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Third Annual NSPN Easter Bunny Plunge - April 5, 2015y


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Third Annual NSPN Easter Bunny Plunge - April 5, 2015

Following on the heels of the Winter of Our Utter Weather Misery 2015, spring 2015 has not done much thus far to cheer any of us up. Cold, rain and mounds and patches of snow still on the ground. Any hope that Easter Sunday 2015 might give us a break from all of it was not realized. Third (after Rob and Cathy) to arrive at the launch at Riverhead Beach in Marblehead, I was greeted by an Easter bunny


who despite the brave words on her backside


voiced grave concerns about going out on the water. The sun was shining to start, but would not do so all day. It was cold (30s) and the wind was blowing stiff and steady from the west at 10-15 knots, with gusts of much more forecast. Add to that water temperatures still in the mid 30s, and you have a day that does not exactly beckon one to get out in it. But, hey, we were here! We had boats and layers of long underwear and fleece; we had drysuitsand we had rabbit ears!

There was absolutely no excuse for bailing! And so Cathy rather reluctantly agreed that it made sense to see whether getting dressed for paddling would warm her up and make the prospect of a days paddle any more appealing. And so she layered up. It shouldnt have come as a surprise, but in a way it did, that when we had full paddling gear on, it was a lot more comfortable. Game on!


Over the next half hour or so, the rest of our merry band of bunnies arrived and prepared to paddle.



Bob. (Any why do I think this might have been the first time he had ever worn rabbit ears?)




Rob and Cathy paused to warm up a bit.


While everyone got ready, I performed a test launch Huh?


Why it's Mr. Green Peeps of course, surfin' the shallow water.

We milled around our boats,


had a beach briefing,


and secured Mr. Green Peeps. (Hey, who needs a devil ducky...Lorrie!...when you have Mr. GP!)


For most of us, it was our maiden ocean voyage of 2015. Mike was testing out his newly purchased pre-dented Delphin. Beth was recovering from a hamstring injury. Others of us were just getting reacquainted with the pleasant torture of pulling a dry suit over our heads. As for Bob, well, this is his back yard and he knows every rock and wave.

We launched. The plan was to hug the northern shore of Marblehead harbor, where we hoped to find some shelter from the wind. This was largely successful. In addition to providing wind relief, I always enjoy watching cliffs and high priced real estate go by.

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Mr. Green Peeps enjoyed it as well.


The harbor was almost entirely empty. Blue buoys bobbed on the water with nothing to tether. Big boats were still in their winter shrink wrap.


Birds and bare trees.

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A calm little rock garden to thread through.


No trip is complete without an excitable dog, who yipped at my approaching boat, thrashed into the water and ran off.

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There were people up on the rocks looking down at us.


Not much wildlife other than...more birds.


We reached the end of the harbor, hung two lefts, and were soon in Dolliber Cove.


We had thought that the cove would provide shelter from the wind for plunge activities, but it turned out to be quite windy in there. Some of us stopped for a stretch break on Brown Island's deserted beach.


I am so used to seeing the cove filled with party boats, and the beach with picnicking families. It was so much better this way, the calm shades of brown and grey and blue green water.

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Few signs of life here other than more birds, flying away

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We paddled by the high priced real estate where Cathy particularly enjoyed this tree. We wondered how many more seasons it would last.


Then some more gentle rockplay.

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And lunch.

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And warming up.


And a nap (for one).


By now, the blue sky had turned gray, and the day was all somber shades and bare trees.


Our boats provided color.


But poor Mr. Green Peeps. He had turned into Pale Patchy Mr. Green Peeps and so he would remain for the rest of the day.


Rob and Bob disappeared over the hill, we assumed to scope out conditions for our return journey. They reappeared, conversing conspiratorially about...?


We milled about, an orange band of Easter paddlers.


We launched again, headed north and enjoyed rocks some more.


Beth powered her Nordkapp into the wind and waves for a return surf back, but she was such a blur of speed I didn't manage to capture it on film.

Then it became clear what Bob and Rob had been up to Our Easter Bunny Plunge was about to morph into a nice five star exercise on the very windy and exposed shoreline, where just maintaining position close to shore was difficult with the west wind doing its best to blow us away. So...who wants to get wet?! There three hardy volunteers. Bob, Rob and Beth (you go, girl!) hatched a plan to do a rock landing, which would require wet exiting, swimming, rock scrambling, boat hauling and, as it turned out, tangling up in all the various deployed tow ropes and a paddle leash.

