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Joseph Berkovitz

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About Joseph Berkovitz

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    JoeB
  • Birthday 09/03/1959

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    Marblehead, MA

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    Joseph
  • Last Name
    Berkovitz
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    9783146271

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  1. Route: Stramski Beach, Marblehead -> Great Haste -> Little Misery I. -> Bakers I. -> Grays Rock -> return Launch: 10.05; Land: 14.15 Distance: 9.7 nm Conditions: Sunny, air 70 F, wind 5-10 kt SW -> S, water 62 F (colder!), swell 1-2 ft @ 6 sec Tides (Salem Harbor): 7:11 AM low -0.07 ft. 1:27 PM high 8.68 ft. 7:18 PM low 0.86 ft. Track: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/e422257b3d2890c815a2fbbc1956bacd/?layer=gaianoaarnc People: Joe Berkovitz, Bob Levine, Rick Crangle, Amy Chiuchiolo, Patrick Donahue, Sue Hriciga, Dana Sigall, Mike Habich, David Mercer [10.05] We launched from Stramski Beach, a new place to try out in Marblehead in the wake of the new parking fees being levied on nonresidents at Riverhead Beach. It is closer to Peachs Point than Riverhead, so perhaps more convenient if one is heading across Salem Sound, but parking is much tighter. There are two lots and the larger one (25 cars?) is a 3 minute walk from the beach, while the smaller one (10 cars) is pretty close to the water. There was a slight breeze on the water which was a relief because the land was heating up pretty fast in the hot sun. To avoid the ferry we headed towards the day marker at Great Aquavitae ledge, as we had about another 15 minutes before the ferry headed out of Salem. Or so we thought - we could see the ferry at its berth across the harbor. We made the ledge pretty quickly [10.20]. It was evident there was not going to be much in the way of post-Tropical Storm Isaias conditions making its way into this part of the sound: the water was fairly quiet, just light wind waves and gentle swell. We continued towards Great Haste, reaching it after paddling about a mile [10.37]. Bob said he had not noticed the ferry leave Salem, which was a little disquieting since we saw the boat actually in Salem and I thought I had seen it arrive while we were getting ready to launch. Passing Great Haste, a number of us noted that the water suddenly became much colder and the breeze felt fresher. (The water temperature readings at Boston Buoy took a real dive during Isaias, perhaps due to wind wave mixing of the layers?) Then a longer paddle took us to Little Misery [11.20]. Some stayed out and played in the rocks as there was the usual fun increase in ocean energy around the Miseries. I was starving and landed along with Rick to eat lunch. Others arrived pretty shortly and we had a peaceful and pleasant lunch in the shade until leaving for Bakers I. [12.15] Out around the outside of Bakers we encountered much more active conditions with incoming swells standing up on the many submerged rocks, various slots to play in, and lots of wind waves and chaotic reflections. In short, entertainment! [12.55] Headed from the south tip of Bakers towards Pope Head and Eagle Island. This area had some rideable swell at times but nothing substantial. The wind felt like it was shifting to SSE or SE around this time as we neared slack. The group split around Eagle [13.20] with some taking the rough outside and others the inside. From here it was a longish paddle back to Naugus Head and then the put-in. Along the way we passed over the barely-submerged Coney Ledges [13.40] where a little more wave-based entertainment was available to push us back towards Salem Harbor. Again we noticed we had not seen the ferry at the expected time and wondered if it would surprise us. Another check of the website revealed an alert that I had missed the first time: the Salem Ferry had been cancelled due to Isaias! So no ferry to worry about today. We headed back to Stramski at a leisurely pace. [14.00].
  2. Gloucester (Pavilion Beach, Lanes Cove — the latter can access Essex Bay from Ipswich Bay), Rockport (Granite Pier, Pebble Beach), Marblehead (Riverhead Beach, Stramski Beach), Manchester Town Landing. These all have nonresident parking options although some places are charging.
