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Short Mom Day Tour and WW Surprise...

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With Mother's Day festivities planned for later afternoon, my favorite mom gave me the morning off. Quickly loaded the SOF and drove down to the Morrisey Blvd launch. Only one other car in the parking area despite beautiful sunshine, light breeze and ever warming water (around 46-48 degrees). The water was warm enough that the drygloves (and all the tussle/struggle with them) weren't necessary.

I headed out into the bay and played a bit of zig zagging with the boat moorings to get a better feel for the SOF. Towards UMASS, I turned north (left) and paddled along the campus before heading straight across "old harbor" towards Carson Beach. The only boats I could spied were one sailing boat which seemed content to zig-zag around Dorchester Bay. Another was a power boat off in the distance in the channel between Spectacle and Thompson Islands. Great! Didn't have to worry as much about getting run over. The SOF sits pretty low in the water and I still wonder how visible it is to the powerboaters.

I paddled due east, against a slight breeze, paralleling along the beach and the boat club towards City Point. While there were walkers and joggers all along the promenade, the water seemed to be mine alone. There is much to be said about company on the water but sometimes the company of one's own thoughts is very special and a needed relief. What are those pithy sayings? "One can be alone in the midst of a crowd..." Conversely, "Being alone doesn't mean one is lonely." In solitude, we can often come across or intuit something greater than ourselves. This is a welcome contrast to our everyday lives where we sometimes take ourselves a little too seriously... Often we are the king/queen of little (melo)dramas of our own making...

Upon reaching the City Point launch, I decided to follow along the jetty to the Sugar Bowl and then on to Castle Island. This was a route I hadn't done since I mostly paddle on the Squantum Point side of Dorchester Bay where boat traffic tends to be a tad bit lighter. Coming around the Sugar Bowl, I saw what look like a rushing river in the midst of the ocean. It was mid ebb tide and the first culvert was funneling the water struggling to exit Pleasure Bay. This concentration of exiting water created a strong visible current that shot 50-60 yards out into Dorchester Bay. As I got closer, I can make out two eddies, on on either side of the rushing current... It reminded me of a white water river. Naturally, my thought turned to white water kayaking and peeling in and out of the current... Can I do it with a long skinny SOF? Only way to find out... I shot across the current at 45 degrees, pointed upstream, as would in a white water kayak peeling out of an eddy. Unfortunately, with a longer boat, the timing is different... I leaned downstream to the rushing current too soon. My SOF with the hard Chines reacted just like the modern ww planing boats with the hard edges... An edge caught in the conflicting current line and unceremoniously dumped me. I rolled back up and noticed several onlookers looking down from the Promenade. My solitude gave way to the prescence of the "other." With a little more self consciousness, I crossed the current lines several times successfully and even tried a litte ferrying in the very narrow current band.

Continuing down towards Castle Island, I hit the second culvert. Same strong current but, more interestingly, there were several standing waves right my the culvert mouth, created by irregular bottom structure. Ahhhh... a class II river in the midst of the bay. I slid across the eddy line and surfed onto one of the standing waves and was able move from there to another. This culvert had a visible pourover drop that was creating a hole. This hydraulic was not keeper but it had enough energy to suck the SOF ever closer to the pourover. Not wanting to experience an endo here and I back paddled a bit and was content to play in the standing waves. At some point, typical of my white water experience, I missed a brace and went over again. As I went to roll, I felt the discrepancy in the current and the boat and knew an attempt would not be successful (another ww lesson learned). I waited several seconds until boat and current were one and rolled back up. More onlookers were gathering. I decided it was time to go.

I reached Castle Island and knew that time was running out. I turned right and headed straight across the channel towards Thompson. How good it was to not have to worry about powerboats while making this crossing. Following along Thomposon, I shot across from the western tip of the island towards Morrisey Blvd. Near the Neponset River Channel, I saw a massive powerboat coming full tilt out of the river. I backed a bit from the channel to let the boat pass. This boat didn't even bother to slow down and left me wondering again how visible I was in the SOF. The powerboat created several 3' foot wakes in it's afterwash. These were quite easy to pop over head on. I wondered though how many unsuspecting paddlers could get capsized by such wakes on the beam? Did this powerboater even care? Anyway, I shot quickly across this last channel and made my way back to the launch. A little roll practice and I was out of there. On the beach, some new had arrived and was inflating a rubber duckie. The other car was gone. And soon, so would I.

The nice weather held out long enough for me, my wife and kids to go for a nice walk around Jamaica Pond. From there, we headed over to the Wonder Spice restaurant, an interesting mix of Cambodian and Thai cousine. Ice Cream desert followed at JP Licks. As we walked towards the car, we felt the first big rain drops, heralding the arrival of the same but much weakened storm that had previously ravaged the midwest...

It was a good day.


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>From there, we headed over to the Wonder Spice restaurant, an

>interesting mix of Cambodian and Thai cousine. Ice Cream

>desert followed at JP Licks.



Steve F.

Blue over blue w/yellow

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