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Ipswich Bay, Sunday 12th July...


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I put in at Lanes Cove a bit after high water on a glorious summer's day and made the mistake of wearing an old spray skirt that proved uncomfortable, so turned around in order to exchange it for another. Whom should I run into, preparing her boat for a solo day on the water, but none other than the swearing ferret (Swearing Ferret?) herself! I told her in which direction I proposed to paddle myself and that she would be (more than) welcome to join me.

After some little rock play going towards the Annisquam, I pulled out for a while at the lighthouse (lovely spot) and soon enough -- was joined there by Leslie. We decided, after watching traffic in the channel dense enough for Piccadilly Circus itself, to go and have a look at Coffins Beach and perhaps Essex Bay.

We risked body and limb to cross the channel (not really!) and paddled through the shallows beyond the sand bar, which was becoming very exposed -- and full of humanoids, strolling in ankle-deep water. Sailing dinghies were trying to catch a puff of breeze and hoping to race -- we found we could paddle as fast as they were drifting. The objective of the entrance to Essex Bay caught us entirely by surprise: we could barely recognize it, the sands have moved around so vastly! Perhaps it was the fact of the approaching full-moon, that meant the tide was extra-low?

That last paragraph is really the point of this small trip report -- low-tide at the entrance to the bay is worthwhile exploring! The old entrance passage is roughly half as wide as I remember it, with the sand dunes of southern Cranes seemingly miles away! At the southern side of the entrance, ie off the northern end of Coffins, one exposed sand-bar was high out of the water and was covered solid with picnic groups of sun-worshipers -- or so it seemed. Be prepared for plenty of shallows and un-paddle-able areas off the mouth of the bay and just enjoy the warm water: we did! Behind some rocks on the beach, we found our own "swimming pool" and had our snack lunch, before returning whence we came...Lanes Cove, that is. A wonderful day in the sun on warm water and in great company (thanks, LB!) Actually, in the late afternoon, we had nice lumpy water to keep us happy on the return.

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Sunday was to be my second day of solo paddling but thanks for your most pleasant company -- and good cheer. It is worth a trip to Essex during low tide just to see how the coastline has changes since last year. People en mass on sandbars along the coast, some up to their waists. Plus the water is unusually warm (67 degrees) for this time of year. Not sure why given the winter we had with freezing coastal waters.

It is amazing to me the number of boaters who disregard the posted "No Wake" signs. I lost count.

Sir Christopher forgot to mention that he met a movie star/producer on one beach who was staying in one of those fancy houses along the shoreline -- then he met new NSPN members on other beach.

Rock play was superb - enjoyed following the leader.


aka Swearing Ferret

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