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NSPN Lanes Cove to Rockport Round Trip, Saturday 8/16/14


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NSPN Lanes Cove to Rockport Round Trip, Saturday August 16, 2014

This turned out to be a wonderful day with a little bit of everything. Advertised as a mellow paddle along this pretty coastline, it was mostly that, but there was more. Because one of us had to be off the water early, we gathered early at Lanes Cove. We snagged all the good parking spaces, and carried our boats down across the mudflat for a getting-to-low-tide launch.

As trip initiator, I had made one serious error. Halfway to Lane’s Cove, I realized that I had forgotten to bring a chart. As it turned out, none of our group had brought one, either. Fortunately, I am so familiar with the area I was able to come up with an acceptable substitute


and all of us agreed after consulting my handmade chart that heading out of Lane’s Cove and turning right would pretty much do it.

We were aided as well by written instructions as to how to paddle, which came in handy as conditions changed!

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And so our group of six – Julie, Judy, Connie, Rob, Pablo and me -


launched into the calm harbor.

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But the flags had given us a message, and we encountered wind – fortunately at our backs – and a bit of bump the minute we exited the cove and made the right hand turn.


But it wasn’t bad, and we paddled along.

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I always enjoy this coastline.


We rounded Halibut point, which was pretty much empty a little after nine in the morning. There weren’t many boats out on the water, either, but it appeared that the seagulls were quite pleased that there was at least one lobsterman.


The bit of bump we’d had paddling along toward Rockport faded away, and we had a sparkly entrance as we made our way to the harbor.


After a bit of debate as to where we had the best chance of scoring ice cream, we opted to go behind the breakwater to land at Bearskin Neck. But first, the harbor police came roaring out in our direction. What had we done? Nothing, the cops continued on.


Then we were confronted by a thought provoking message:


I often feel this way! (I hope you don't!)

We paddled with Bearskin Neck to our right.

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We hoped that the folks at North Shore kayak rental would be generous about sharing their landing space.


They were...and we weren't the only ones making use of the low tide beach.


We landed

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and headed up onto Bearskin Neck in search of treats, although it wasn't much past ten in the morning. We had success at the ice cream/cupcake/large stuffed bear shop.


Julie really had success at the elephant ear store.


My Rockport recommendation: head immediately to The Fudgery, go to the back of the store and get one of these large, buttery, absolutely delicious treats, especially if they are still warm off the griddle, or whatever they're cooked on. They are without doubt The Best!


Julie's sunglasses strap broke, which necessitated a trip to the little store at the kayak rental shop. She reports - although I was not there to document it - that she was assisted in her mission by three (three!) barechested young hunks. She specifically told me that Jason, should he happen to read this post, would be relieved to hear that she was so well taken care of in his recent absence...

Two cheerful tourists offered to take a group shot.


The rental shop had a nice view. Busy little place. Find our boats in this colorful mix:


On our way to our boats, we saw that even in this tourist mecca, you can't escape mention of conflict in the world.


We weren't the only ones looking for treats at Bearskin Neck. Bottoms up!


After launching, we went to check out one of Rob’s favorite sailboats. Ask him about it. By his own report, he will be glad to expound endlessly on it!


Judy fooled around with her - very nice! - balance brace while we organized ourselves to move onward.


After considering a trip to Straitsmouth, we decided that it would be better to retrace our steps, to really hug the coastline to enjoy the view, the bump, and a bit of rock play, and to have time if anyone was interested for some skills work when we got to Folly Cove.

Rob wondered what the story was with the contrasting stripe of four big dark rocks.


Onward. Rocks.






I liked the way this trio went from old and complex to new and simple in two short steps.


Fishing boat.




Then finally into Folly Cove, where in the lee of the rocks at the far end, it was quite calm. It had gotten a bit chillier, with wind and overcast skies, and I didn’t know whether anyone would want to do any skills work. To set the tone, I did one roll. Then Julie went looking for her roll, which she decided was somewhere at the bottom of the cove.


She saw it down there, but gracefully decided to wet exit instead so that Connie could get some rescue practice.


(Although I’m not quite sure why she was laughing and joking with Judy, when poor Julie was hanging onto her boat in the 60ish water.) With expert assistance from a chorus of consultants, Connie effected the rescue.

Then got wet herself to practice being rescued. As I was the rescuer, and my camera was wet from my roll, I didn’t get any pictures of this.

The final push back to Lane’s Cove was windy and quite wavy. In the distance we saw two men in rec boats and an empty yellow rec boat. Capsize? As we got closer, we saw that one of the men was towing the boat.


We told him we had been concerned when we first saw them, and he shrugged it off and said, “Oh, I’m just towing my son,” turned around to look at the yellow boat behind him, and said, “He’s not there!” One of our group actually believed this. The man – pfd-and-sprayskirt-less in the wind and waves – laughed and carried on.

When we landed we estimated the winds must have been….oh….20 knots, and the waves….at least four feet… But of course it was really only 12-15 knots, and the waves were, as predicted, in the two foot range. With the wind in our faces, it was very pleasant to ride up, and splash down on the other side.


Although it was effort, it was pure pure pleasure, and everyone had a smile on her/his face.

We made it back at 2 pm on the dot. The day had been notable for a variety of conditions – mostly calm, a bit windy, sparkly, sunny, cloudy, flat calm, bumpy, windy and then wonderfully wavy.

We were in what felt like many very different environments: cove, coastline, open water, bay, harbor, town, shops. And we did a lot of different things: paddled, chatted, shopped, ate, felt like tourists, interacted with people and dogs, practiced skills and all in all had a really terrific day. I think all of us were a bit surprised by the variety the day – and this modest paddle – threw at us. Proving that when it comes to being out on the water, it’s all good. Thanks to all for coming along!


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Prudence! Great description of the fun paddle and terrific pics (although for some reason, I couldn't open a couple of them).

Thanks to Julie for easing out of her roll at the last second so that I could enjoy the hilarity of rescuing her from the chilly drink (I'm not sure what I was laughing at, either). Julie entered her boat with finesse and I received very helpful comments and tips. Thank you all!

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Very thorough report, Pru! And LOTS of pictures!

I had a great time yesterday. Thanks for posting the trip.

As to the lack of a chart, if you can't find your way from Lanesville to Rockport without a chart, the chart wouldn't help you anyway!

On the other hand, I was chagrined to find I'd left my helmet home, so I had to bypass the tastiest rocky bits. I still managed to leave a few stripes of gel-coat behind.

The svelte sailboat in question was a fiberglass version of L. Francis Herreshoff's iconic "Rozinante". I was glad to find I'm not the only Herreshoff groupie in the club!

Thanks again, Pru, and everyone who came along.

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