Jump to content

Wed. Lunch Paddle #15: 9/9/2020, Cape Ann

Joseph Berkovitz

Recommended Posts

Sept. 9, 2020
People:Joseph Berkovitz, Sue Hriciga, Prudence Baxter, Robert Levine, Phil Morrow, Jane Cobb, Patrick Donahue, David Mercer, Douglas Cooke
Launch: 09:40; Land: 14:50
Conditions: fog clearing to partial sun with high clouds, air 65 F, water 68 F, wind 4-8 kt SW -> SE, swell 2-3 feet @ 8 sec
10:38 AM    low    1.83 ft.
4:54 PM    high    8.55 ft.
Distance: 12.1 nm
Route: Pavilion Beach Gloucester to Salt Island and back
Track: https://www.gaiagps.com/datasummary/track/b95f6a97a5d7ee8ed00d2e3339f9b43a/?layer=gaianoaarnc


We parked in and around the small lot at Pavilion Beach. At this hour on a weekday there was absolutely no lack of on-street parking nearby. Just before the paddle, fog was thick on Gloucester Harbor but already lifting to reveal a slightly hazy seascape with a SW wind of perhaps 10 kt raising chop on the water. We launched at 09:40 and headed out to the end of Dog Bar into the wind. But as we rounded the breakwater around 10:15, the wind seemed to die and never really came back to the same extent. What ruled the day instead were the powerful swells hitting the rock gardens of Cape Ann, and they made for a glorious day. The waves were mostly around 2 feet but were interspersed with short sets perhaps twice as high, and seemed to build throughout the day. Those short powerful sets were something that definitely bore watching out for, completely transforming features whenever they chose to arrive. Some of us played in or near the rocks, some paddled further offshore. We kept an eye on each other. Eventually we arrived at Good Harbor Beach, around 11:30.

At the beach an hour after low tide, conditions were great for surfing. Some got a few rides and then headed for lunch on the remaining bit of beach on Salt Island, while others hung out for more waves and joined the lunch crowd later.

At Salt Island after lunch, a non-paddling incident took place involving some people outside our group. 3 young boys maybe 9 or 10 years old waded over to the island, unaccompanied, and disappeared to the other side to engage in some young boy antics. After a while, a woman in a bathing suit holding a cellphone turned up, the mother of one of the boys. She was worried that they would not realize how fast the water was rising and might be stranded on the island or attempt to swim back. One of our group volunteered to help her get around the island to look for them while a couple of others paddled around the island to determine where they were (they were immediately spotted climbing on rocks on the other side). The boys were escorted over land back to the landward side of the island while the mother was gingerly helped down from the summit and they all waded/swam back together — the water was very warm and in this area there was no surf. The whole episode took perhaps 20-25 minutes; we left Salt Island around 12:30.

Then we worked our way back to Dog Bar the way we had come, but at a higher tide level and with many consequent changes to the rock features. For the most part there were more accessible slots and areas to work with than before, although in some cases with less protection from outer ledges and so forth. Lots of fun in any case. We arrived at the mouth of the harbor around 14:15 and were back at Pavilion Beach just under half an hour later. All the wind and chop had disappeared and it was just beginning to feel a bit hot for the first time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...