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  1. I have not. There is a description page for that launch on https://paddling.com/paddle/locations/danvers-river/. The fee is $10 unless you live in Salem, and it seems good as long as the spaces don't fill up. If I were to try it and found the parking lot to be full, a free alternative for paddlers is Obear Park in Beverly, across the bridge. I haven't used either but I've used Dead Horse Beach in Salem nearby, which has plenty of free parking and is an easy approach. It's not as far up the river though.
  2. You can park across from Farnham's for free to launch; just make sure it's not a busy weekend mealtime if you do. I do have to warn you about the slippery embankment if you use that launch, and you can't use the launch within 1.5 hours of low tide. But otherwise, it's pretty good. About 3 weeks ago I used the main Manchester boat ramp (Church Street) for free. Parking for nonresidents is only two hours though, so you should park elsewhere. I parked at the nearby train station without incident. The Manchester boat ramp is further inside in the harbor than Tuck's Point, but it's still a good launch.
  3. Yes, I know about Long Wharf/Jones River landing. I use it all the time, probably over 6 times this summer so far. If you see me around with a blue fiberglass 14' kayak, that's me. I've relaxed at the boaters' side of Wingaersheek Beach before, but I've found that the extra effort to go a little beyond there to the next beach, Coffin's Beach, is worth it. Although it's a public beach, Coffin's Beach has no parking lot so it's a long, peaceful beach with nice water on Ipswich Bay. For some reason, there aren't a lot of boaters hanging out here. The boaters seem to prefer the nearby Crane or Wingaersheek Beaches. You will have plenty of space and the obnoxious boat partiers / coronavirus spreaders are nowhere to be found at Coffin's. Essex Bay is a bit of a far round-trip paddle from Long Wharf, but it's doable if you want a workout. Until they reopen Conomo Point to nonresidents (maybe next summer), I still prefer launching at Farnham's for Essex Bay. Downtown Essex is still closed to nonresidents who want to launch a boat. So far, Essex Bay is the most beautiful coastal area I've seen in Massachusetts; it's even better than what I've seen so far on the Cape.
  4. I am dredging this topic to remark on the Island Road launch in Essex. I was just there on Saturday. Although there appear to be about 12 spaces available around there, it's clearly posted as "sticker parking only" for Essex residents. So this is not a viable alternative for launching within Essex Bay and shouldn't be suggested. I continue to launch at Farnham's instead without incident.
  5. I will add that I just spent hours in Essex Bay and along Crane Beach on Saturday, August 1. I did not encounter a single greenhead until I attempted to kayak in 6-inch creeks during low tide, and I had to drag my kayak occasionally. This was due to my own poor timing and unwillingness to wake up very early to take advantage of the highest tides. (My kayak can actually float in as little as 3 inches of water.) During normal kayaking and beach, I did not see any greenheads. I was heartened by the good reports on the Twitter feed for Crane Beach about the greenheads, and they were right, there are barely any anymore this year. I encourage anyone who wants to kayak deep into the marshes to do so.
  6. Were you brave enough to kayak in Essex Bay, Annisquam, Hampton Harbor, Great Marsh, or other area salt marsh? If so then please give a report on the greenhead fly situation and when you went. Every year is different and their decline is supposed to start shortly.
  7. Thanks for the heads up on Lynch Park. As an alternative, this summer I've successfully done the Manchester boat ramp in Manchester Harbor instead. Parking is either for Manchester residents or only for two hours for non-residents. But launching there is open and free for all and no COVID restrictions. You can park for free for longer than 2 hours at the nearby train station. It's a five minute walk each way.
  8. I've had many happy times launching from Long Wharf, and (at least in normal years) it rarely fills up even on beautiful summer weekends. If you arrive before noon there is always plenty of space – the motor boaters seem to be afternoon people. The sea bottom at the main ramp is firm sand, so there are no issues launching at low tide.
  9. The owner's site for the buoy is http://www.neracoos.org/datatools/realtime/all_data. I have no idea why they don't think a sea surface temperature reading is worth measuring. The buoy is measuring everything else.
  10. I noticed those odd temperature readings at that buoy too. Fortunately there are surrounding buoys in Massachusetts Bay (44013) and Jeffery's Ledge (44098) that also give water temperature readings that are more accurate. Thank you for the explanation. It's reasonable to think that the Cape Ann water temperature is somewhere between that of the 44013 and 44098 buoys. NOAA has since removed the water temperature reading from their reports of the 44029 buoy. NOAA must have recognized that people think the water temperature readings are sea surface readings.
  11. Of course the Cape and Islands are always open to Massachusetts residents. I was there for a vacation the week ending July 5. Our state is also freely open to all other New England, New York, and New Jersey residents at this point, as of July 1. This is the year to keep it simple and stay within the state as much as possible.
  12. I paddled Essex Bay today starting at 10:30 from Farnham's. I can confirm that launching from there is permissable and convenient – just park on the gravel shoulder on Route 133 across from Farnham's. While I was launching, someone from Farnham's asked whether I was the person who parked in their lot. I said no, I parked on Route 133. She said that is okay. Be aware that parking may be difficult to find anytime around lunch, dinner, and anywhere in between on summer weekends. They open at 11:00. The creek there is perfectly navigable during most tides. I'm not quite sure about low tide but it appears that 4 hours before or after high tide should be fine for navigation.
  13. I am hoping to make it to Chebacco Lake next Thursday now that that event has finally resumed. I have it marked on my calendar. It might be a bit difficult to make it for 5; I am hoping that starting at 6 is okay or I'll try to make it earlier if possible. Although her kayak new and is her second, mine is not and I have used it for a few years now and I have successfully done a few (practice) self-rescues. As for Route 133 in Essex, I just checked out Google Street View there. There are limited spaces across from Farnham's on the shoulder of Route 133. Granted the intent is for customers of Farnham's to park there, but it's just the street shoulder and the parking would be open to the public unless signed otherwise, which it's not. So it looks kosher to part there. I would arrive around 10:00 anyway. That launch is definitely not as nice a launch as Clammer's Beach and appears to be tidal, but it's well-located and it will do.
  14. Unfortunately my wife is not ready to be paddling in the unprotected waters of Ipswich Bay. So we can't do Pavilion Beach together, at least not in that direction. Also someone was saying in another thread that Pavilion Beach is now open to Ipswich residents only. I'm fine with boat wakes although my wife is scared of them. But she hasn't used her new kayak with its better handling in the ocean yet, until this upcoming weekend. The only ocean kayaking she has ever done is from Long Wharf in Gloucester last year in a big-box store kayak. She has otherwise stuck to rivers and the occasional pond. I will check out Island Road and Route 133 near Farnham's though. If I have to bail on Essex then I'll be disappointed but will do Jeffrey's Neck Road/Eagle Hill instead. I have seen that road open with lots of parked cars, but that's a different area that is not in Essex Bay.
  15. How is that different from the considerations of Gloucester residents?
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