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Blackburn Watch trip this Saturday


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My preference would be to launch in Gloucester Harbor and paddle out around the breakwater to watch the racers head into the harbor. That would require fairly calm conditions because we would need to be VERY CLOSE to the breakwater to stay out of the way and sitting out there if it is rough would mean lots of refracting waves and chop.

An alternative would be to stay inside the harbor. We could even land and climb up on the breakwater. Then, come back to the finish line for festivities and to check out all the boats.

Or, paddle out of Rockport Harbor (Granite Pier) and land on Straightsmouth. Watch the racers come through the Gap Head channel.

Any interest? Preference for viewing spots?

The launch time would depend on where we want to watch from.


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Paddling near the breakwater might not work that well - some racers swing in very close as they make the turn. You could sit in open water on the West side of the harbor, past the end of the breakwater, that might be OK.

If you wanted to put some mileage on you could launch from Lane's Cove and paddle the rest of the route at your own pace, keeping well into the coves and passing the points briskly. That would be about 15 miles, I think. The racers would go by you. Might be confusing for the timers at Straitsmouth and the breakwater, though. You could avoid that by paddling outside of Straitsmouth and way to the left of the breakwater, but that would add to the distance.

Or you could go early and watch the start, then paddle around the Annisquam and environs for an hour or so, then go back to the harbor to catch the finish. Just stay well to the west side of the harbor, away from the Greasy Pole and the timing boat.


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Treading water inside the breakwater would be a good viewing choice: you’d get to see the beginning of the long sprint to the finish line and would be out of the way of all boats (just watch for any fishing lines on that side). Or, as you said, you could climb up onto the breakwater and see the racers coming around as well as the final sprint.

Going west of the breakwater might not be a good idea because of the powerboat, sailboat and ferry traffic.


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