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9/14 interclub trip level 2

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On Saturday, September fourteenth 20 paddlers set out on a level 2 trip from Manchester Harbor to to Misery island. Liz Neumeier was leading the trip and your humble narrator was her assistant leader. As Liz personally requested fine weather for the trip, fine it was. Mid seventies, low wind, water temperature about 68. Due to parking problems, the group was split up into two launches, with some launching from the ramp behind the police station in Manchester and some from the public dock behind Masconomo park. Despite the chaos resultant from an inexperienced person (me) leading a launch from a dock with not so good access, all of the Masconomo folks eventually got on the water, and were glad to get Liz's second trip briefing, which included things like whistle and paddle signals.

Heading out with the gentle tide, we encountered minor boat traffic leaving the harbor, and traveling on the eastern side of the channel and always keeping one boat between us and the channel served us well. After a short wait for traffic, we easily crossed the channel at the mouth of the outer harbor . We proceeded westward along the Beverly Farms coast. All seemed comfortable with paddling in the calm conditions and at Chubb Island we headed directly south toward the large cove on the northern side of Great Misery Island. In order to avoid a crossing of an undefined channel with a group of twenty, the group divided into two groups. All re-gathered at the cove. At this point the group again split into two, with some landing at the cove, and about 16 rounding the island to the beach on the southern side of Misery, opposite Little Misery. With conditions being so mild, the group chose to take out there, and the assistant leader and a competent paddler, (Thanks Chris, and Jim B. for radio monitoring) set out to bring the paddlers around who had taken out at the northern cove. Rejoined, we enjoyed the company of 77 paddlers from all over New England. People were friendly, some were kind enough to bring food to share. All in all, a wonderfully convivial time in the sun. Tales were swapped, boats were temporarily exchanged, chocolate was eaten. Some folks explored the island, I made bad jokes.

The leadership presented the group with the opportunity of going around House Island, taking the trip to level three. All were given the chance to confidentially elect a level two route, all elected to go up to level three. We got what we bargained for: a bit of current east of Misery, waves about 1.5 feet, a bit of wind. All of the paddlers rose to the challenge, though some rose through a layer of apprehension. Having lost a footbrace, I was not really eager to capsize myself. All enjoyed getting a free ride on the slight waves and wind on the way back, and Bob Lambert gave a fine rolling demonstration (moving at 5 knots and not losing much momentum) in the outer harbor. No capsizes or towing occurred on this trip.

P.P.P.O. was at Captain Dusty's, a most excellent ice cream parlor. P.P.P.P.O. (Post Post Paddle Pig Out was at Seven Central, which was quite good. P.P.P.P.P.O, at Captain Dusty's. Stick with me friends; at least you'll eat good!

Lessons learned: All of us on the trip are capable of paddling six to eight miles in good conditions. Dress for immersion. Keep your paddle low to the deck when you are feeling challenged, and relax your hips.

Many thanks to: The entire group for your humor and willing spirit. Patty Phelan for major assistance with the launch and on the water back-up, Jim Brayden for back-up, Anne Reynolds for back up, Deidre Hall for the excellent food (I owe you and Bob a dinner!!), Bob Budd for helping put in the last boat, and Liz for leading it, first to last. I had a great time!

Peter Kalanzis

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