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Fort Stark to Brave Boat, 8/31/23

Jim Snyder

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We were three on this trip, Bill Harter, Fred Goodman, and myself. We launched into Little Harbor in beautiful late summer weather. The ocean looked fairly calm from the fort, but soon lived up to it's predictions with 2' swells piling up in the shallow waters off Gerrish Island. We mostly observed the reefs outside Jaffrey Point and set a course to pass by Wood Island on the way to the Maine coast.


We decided to save a landing on Wood for the return trip and work our way up Gerrish Island. The areas between the coast and the Sisters were pretty gnarly and navigated with a lot of caution.


There was a little surfing at Seapoint beach and we made it into Brave Boat around 12:30 for lunch.



The surfing was pretty good in Brave Boat. You generally had to paddle hard to catch the waves but could be rewarded with a nice long ride on a good one. As usual the pictures don't do it justice.


On the return trip I had a near disaster. I was behind Bill just east of Sewards Cove where we paddled through a large relatively quiet slot between a large rock and the rocky shore. Bill got slightly roughed up on the exit so I sat and watched for a while for a smooth passage. I should have backed out and gone around. I thought I had a good lull but I was barely out when a large wave stood me up and surfed me backwards. It was pretty scary knowing there was nothing behind me but rocks. Amazingly I survived that first wave upright but something behind it knocked me over before I could react. Now I had to choose between trying to roll up and a wet exit. I decided to come out, I'll never know if it was the right decision or not but I had an image of being bounced on the rocks while still in my boat and that sealed it. Then the waves were driving me and my capsized boat towards the rocks and one of them took the boat out of my hands. I eventually pulled my boat into a slightly sheltered area and managed to get back in and tried to paddle out but it was too shallow when there was a drain and every wave just drove me back in. This was not a situation where I could have pushed my boat out and swam out or where Bill or Fred could have got in for a rescue. The only way out was on land. Eventually Bill appeared on the rocks above me, having landed in a cove to the east where we managed to haul my boat over the boulders to the cove so I could launch again. 


I was  uninjured but feeling pretty beat up with around 2 k to go back to Fort Stark. Thanks to Bill and Fred for managing the incident. Sadly the boat didn't fare as well as I did.

IMG_4368.thumb.jpg.ed5ae77fdd08234561d1d04e7638dfd6.jpg IMG_4366.thumb.jpg.c2f3f2d27c0ae27d474c2957932ee8b0.jpg

In spite of this it was a wonderful trip. I may be looking for kayak repair tips.



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