  3. This coming Saturday 8/8/20 at 9 am we will be holding a Skills Practice Session on rock garden techniques. We will be practicing in learning-friendly situations that allow us to work on our essential skills of observation, analysis and paddling in rocks. The ancient Greeks understood the value of rock gardening: Socrates: Paddling in rocks is one of the noblest arts practiced on the water. Polus: Why should I care about paddling in rocks? Aren't they just there to hurt your boat? Socrates: Polus, sometimes you lack imagination. Reading a rock environment to identify and exploit the natural forces is a puzzle that exercises the mind and improves all of our paddling skills. Polus: But surely once you've been through a bunch of rocks, they're not interesting any more. Socrates: The shape of a rock environment constantly transforms, as the moon goddess Selene controls the ever-changing tide. And no two waves are the same. Polus: You're making this sound kind of... intellectual... I just want to have fun... Socrates: C'mon, Polus, get with the program. Playing in rocks is a total blast. It's way more interesting than open water! We launch from Pebble Beach in Rockport, MA: https://goo.gl/maps/8hWLUJqdb1sHzWC97 and park on the beach side of Penzance Road in the non-residents' area before you get to the sign with parking information. There is no fee. We ask everyone to pre-register for this trip using this form link: https://forms.gle/zycUpDLU6sG5T1X37 Conditions on Saturday are forecast to be perfect for this sort of activity: small, long-period swell and low wind. We will likely head north towards Straitsmouth, then out to Thacher. You must bring a helmet for this session. You should also bring a pair of gloves (for barnacles, not for warmth). This will be a longer session than usual because of the nature of the material and the venue. Please plan on being on the water until about 2 pm. Covid-19 paddling: on this trip we will strictly observe social distancing and MA state recreational boating guidelines for the pandemic. Please research and respect all regulations that apply at the time of the paddle. In particular, we will stay at least 6 feet apart and wear face masks while off the water in public use areas.
  4. This week's Wednesday Lunch Paddle is on August 5, 2020 at 9.30 am. Important Note on Conditions: This week's paddle will likely take place in the immediate wake of Tropical Storm Isaias. Current forecasts (still not very reliable) suggest the storm will pass through quickly during Tuesday night, with peak winds of 20-30 kt SE and peak offshore seas 4-6 ft, after which the wind will veer S -> W and drop substantially in speed to < 15 kt. The exact track and intensity of Isaias is hard to predict though. Seas in Salem Sound and the ocean may still be rough Wed. morning, but we have chosen a very sheltered location in Salem Harbor from which to start. The idea is to avoid exposure to ocean swell for launching and landing, and proceed into the sound and seawards with care, exercising caution, good observation and good group communication to stay within the group's comfort zone. We will go only as far as we are comfortable going! We do not expect to cancel this trip due to conditions, unless road travel itself becomes unsafe, or we don't like what's happening at the put-in. You can monitor Isaias at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ and keep track of the latest NOAA forecasts at https://marine.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-70.83217&lat=42.51042#.XycLg1BKiHF (note that this is an offshore point forecast and Salem Harbor conditions will likely be much smaller). Covid-19 paddling: on this trip we will strictly observe social distancing and MA state recreational boating guidelines for the pandemic. Please research and respect all regulations that apply at the time of the paddle. In particular, we will stay at least 6 feet apart, minimize sharing docks and ramps with others, and wear face masks while off the water in public use areas—no exceptions on mask wearing except for a medical reason. We also employ an online waiver to avoid passing around a physical piece of paper. You must register using the form link below to be sure that you're actually on the paddle. Location: Stramski Beach, Marblehead. https://goo.gl/maps/JZW9MQVKSyMxuhPq7 (it is on Stramski Way off of West Shore Drive. Although Google Maps cites an incorrect Pitman Road address, it appears to give correct directions, so good enough!) Parking: Don't be fazed by the apparently residential nature of the street: drive past the first parking lot and keep going to the end. Go past the second parking lot, drop off your boat and gear at the turnaround at the end of the street, then try to park in the second lot which is smaller. If that doesn't work out, there is a much larger lot a few minutes walk away from the beach further up Stramski Way. The lots are open to non-residents and there is no charge for parking. Given the weekday and the lousy weather we hope that there will be few cars there. Registration: To attend, please register using this form which will also add your information to the float plan: https://forms.gle/RwFSfKHH9UKNuRHZ8 You must be a paid-up NSPN member to join this trip. Your signup information will only be shared with other participants. Predictions: (see note above for weather and seas) Salem Harbor tides: 2020/08/05 Wed 07:11 AM -0.07 L 2020/08/05 Wed 1:27 PM 8.68 H When/what: We will meet at 9.30 am and launch at 10.00 am sharp. We're simply aiming to be out in whatever conditions exist, paddle safely, and enjoy what nature is doing. This trip doesn't have a specific level: we'll determine the route based on who shows up, what people want to do, and what the environment wants to do. All properly equipped members are welcome: please bring boats with rigged deck lines, bulkheads, spray skirts, and dress for immersion. If you're not sure you have a safe vessel, please get in touch with us and ask. NOTE: The Wednesday Lunch Paddles are cooperative adventures, not guided trips. Each participant is responsible for her/his own safety.Don’t assume the trip initiators are smarter, stronger, better at rough water, more attractive, or more skilled paddlers than you are. For more information, see this description of our trip philosophy from the NSPN web site. We encourage paddlers to make their own independent decision about their comfort level with conditions at the time of the paddle. Please PM me if you have questions or if you haven’t paddled with me or Bob before. Hope to see you there!
