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Joseph Berkovitz

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About Joseph Berkovitz

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  • Birthday 09/03/1959

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    Marblehead, MA

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  1. Joseph Berkovitz

    Umbagog Lake Trip 2019

    This event is a placeholder for the 2019 NSPN trip to Umbagog Lake in NH/ME. It will be replaced with a more detailed entry once a campsite is secured and we are ready to accept RSVPs for the trip.
  2. Joseph Berkovitz

    Rockport to Milk Island 9/29/2018

    Launch: 10.00aLand: 4.00pDistance: 12 nm LT: 8.30aHT: 2.20pWeather: wind NW becoming N 5-10 kt, Seas 3-4ft @ 15s, air 70F water 65FPeople: Joe B (organizer/leader), Liz N, Bob L, Dan F A very beautiful trip from Rockport Granite Pier. The story of today was a story of constant long-period swells which were typically around 2-3 feet, which would every so often amplify to a short set of huge 5-plus ft. waves. We really needed to keep on our toes during the whole trip for these big sets and there were a number of near-misses. We made our way around the outside of Straitsmouth where the huge waves breaking on the shelf in front of it made for a majestic and awe-inspiring scene. After that we handrailed through Whale Cove and Loblolly Cove. Occasionally the action would become really big. Bob went in to play in a rocky area and got caught at the beginning of one of these sets; he rolled up immediately and gamely made his way out through the remainder of the set back into more open water. At Thacher we discovered the light keeper's motor launch occupying pretty much the whole ramp. The ramp itself was being swept sideways by water during big swells, making it a very unappetizing place to land even if it had been empty of other boats. We let the keeper know we'd leave them to their business today and land elsewhere. We proceeded to the cobble beach at the SW of the island, but that was also super dicey looking in the swells. From here though we could see Milk, and it looked like a much better option... We proceeded to Milk and scoped it out. Huge waves were breaking on the ledges all around the outside of it, but the beach on the inside looked doable at a small sandy section just inside the bar that juts out of the NW corner edge of the island. As we got closer it became apparent that there was dumping surf here, but it was much smaller than elsewhere and we all landed successfully. Dan, Bob and I circumambulated Milk and found various interesting bones, and watched the huge waves breaking on the outside. Getting off Milk was a bit of an ordeal though. The water had risen and the dumping was more pronounced. Bob and Liz got off pretty nicely. Dan had a few tries on a forward seal launch and then succeeded after having the boat turned and wrenched away by incoming waves once or twice. As the last to depart the beach I had planned a reverse launch, but decided to follow Dan's approach instead since it looked very easy during one of the many lulls. Alas, it was not so easy... I had to let go of my boat at one point to avoid being hit by it, and a wave carried it up the beach where it connected with some small rocks. (I've been repairing the gash in its side today.) Anyway, Bob counseled patience and after waiting for a suitable moment I, too, left Milk Island. We more or less handrailed back, opting for a more direct and inshore route. The wind had been supposed to die, but instead picked up a bit. There were some very sporty and bumpy conditions at times with combinations of wind waves, reflected swells and some sort of wind-against-current effects (it was just after max flood). On the inside of Straitsmouth we had a chance to observe a new boat ramp that the town of Rockport is in the middle building there (near where the stone steps go up to the top of the island). It looks pretty peachy. This day, however, would not have been a good day to land there even if the ramp had been completed! I think we all agreed this was a great day, and as usual, one where the ocean was in charge, not us!
  3. Joseph Berkovitz

    Thacher Island Saturday 9-29-18

    Yes, this looks suspiciously like the trip I posted last weekend, but that trip was relocated to the Beverly/Manchester coast due to ripping winds out of the N. However, this coming weekend's forecast is looking much nicer for the moment with 6 kt WNW wind and nice long-period swells in the 3' range. Temps are predicted to be around 70 with sunny skies. Hopefully this forecast will hold up. Once again, let's start from Rockport Granite Pier and paddle southeast to Thacher I. via Straitsmouth I where we can stop for lunch. However... let's also consider adding on going a bit further to Long Beach around the corner to surf the long swells, if they arrive as predicted. (I wish I could join Sunday's NH trip posted by Jonathan, since the surfing that day looks even better.) Total round-trip including the beach will be around 12-14 nm. This is going to be an L3 paddle so please be sure that you are comfortable with the trip length and the open ocean conditions. A helmet is strongly recommended; even if you are not playing in rocks the landing at the Thacher ramp can be bumpy. I believe there is a launch fee of $5 at the pier, and also a landing fee of $5 at Thacher, so bring a wheelbarrow full o' cash! Please respond if you're interested and I'll start a PM thread eventually. ...Joe
  4. Joseph Berkovitz