Bob was first in


and first figuring out how to get up onto those rocks.

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Beth next, with some rescue practice first.

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Then up on the rocks.


Various maneuvers ensued


ending up with Bob and Beth and their boats up on the rocks, Rob preparing to join them.


And then. And then. My camera battery died!! Drat!

Words will have to describe what photos no longer can. Rob tipped out of his boat, and his on-rock assistants nimbly pulled his boat up and parked it near theirs. Rob scrambled up as well. They all stood there contemplating their next move. Cathy, Mike and I stayed warm even though we were going nowhere; fighting the wind so as not to end up blown out to Childrens Island proved sufficient exercise.

So how did they get off the rocks? Well of course it just had to be that as Rob and Beth and Bob were pondering what to do next, a huge rogue wave formed in the distance it must have been at least twenty feet high - and with no time for thought or discussion on their parts, relying only on pure instinct and skill, they all hopped into their parked boats and sat a moment, waiting for the crest of the huge wave to kiss/crash the rocks. And then each of them with perfect timing paddled wildly to catch the wave as it was still rising, carrying them up up up, before all three were able to surf down the mighty waves refracting face, chased by a wild pile of foam as the timid three of us below, dancing in the wind whipped water, watched in awe at their skill.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it! You had to be there to believe it...or not.

Rob's thermometer had the water at 37 degrees, but the swimmers all said they weren't cold. Nothing like adrenaline and exercise to warm up water barely above freezing.

It is always amazing how Marblehead Harbor lengthens in the course of the day. It is always about twice the distance on the way back, particularly with a west wind in one's face. But the hugging the rocks technique worked again, and apart from a few fierce gusts that had me howling, cursing and powering on, it was mostly fine. The mark of how ready we were to be done was hearing Cathy calling out, Are were there yet? then, fifteen seconds later, Are we there yet? and another fifteen seconds before, Are we there yet?

Yes, we were there! We landed after 3 pm - pretty amazing considering that at our beach briefing, in deference to some peoples' reluctance to be on the water in the first place in all that cold and wind, Rob had announced that we would likely be finishing a lot earlier than we'd originally planned. As it turned out, the day was such a success that we ended up getting out later than that! I hope that no loved ones waiting at home with Easter supper cooling on the table were too annoyed!

On shore, my iPhone captured an Easter Bunny who we only found out after had made the whole trip with us.


And poor Mr. Green Peeps, who by the end of the trip had devolved into Mr. Semi-Melted Sandy Albino Peeps.


We gathered for a selfie...what, after all, is an iPhone for? -


gathered our gear, changed our clothes, ate Mr. Green Peeps' remaining friends, as well as some Cadbury eggs, and drove on home.

But to finish, I would like to document a few other things here. Rob and I are now the only two people who have been at all three Easter Bunny Plunges, and Rob stands as the only one who has plunged all three times. That makes him an EBP 3* - the only one on earth! Congratulations, Rob, and thanks for initiating and leading such a fun trip. Indeed, the planning has already started for the Easter Bunny Plunge 2016. Stay tuned!

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This trip was a lot of fun! Thank you to my fellow EBPs for a great day and thank you Pru for convincing me to get past my laziness and desire to curl up on my couch!

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Thanks Pru for the wonderful pictures and the fabulous trip report, I really like your version of how we got our butts and boats off the rock and back into and on the water! Next year we should try that... Thanks everyone for a great day.


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I had a really great day on the water with some wonderful company, and although the wind did present some challenges, the route that Bob provided ended up to be well protected enough to make it bearable. I loved getting in the water and having all my layers keep the chill away, even during the paddle back in a head wind. I, however, was not brave enough to do not one, but TWO rolls such as Mr. Levine!

How many pink bunnies can you find in this photo?


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Thanks for organizing the EBP again this year. Also, thanks to Pru for yet-another great trip report, and Cathy, Mike and Beth for participating. It was a lot of fun! If they make them, perhaps we should bring colorfast peeps next year?

We tried to get the attention of the other bunny in that picture, but I'm not sure that we succeeded. I'm glad you got the shot anyway.


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