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Blackburn for slowpokes!


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Been paddling for 3 seasons now mostly North Shore. Looking for partners to plan a circumnavigation of Cape Ann for the rest of us. Paddle 3 knots average stop to stretch/eat and plan a day with the tides being favorable and weather/wind cooperating. This is for those who are into endurance more than speed.

Gene Cosloy

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I would very much like to attend the trip. I would just need to know when when this trip is scheduled for.

The NSPN Calender is empty for this weekend. if you are thinking of doing the trip this weekend I am sure that other would also like to attend.

Thanks -Jason

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Sounds like a plan. I'll check my tide tables and get back to you. Also I can only do this Monday or Tuesdays. If weekends are the only good time for everyone else I could do Sundays.



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I could arrange to do this on a weekday with just a little notice. Look forward to it!

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I know someone whose version of the Blackburn is to launch from Lane's Cove and a do a round trip to/from Brace Cove. One advantage to this is not having to paddle the Anisquam (sp?), negotiate the canal, etc. Another is that you are at sea the entire time. Whatever course you choose, I hope you enjoy the paddle.

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I can do this weekend, but I am in NY during the week next week. I can do any day the 14th to the 21st if it is a week day I just need to schedule the vacation time.


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Ok, taking Liz's suggestion I've consulted the tide tables for the most optimum (2 hours after high tide). Leaving the high School launch in Gloucester:

Wednesday 8/17 11:30AM

Sunday 8/28 9:00AM

Tuesday 8/30 11:00AM

Plan on meeting 1/2 hour before launch time.

Please respond with your first and second (if any choice). We should select the date and time that accommodates the majority of paddlers. I will be taking a VHF marine radio. At least one of us should be taking a tow rope for emergencies.

Aside from Lanes Cove, does anyone know of other stops along the route? Is Thatcher's open? While the Sunday date was proposed so that more could participate, is there a negative in suffering more recreational boat and jet ski traffic?

Ok, I realize this topic is for S&G, however given the duration and difficulty of this paddle I do not intend to go if no one else shows. Let's try for Wednesday August (not July, (sorry about that)) 17th. Meet 11:00 AM Please respond if this works for you!


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>Aside from Lanes Cove, does anyone know of other stops along

>the route?

Before Halibut Point there is Folly Cove. Depending on the water you may be able to land at Halibut Point. After you cross Rockport Harbour (they have ice cream there) there is Straitsmouth Island and past Straitsmouth there are a couple beaches on the mainland, Pebble Beach being one. After Thatcher's there's Milk Island and Good Harbour beach on the mainland. You can land in Brace Cove outside the mouth of Gloucester harbour.

You might consider an exercise proposed at rescue/tow training. Land against the jetty and pass your boats over to launch on the far side. A real team-building exercise that. Or just paddle around.

> Is Thatcher's open?

Never closed, though they may shew you away from the boat ramp if using it wherein there are plenty of places to land. The gulls, on the other hand, are never welcoming.

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I assume you are talking about August dates, not July. :-))

Even on Sunday, Jetskis should not be a big deal. There are very few around here.

Boat traffic issues: You will deal with boat wake on the Annisquam, but if it is crowded everyone has to go slow so it is not that big a deal. Stay to the right shore when you launch and you won't even have to cross the channel. There will be people fishing around Folly cove/Halibut point. Traffic tends to cut Andrews point fairly close. In Sandy Bay if you cut straight across you will encounter lots of sailboats. If you follow the shore, watch the entrances to each marina: Pigeon cove, Granite pier, and Rockport harbor. Stay to the right, tight to shore, while passing through Straightsmouth gap. Boats cut through there, sometimes without slowing down. If you cross over to visit Thacher, watch for boats speeding through. Expect a lot of boat wake along the Dogbar Breakwater and as you turn into the harbor.

This is a list of all the places I know of to stop in a kayak. If a street is given, it means you can use it as a bailout. Mileage is in NM from the Blackburn starting line at the Gloucester Marine docks.

Starting at the high school, clockwise:

Corliss Landing, public boat ramp on the Annisquam, at the end of Apple Street, next street over from Corliss Street, both off Wheeler Road.

Wingaersheek Beach, land at the end closest to the Annisquam, not the Ipswich Bay side where the swimming beach is. Walk on paths, not across dunes, to rest rooms & snack bar. Atlantic street.

