues and basic strokes before venturing onto the ocean in your new boats.
  23. Pavilion Beach in Gloucester at the greasy pole is open. Pavilion Beach in Ipswich between Great Neck and Little Neck is Ipswich residents only.
  24. Hot as heck tomorrow. Come on down and join us.
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