  5. The one in Rockport broached about 5 feet from David and me but I think David was looking the other way. We both saw a fin lolling out of the water and I was absolutely sure it was a rubber fin, like a child’s Jaws-themed toy. The mind plays strange tricks to invent alternative stories that are more comforting than reality. Then a 6 foot shark jumped completely out of the water - but not at me or David. It did not look like a great white but beyond that my shark ID skills are crap. the moral of this story may simply be, if you see a fin sticking out of the water, assume its owner is alive and hungry.
  6. July 29, 2020 Wed. Lunch Paddle Route: Lanes Cove -> Annisquam Light -> Coffins Beach -> Castle Neck -> Lanes Cove -> Halibut Point -> Lanes Cove People: Joe Berkovitz, Sue Hriciga, Pat Donahue, Bob Levine. Al Coons, Amy Chiuchiolo, Jane Cobb, Joyce Carpenter, Dana Sigall, Liz Neumeier GPS Track: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/308b0237d3c9c90a7f2348b4509f10d0/?layer=gaianoaarnc Conditions: sunny w/ moderate humidity, light/variable wind -> SSE 8 kt, air 75 F, water 75 F, waves < 1 ft Distance: 9.3 nm (pod 1), 12.6 nm (pod 2) Tides (Annisquam): LT 7.10a @ 8.8 ft; HT 1.03p @ 0.5 ft Up front note: much of Lanes Cove is now posted as "TEMPORARY - Residents only". However, there are still many unposted spots, in particular the boat ramp area on the N side of the cove is a state administered ramp and it is OK to park there. The little grassy lot near the head of the cove is also still unposted. But it looks like we all need to put in an additional effort to be welcome guests. Bob and I heard from someone who was there that this was a response to too much heavy weekend partying in the cove, but who knows. Today's weather and sea was unusually calm as we were south of two weak, adjacent low pressure systems. Close to mirror like conditions as we launched from Lanes. For today's trip we decided to first venture over to the outflow of Essex Bay looking for whatever interesting things we might find there among the sandbars and wave/current opposition. There appeared to be almost no swell as we headed south along the rocks to Annisquam Light and crossed the channel. There was certainly an ebb emerging from the Annisquam, but no wave action. We could hear all the buoy bells clearly as there was almost no boat traffic and no wind. From there we headed west along Coffins Beach. Along the way we saw some slender fast-moving fish darting under our boats; someone said they were stripers. Nearing the mouth of the Essex River, we began to see what amounted to a very small tiderace of rough water, a sort of overfall where the ebb was speeding up over a sandbar opposing the small waves in Ipswich Bay. This was around 11.10a, so the tide was at about 3 feet at this point. Further into the outflow there were occasional small breakers rearing up on a sandbar, enlarged by the ebb current. We managed to ride a few of these, knowing it would be the "biggest" thing we might encounter today although it would be hard to exactly call it surfing. We fished around for the shifting spots where these small adventures could be had, for about half an hour, and then decided to call lunch on a sandbar a fair distance off of Cranes Beach. After lunch we determined to make an open water crossing and headed back towards Lanes via a direct route of about 3 nm. (Navigational notes: the blue water tower visible from W of Annisquam is the Pigeon Hill tank on the E side of Cape Ann. The bright white house visible some distance to the N of Annisquam Light is between Plum Cove Beach and Lanes Cove, and makes a great visual target.) Along the way a modest south wind began to make an appearance; the sky showed some galleries of mares' tails as well as stratocumulus. An hour later (1.30p) we were back at Lanes, where half the folks peeled off to go home. Amy, Dana, Sue, Bob and I continued on up to Halibut Point and Folly Cove to see a bit of the ocean side environment. Rounding Halibut there were few waves, but the now SSE wind was gaining some energy and it was decidedly cool and breezy and extremely pleasant. Solid overcast was visible off to the east. It was a different world over here! We played in what energy was available in the low-tide ledges off of Halibut, returning to Lanes Cove about 3.10p. Thanks to everyone who joined this trip!