Lobster Cove, only at high tide. Public boat ramp at the head. Leonard Street. (If you need help feel free to stop at the Annisquam Yacht club docks and ask for it.)

Annisquam light. 3 NM. Tiny beach good for a stretch break. Ask permission to land if anyone is around. Wigwam Road

Hodgkins Cove. Public landing at head. Washington Street.

Plum Cove. Swimming beach. No landing if lifeguard is present but ask permission if you have an emergency. Washington Street.

Lanes Cove. 5 NM. Public boat ramp on the left as you enter cove. Andrews and Duley streets.

Folly Cove - You are now in Rockport. A bit of a paddle to get in there. The sand was washed out so it is not as kayak friendly as it used to be. Granite Street. Watch out for divers.

Hoop Pole Cove is just past Halibut Point (6.5NM). Rocks, but I have landed there and it could be used in a real emergency. A bit of a climb to Hoop Pole Lane/Atlantic Road.

Pigeon Cove - Land at dock at head of cove. Breakwater Lane.

Granite Pier/ Gull Cove - Wharf Road

Back Beach - watch for swimmers and divers. Beach Street.

Rockport Harbor - ramp at head of the harbor, Mt. Pleasant Street.

Old Garden Beach, just past the headlands. Emergency only. Ask permission as no kayaks or divers are allowed. Ocean Ave.

Whale Cove just past Straightsmouth gap (9 NM), emergency only. Marmion Way.

Loblolly Cove, head of cove (Penzance Road) or on left as you enter (Old Penzance Road). Watch for rocks. The next point (Emerson) is 10.5 NM.

Pebble Beach (connects with Cape Hedge Beach) is a bit steep and is definitely rocky. Some sand to the right but watch for swimmers. Penzance Road.

Long Beach. No landing when lifeguards are present. Swimmers likely. Old County Road.

Good Harbor Beach. Swimming. Use only in emergency and ask lifeguard for assistance. Thatcher Road.

The "back shore" is all ledge. You could probably find a place to seal land if you had to but I can't identify a specific spot for you.

Brace Cove (14.5 NM) Enter on the south (left) side to avoid boomers. You can take a break just inside on the left or go all the way to the beach at the head. Eastern Point Blvd.

NOTE: People have portaged over to Niles Pond, paddled across, then portaged again to launch at Niles Beach. If people in your group are tired or it is getting rough and you don't want to continue outside, that is an option.

Pretty much open granite until you get inside Gloucester harbor. (15.8 NM)

Once inside, follow the breakwater toward the lighthouse, then go left a bit and there is a very landable beach. Some rocks.

Lighthouse Cove beach is private, but if someone is there you can ask permission to take a quick break.

Niles Beach - swimming only if lifeguard is present, but you can land to the right of the public beach and use the port-a-john.

Ten Pound Island, landable on the NE corner.

I won't bother with the inner harbor landing spots since you won't need them.

Have fun!

If anyone wants to use this info for a Float Plan, feel free.

Did I miss any?

Liz N.

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I can manage the 17th or maybe the 28th. It is a good trip idea.

I have experience paddling most of the sections of Cape Ann over the past five years. Have not paddled the section from greasy pole to 128 bridge.

Allan Moore

Level 3

Pygmy Golden Eye Wooden 15' 8"

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I just finished a trip from Manchester's Tuck's Point to Marblehead harbor with stops along the way at Children's Island and Great Misery Island. If I discount the stops and side trips we averaged 3mi/hr over 12 miles. Some of the open water going was strenuous but in fairness some of the trip back provided wonderful following seas. If I project what I could reasonably do around Cape Ann I need to conclude that the trip would take 7-1/2 hours averaging 3/mi/hr. and adding 2 hours more for stops, lunch, breathers etc. we're up to 9-1/2hrs. That's 1-1/2 hours more than the ideal of leaving with the fast ebb tide and finishing before the fast rising tide slows down. To compensate I suggest moving up the launch time on Wednesday to 10:45.

Meet at the High School launch site 10:15.

I've never done more than 15 miles and that when conditions were rough and arduous for half. I was totally spent and ran out of gas completely. My goal is to circumnavigate Cape Ann when the conditions are close to optimum. If weather or conditions look dicey for the 17th I will definitely be bailing.


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in Rockport so you can easily bail halfway if you decide this trip is too much. It will allow you to enjoy the first (more sheltered) 1/2 of the trip. Make sure you take plenty of water and salty snacks/sports drinks to stay hydrated.

Liz N.

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