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10/21/23 Winter Island Paddle & Party Update #1

Sue H.

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Hi Folks,

We are monitoring the weather and although the forecast has it's challenges, the current plan is to paddle, (unless the forecast deteriorates).  Please be sure your settings are marked to follow this post in case we have to cancel the paddling portion of this event.  Sea kayakers do not need favorable summer weather to have an enjoyable journey. The area around Winter Island has lots of options for protected paddling, when accompanied by experienced paddlers. 

As noted in the original post for this event, the launch is from Winter Island Park (50 Island Road, Salem, MA 01970), as well as the afterparty. There will be no parking fee at the time of this event.  Please note the change in where to park: go to the side of the parking lot near the boat ramp, as you will be launching there.  Paddling pods will be organized by the assigned experienced paddlers according to paddling experience and interests at the pre-launch beach briefing.  Arrival time set for 10:30 am, with a launch by 11:15 am.  If the weather is too inclement for one's taste, or if you don't have a cold weather/cold water kit (for example a dry suit), please come by for the party portion of the event!  It's always fun to talk about paddling, share stories about our adventures and generate ideas for future trips, both local and afar !  The Board of Directors have rented the Winter Island Function Hall for the afterparty, which will likely start around 4:00 and end by 7:30 pm.  Hot tea and coffee will be available in the Function Hall when you return from your paddle.

Food provided by the club as follows:  lasagna, eggplant parmesan (these 2 main dishes are meatless to include the sauce), salad, artisan rolls, coffee, tea and sparkling water.   Participants are requested to bring one of the following:  a bag of chips, 6 ounce container of either blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, a small batch of grapes (all fruits pre-washed at home) or cookies and the like, (no cakes please). Participants are allowed to bring adult beverages of choice into the Function Hall.  As there may be leftovers, please bring an empty take-home container.

Remember to have your settings indicate you are "following" this event in order to get automatic updates directly to your email.

Registration is now closed, as I needed to place the food order one week in advance.

I hope to see you there!

Cheers, Sue

Traffic considerations provided by Ricardo Caivano, Salem resident:

Downtown Salem can be difficult in October, in particular during the last two weeks. We get a lot of visitors.  An email from the Salem Police says in part: " Visitors to Salem in October should not plan to drive into downtown Salem, especially on weekends...there is a high likelihood that some closures will be made on Saturday October 28 and/or Sunday October 29...For real-time traffic and road closure notices, visit  www.twitter.com/SalemMAPolice  (@SalemMAPolice on Twitter), and www.twitter.com/CityofSalemMA (@CityofSalemMA on Twitter)."

Well, that was the warning. The good news is that you don't need to drive through downtown Salem to get to Winter Island Park. 

An easy way to get to Winter Island from all points north is via Beverly, taking the beautiful Beverly-Salem Bridge, continuing on Bridge Street, left on Web St., continuing on Fort Ave, left on Winter Island Road and on to the park.

If coming from the south, perhaps it is better to avoid taking Route 114E (or the prior Lowell Street exit). Instead follow I-95 N and MA-128 N to MA-62 E/Elliott St in Danvers. Take exit 43 from MA-128 N, head towards Salem via the Beverly-Salem bridge and follow the directions above to Winter Island.  

If coming from Marblehead, Swampscott, Lynn, etc. you could just paddle over ?, but if you insist on driving, take 114W, Lafayette Street, turn right on Leavitt St, left on Congress St, right on Derby St. and continue to Winter Island via Fort Ave. The corner of Congress and Derby will be busy. 

"On October 21, the Devil’s Chase road race starts at 8 a.m. at the Salem Willows soccer field on Fort Avenue. No road closures are planned, however, expect traffic impacts until 10:30 a.m. along the route." 

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