  7. Cross-posting Mike's message so that folks on this thread can be aware of the cyanobacteria finding in Chebacco.
  8. This week's Wednesday Lunch Paddle is on July 29, 2020. Covid-19 paddling: on this trip we will strictly observe social distancing and MA state recreational boating guidelines for the pandemic. Please research and respect all regulations that apply at the time of the paddle. You must register using the form link below to be sure that you're actually on the paddle. We will stay at least 6 feet apart, minimize sharing docks and ramps with others, and wear face masks while off the water in public use areas. We also employ an online waiver to avoid passing around a physical piece of paper. Location: Lanes Cove, Duley Street, Gloucester. https://goo.gl/maps/r7C8PqxCiAibdLYx7 Parking: quickly drop off your boat and gear at the grassy access point to the cove at the bottom of Duley Street, then go find parking in the little network of spaces around the cove. We should avoid packing paddlers' cars into any single part of the cove. Registration: To attend, please register using this form which will also add your information to the float plan: https://forms.gle/rxpbx2rDN716smvt5 You must be a paid-up NSPN member to join this trip. Your signup information will only be shared with other participants. Predictions: Air 75-80 F, partly sunny, light wind becoming SE 10 kt in afternoon, swell 1 ft @ 9 s Gloucester Harbor tide predictions: ebbing all morning. When/what: We will meet at 9.30 am (NOT 10) and launch at 10.00 sharp. We'll have a beach briefing in some safe manner, make a plan together based on what people feel like doing. From Lanes we can go either way depending on inclinations, towards Rockport or towards Annisquam. Given the ebb tide all morning, we might possibly find some playful waves at the outflow of the Annisquam if there is enough swell. This trip doesn't have a specific level: we'll determine the route based on who shows up, what people want to do, and what the environment wants to do. All properly equipped members are welcome: please bring boats with rigged deck lines, bulkheads, spray skirts, and dress for immersion. If you're not sure you have a safe vessel, please get in touch with us and ask. NOTE: The Wednesday Lunch Paddles are cooperative adventures, not guided trips. Each participant is responsible for her/his own safety.Don’t assume the trip initiators are smarter, stronger, better at rough water, more attractive, or more skilled paddlers than you are. For more information, see this description of our trip philosophy from the NSPN web site. We encourage paddlers to make their own independent decision about their comfort level with conditions at the time of the paddle. Please PM me if you have questions or if you haven’t paddled with me or Bob before. Hope to see you there!
  9. This week we are practicing boat handling skills essential for wind and waves. Saturday, 9 am at Riverhead Beach, Marblehead. Please visit the Calendar post for complete information. To register, please visit this form: https://forms.gle/BPQg5JyCXAmNeh6W8 Hope to see you there! Joe
  10. July 22, 2020 Route: Riverhead Beach, Marblehead -> Childrens Island -> N. Gooseberry Island -> Eagle Island -> return People: Joe Berkovitz, Phil Morrow, Sue Hriciga, Mike Habich, Jane Cobb. Nancy Hill, Rick Crangle, Dana Sigall, Elizabeth Neumeier, Michael Hazeltine Distance: 7.9 nm Track: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/b681e844335d9bdc258998c076bd4f6c/?layer=gaianoaarnc Conditions: overcast with showers, wind 10 kt NE dropping to light+variable, waves < 1 ft, air 70 F, water 68 F. Tides: 7:04 AM Low -0.64 ft 1:16 PM High 8.99 ft 7:12 PM Low 0.34 ft Description: We set out at 10.35 from Riverhead Beach into a light headwind, crossing over to the lighthouse where we arrived about 11. At this point the plan was to make our way to the west end of Childrens as a steppingstone to the rest of the adventure. Another 5 minutes took us to G C "1" at the start of the Marblehead Channel crossing to Children's. Some slight flood current was noticed in the channel. We grouped up there and crossed to R N "2" in 8 minutes. At that point the sense of the group was to head around the outside of Childrens and then go to North Gooseberry for lunch. The wind had now dropped and there was very little swell or wind waves on the ocean. We headed around Childrens and Cormorant Rock where, sure enough, there was some action at the southern tip although much subdued. Then out to Gooseberry where we arrived in time for a perfect noon lunch. At 12.40 we headed over to Eagle. Conditions were still extremely calm. To avoid any intersection with a bunch of junior sailors leaving the middle of Salem Sound for Marblehead, we decided to jog back towards Childrens on our way back home. As we got near the start of the return channel crossing around 13.15, we saw that Salem and Beverly were becoming obscured by a curtain of rain showers which soon began to rain on us: Visibility was dropping to perhaps 1/2 mile and I was aware that the Salem Ferry was supposed to come through any minute, but we hadn't seen it yet. The group had split slightly in two pods out of earshot, so I asked the pod I was with to stop at the channel marker while I set off to give the other pod a heads up about the ferry. At that moment the thrumming of the ferry was starting to be heard, although the ferry itself was obscured by the rain. Just as we neared the channel marker, we saw the ferry finally become visible at some point north of the main Marblehead peninsula. Barely 90 seconds later, both pods converged on the marker and the ferry zoomed past in front of us. There is not much lead time with that thing in the best of visibility, and this was hardly the best of visibility! Anyway, a reminder that time, tide and the Salem Ferry wait for no one. The rain quickly dissipated and we arrived back at Riverhead around 13.50. By this time the sun was shining brightly and it was heating up again. I think we were all glad to have been on the water in the clouds and rain!
