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Shedding the Gloves: A Beautiful Day for a Paddle from Lanes Cove to Rockport Harbor, 5/14/16


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Shedding the Gloves:  A Beautiful Day for a Paddle


from Lanes Cove to Rockport Harbor


May 14, 2016




Oh but how the weather gods – and the sea gods - smiled on Saturday!  Ten of us – three Davids, two sets of Lor(r)i(e) and Phils, and three more sharing not names but the desire to be out on the water on what started as a perfectly sunny day in mid-May – met at Lanes Cove for what was billed as a rock/ice-cream/rescue/roll/all of the above/none of the above meander down this pretty rocky shoreline.

While the (mostly always wrong) NOAA marine forecast called for 10-15 kt winds from the west, it was flat calm inside the cove, and one of the Davids waded in,


and was soon followed by another David and an Andy.


After their refreshing dip, everyone gathered for a beach briefing (turn right, hug the coastline, have fun in whatever you find, and stop when you reach Rockport Harbor) and then we were ready to launch.


One of the Lor(r)i(e)s was still recovering from two weeks of battling the NSPN cold/flu, and while she had optimistically strapped a helmet to her boat, it soon became clear that her day would be one of just getting into the rhythm of paddling and leaving the hijinks to others.


While not far from shore it was almost flat calm (where were those winds?)


it wasn’t long before a David found some stuff that showed promise.


We had the water pretty much to ourselves, but for a lobster boat in Folly Cove.


A Phil found a spot tucked into a rock to rest while the rest of us caught up with him.


The ten of us did a good job of staying fairly close together, moving as a large pod toward Halibut Point, where a lot of people looked down at us from atop the rock pile.


Halibut Point rarely disappoints: the landscape of weather carved granite is beautiful and sticking out into the ocean with nothing between it and another continent, there’s always at least a bit of trouble to be found even on a calm day.  This was Andy’s first time out on the ocean since…could it be…the end of 2014 while he healed from an unfortunate skateboarding accident.  Caution was not in his vocabulary – as it never has been!  Like a gleeful child set free from an adult prison…like a kid in a candy shop…like….an Andy!...he charged into any area where sea met rock, where white surf topped blue green water, where trouble might be found.  David was sensible enough to watch…(see Andy’s bow in there?)


Yep, if there’s trouble to find, Andy will find it!



A Phil


and a David were drawn to some small pourovers.


Mike powered on past the rocks.


Andy showed off his form heading toward another pourover.


A Phil entered a zone of trouble...


And having successfully negotiated it, joined the others for the absolutely necessary two sets of Lor(r)i(e) and Phils photograph!


And then, with Rockport Harbor in site, it was follow the leader, although….oh no!...it’s Andy leading us!


Maybe that’s why this David looked so positively grim!  Or maybe he was just hungry, as it was getting past time to be having lunch…


So soon we were at Bearskin Neck, where we pulled most of the boats up the beach and sat down to eat.


We admired this mooring arrangement for a time (weigh down tow belt with rock and hope for the best) before deciding it made more sense to park the boat on dry land safe from the rising tide.


Three David’s posing…


Then some of us climbed the steps up to Bearskin Neck, where we strode down the street to find sweet food, led by a Giant Blue Man.


We all did look pretty awesome, which is, after all, one of the reasons that we go to all the trouble of doing this kayaking stuff…


And because ice cream was on the trip description, and because the strudel shop was just a few steps away…





Filled to the gills now we were on the water again.  The end of Bearkskin neck featured people wearing a lot less than we were.


We followed the jetty for a time, and then, with the wind from the south more or less at our backs, were pushed toward home.


I admired how well some of the substantial houses blended into the environment.


Andy had no eyes for architecture.  Trouble, trouble, trouble, it’s all he wanted!  So we watched Andy…


get into trouble…


and laugh as the waves pushed his boat this way and that in the rocks


before spitting him out…


A David was happy to be in the stuff as well.

P1020874 (1).jpg

When we rounded Halibut Point, for the first time all day we had the wind in our faces, and it was a bit of a slog the rest of the way back.  A Lor(r)i(e) and Phil engaged in a water fight, then came to a stalemate – which looked if you hadn’t seen the battle that preceded it as if they were just kanoodling on the water.


After a bit more slogging, we were in sight of the entrance to Lanes Cove, where the flag told us the day had, indeed, become windy.


Over the course of the day, bright clear sky had given way to clouds that foretold changes a-comin’ (as I was to find out when I awoke the next morning to gusty winds and chilly temperature), but it had been a day to leave the neoprene gloves off for the first time this New England season.  This turning the corner from weather that feels like winter to that which promises summer is one of the gifts of year-round paddling in this part of the world.  Summer beckons… when parking at a launch can be a competition, paddles through harbors are slaloms around moored boats, heads must be on swivels for fast-approaching motorized vessels.  Yes, it’s nice when not only one’s gloves but drysuit as well are stored away until the fall.  But this time of year, this spring shoulder season is special.  Warm enough and the whole ocean is pretty much ours.

Thanks to Phil, Phil, Lori, Lorrie, David, David, Dave, Mike and Andy.  Ice cream, strudel, bright sun, a following breeze (before it wasn’t), and just the right amount of trouble – plus successfully staying together as a group of ten – all contributed to a day that maybe surprised all of us a bit by just how wonderful a mid-spring meander on the water could be.




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Great day on the water.  I actually took a pic of Pru to prove she actually does paddle, in addition to writing great TR's.




Edited by Phil Allen
badly done Pic insert
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