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July/August moonlight paddle...


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(Damn computers! I had just written a fine report -- if I say so myself -- and promptly <lost> it all, every single word!)

Four of us convened in Lanes Cove on Saturday evening and got on the water around 1900 (7pm) to what looked set for a magnificent sunset: Elizabeth Williams, Lorri Anderson (new to the club; but not to paddling), Mike Habich and your scribe. After deciding to go to Essex Bay for the moonrise, we set sail (no, not literally: we set sail in a manner of speaking!) for the Annisquam to look at the sandbar, being massively exposed (due very low water, due full moon the day-before). There were masses of late beach-goers still frolicking around on the sandbar, some taking photos of the sunset (emulated by some of <us>, I believe) and we greeted a few, cheerily (who wouldn't be cheery, on an evening like that one?)

As this small group paddled relaxedly up (along) Coffins beach, we watched a glorious sky over calm waters, as the last few boats on the ocean returned, presumably, to their moorings in the river. There were a few fireworks, which was a mild surprise, and, as the night progressed, they seemed to spring up all along the north coast! Anyone have any idea as to the reason for this? Simple exuberance on the part of the natives? We paddled over more sandbars that have become quite pronounced at the entrance to Essex Bay as the almost-full moon was rising over our communal right shoulder.

Inside the bay, we landed to the left on a sandy beach, where we watched a second moonrise (it had disappeared behind the beach cottages and the bulk of the land), Ursa major overhead (no, that's poetic licence: it was in front of us, in the north, halfway up the sky) and, everywhere up the coast -- more fireworks!

After our sojourn on the golden sands (more creamy-grey than anything -- in daylight!) we launched ourselves into the darkness (really quite <light> -- more poetic licence, this!) after deciding to route direct back to Lanes. A slight breeze had sprung up, which pleased us for creating enough bumpiness in the water to make life interesting. We saw little bio-luminescence -- more so, as we approached the cove. Anyway, all traffic had disappeared, leaving us sole proprietors, seemingly, of the ocean -- until we were almost literally <in> t he cove, when a small motorboat appeared behind us, showing no lights. It was by now almost 2300 (11pm)

A wonderful evening on the water with really good company: I hope it was a warm welcome to the club for Lorri? (Did I forget anything?)

PS: As I was tightening the final strap on my boat, being the last one in the cove, I glanced upwards at two airliners obviously routing for Europe: there, between them, I watched a disintegrating meteorite (space debris?) -- so bright, so well-defined! An auspicious, brief moment, I thought...

Edited by Pintail
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