    West Beach, Beverly 9/22/2018

    Launch: 10.15a Land: 2.30p Distance: 7.8 nm HT: 10.20a Weather: predicted winds WNW 15 kt decreasing and veering to NNW Seas 3ft @ 10s, air 70F water 65F People: Joe B (organizer/leader), Rob F, Cathy F, Prudence B, Sandy B, Liz N, Andy S, Sue H Track: https://www.gaiagps.com/public/vdMHL4wHFez9K1jQeKcqKLmz/?layer=gaianoaarnc Launched from West Beach Beverly. Most of the group paddled to Great Misery Beach to get on the water while Rob and I waited behind for the final member of the group. Eventually everyone was reunited near Chubb Island and the group headed east to keep the wind either blocked by rocks (by hugging the coast) or roughly behind us. This strategy worked although the stretch from W Beach to Gales Point was very windy indeed with a quartering wind from the rear. A feature of this paddle emerged which remained consistent throughout the day: occasional sets of large long swells (3-4 feet or more) with long unpredictable lulls in between lasting 10-20 minutes. It kept us on our toes during rock play and in some of the underwater ledge/boulder areas like Lobster Cove. During the big sets places that had been quite placid would turn into washing machine conditions. There were a few close-to-capsize moments or times we had to power over waves that were about to break. Just east of Manchester Harbor 3 paddlers decided to go back together; 2 were experiencing some minor physical issues unrelated to the paddle and the third offered To provide additional companionship and security. This left 5 who wanted to go on. We proceeded to White Beach in Manchester as a lunch spot playing near rocks along the way. The water level was gradually dropping. Some of us had some big water encounters when the large sets came through areas with ledges like the “NSPN rock” area. After lunch the return was similar in character with a few more big sets. We landed and reunited with the previously separated group on the beach.
  5. Joseph Berkovitz

    Sunday Surf Safari?

    I have promised my patient wife to do something with her on Sunday... so I'm afraid I must bow out of this one!
  6. Joseph Berkovitz

    Cape Ann Saturday 9/22/18

    Reasonable enough. I will create a new link and PM thread when I’m back home in a few minutes.
  7. Joseph Berkovitz

    Cape Ann Saturday 9/22/18

    If you are coming, please add your info to this float plan (which is combined with the standard club waiver, for convenience): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1K1l54wn3zyjB5gSjKLA6DwEeS_L1lnzH462UDwFUjJ0/edit?usp=sharing This way you only need to sign your name to the float plan before we launch, and all the documentation is complete. Other things: - Note that we're talking West Beach in Beverly (not Rockport) and it's here: https://goo.gl/maps/M41CHU5tCeJ2 - Prudence, I would LOVE to get a burger but schedule may conflict, I'll play this by ear.
  8. Joseph Berkovitz

    Cape Ann Saturday 9/22/18

    Seems like it’s West Beach in Beverly then! Let’s aim for a 10 am BiB.
  9. Joseph Berkovitz

    Cape Ann Saturday 9/22/18

    The FC is about the same and the timing of the passing of the cold front is probably somewhat uncertain. If delayed then we wouldn’t want to be paddling into it on return. If it was VERY delayed we wouldn’t want to paddle during it as gale force from SW is predicted for Friday late. But current predictions are 8-10 kt for afternoon. http://marine.weather.gov/MapClick.php?w3=sfcwind&w3u=0&w10=swlp&w11=swlm&w12=swlp2&w13=wwh&w14=wvh&AheadHour=23&Submit=Submit&FcstType=graphical&textField1=42.6065&textField2=-70.5733&site=all&unit=0&dd=&bw=&marine=1 I think West Beach sounds like the best plan now in terms of lee and choices of direction and rock play. Good Harbor could work, but the coast between there and Thachers is all beach, not as interesting. Going the other direction is more interesting but runs into the harbor and dog bar pretty quick (not so good in N wind). We can save Thacher for another more favorable day ( Yes, Sunday does have better weather for this trip but I cannot paddle that day as I have a piano gig. ) Thoughts?
  10. Joseph Berkovitz

    Cape Ann Saturday 9/22/18

    Just noting the forecast of paddling into the NNW wind (10-15 kt) on our return from thatcher. That wind will be trending downwards during the day but suspect it could still be a slog at times. A West Beach launch could be a Plan B if people hate headwinds that much. For my part I kind of miss paddling in the Thacher area and don’t mind some extra effort.
  11. Joseph Berkovitz

    Cape Ann Saturday 9/22/18

    Next weekend, Saturday looks like a potential good day to paddle (without too much good weather in between, other than today). Conditions willing, I'm thinking of a launch from Rockport Granite Pier and paddling southeast to Thacher I. via Straitsmouth I. Total round-trip would be around 10 nm if you add in the usual messing around with rocks and so forth. The route is exposed to open ocean and there will be some leftover seas from the week's weather, so we should conservatively consider this an L3 paddle. This plan depends on a cold front having moved through and cleared out the warm sector of the low that will likely be blowing nastily from the S on Friday. If that happens as predicted, we should see diminishing winds < 8 kt out of the N or NW on Saturday, 2' seas and sunny skies with temps in 70s. But if the forecast firms up differently during the week, then the route or the venue can change. If you're interested, please respond on this thread. If there's interest, we'll turn it into a PM thread midweek once the weather and the plan have solidified. I would like to cap the trip size to 8 (first to respond, first served).
  12. Joseph Berkovitz

    Odiorne Saturday, September 15, 2018

    I like this idea! Please count me in. And maybe there will be some surfing opportunities at Wallis...
  13. Shark-flavored followup: Today I was at the Great Pig Rocks where there were loads of seals playing and I saw a large (6-7 foot) shark go under my boat at a shallow depth in the clear water. It was definitely not a seal: it had that unmistakable shark outline and I could see some of its white underside as it undulated past. I hope people will still paddle with me after this story... I don't think I'm doing anything special to attract them... other than go where they happen to be...
  14. Joseph Berkovitz

    Saturday, September 1 - Lanes Cove to Rockport

    Please count me in! (There's a tiny chance that my son may be moving apartments that day, in which case I'll be wheel-less.)
  15. Joseph Berkovitz

    Bold Coast/Cobscook/Campobello Paddle 2018

    Yes Peter and EEL, you are so right. The paddlers eye view within the Narrows was nothing to be taken lightly. I also felt that the ride under the bridge was accompanied by a substantial drop in water level, with all the chaotic behavior that this implies!