  11. This week's Wednesday Lunch Paddle is on July 22, 2020. Covid-19 paddling: on this trip we will strictly observe social distancing and MA state recreational boating guidelines for the pandemic. Please research and respect all regulations that apply at the time of the paddle. You must register using the form link below to be sure that you're actually on the paddle. We will stay at least 6 feet apart, minimize sharing docks and ramps with others, and wear face masks while off the water in public use areas. We also employ an online waiver to avoid passing around a physical piece of paper. Location: Riverhead Beach in Marblehead MA. Why Riverhead again, doggone it? Because the sole organizer this week (Joe) doesn't have transportation! But we will find something fun to do for sure. Parking: just go straight into the boat ramp lot on the left side of the causeway. Do not pay at the fee collection hut on the right of the causeway (for Devereux Beach), there is no charge for Riverhead boat ramp use. Registration: To attend, please register using this form which will also add your information to the float plan: https://forms.gle/iqwQ8UFPz5koKEZz5 You must be a paid-up NSPN member to join this trip. Your signup information will only be shared with other participants. Predictions: Cooler with air temps 65-70, some showers, wind E or SE 5-8 kt, water 68-70 F, waves < 1 ft. Salem Harbor tides (easy launch and landing at Riverhead): When/what: We will meet at 10 and launch at 10.30 sharp. We'll have a beach briefing in some safe manner, make a plan together based on what people feel like doing. This trip doesn't have a specific level: we'll determine the route based on who shows up, what people want to do, and what the environment wants to do. All properly equipped members are welcome: please bring boats with rigged deck lines, bulkheads, spray skirts, and dress for immersion. If you're not sure you have a safe vessel, please get in touch with us and ask. NOTE: The Wednesday Lunch Paddles are cooperative adventures, not guided trips. Each participant is responsible for her/his own safety.Don’t assume the trip initiators are smarter, stronger, better at rough water, more attractive, or more skilled paddlers than you are. For more information, see this description of our trip philosophy from the NSPN web site. We encourage paddlers to make their own independent decision about their comfort level with conditions at the time of the paddle. Please PM me if you have questions or if you haven’t paddled with me or Bob before. Hope to see you there!
  12. This week we are looking at forward stroke in depth as well as backwards stroke and perhaps some rescue work. Please see the Calendar post for details and a link to the float plan/waiver registration. Hope you can make it!
  13. I was just participating in a Sea Leader training with John Carmody the last couple of days, and we tried out a new assisted rescue technique that incorporates social distancing and seems to work reasonably well in rough water (which is where we did it, because that's where it needs to work). Both of the videos above demonstrate a technique where the rescuer stabilizes the bow of the swimmer's boat in a T position over their cockpit after emptying it, while the swimmer cowboy-scrambles in. Someone tried this on a trip I was on in a recent rough-water rescue off Marblehead, and it was actually fairly unstable with the swimmer falling back in while attempting the scramble the first time. John has watched the videos and he adapted this technique by simply sliding the swimmer's boat up further onto the cockpit. (The second video above does this to some extent, but not quite enough.) The change makes a huge difference in that the flat portion of the swimmer's hull provides much more stability, and allows the rescuer to get a much wider grip on the boat's decklines. It is not as nice as a bow/bow or bow/stern assist but it works well enough and maintains the 6 feet handily.
  14. Hi there, We post our trips in the Trips forum: https://www.nspn.org/forum/forum/103-trips-nspn-events/ . Note that trips posted there are for NSPN club members, so if you'd like to join these trips, please join up - it is cheap and an unbelievable resource for anyone getting into ocean paddling. Besides the trips there are training sessions, pool sessions and lots more. https://www.nspn.org/forum/store/category/2-memberships/ Best, Joe
  15. It was $199. But I don't think one can count on the 2 days, so for planning purposes it may not help much.
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