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A Sunday on the water...


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After all those excited posts on Friday about the hurricane and forecast waves, I expected to see plenty of NSPNers at Nahant/Swampscott on Sunday morning. Well, guess what? I got there with two boats on the roof (all bases covered, in other words) and found...zilch! Millpond conditions, sunworshippers galore, beautiful weather -- you get the picture.

Not to be too easily put-off, I wound (wended?) my way to Gloucester harbour after also checking out Devereux Beach (same boring conditions) and finally put in, solo, at "the greasy pole".

Plenty of recreational motorboats in evidence, entering and exiting the canal into the Annisquam, so a sprint across there brought me to the western side of the place and a leisurely paddle down to Norman's Woe, where the wind was getting up somewhat, there were some nice big swells and I had the entire perimeter to myself.

At that island off Norman's the southwesterly wind was funneling waves into the area between mainland and island, while from the opposite, northeastern corner of the island were coming in some beautifully-shaped 3-4' waves, breaking across the shallows there and making for fun when they met the wind-driven waves from other side...it was beautiful! And all mine!! (Where were you all?)

I played there for a half-hour or so and saw a large ocean-going vessel anchoring across on the eastern side of the outer harbour (some oceanographic research ship, perhaps? That's what it looked like). Then I made my way slowly back to the put-in (now become the take-out: two eggs, sunny-side up, please, with fries!)

No dramas; no tows of rookie-kayakers-in-distress; no VHF calls (my stuck Tx button is still stuck); no angry surfers with whom to contend -- nor even any jetskis to be seen until I got off the water. Instead, just a peaceful reconnaissance, during which I have renamed one cove in Gloucester harbour "Three Mast Bay" for obvious reasons. Also noteworthy is the fact that one house along there flies the British Union Jack on the rocks above! I was prepared to sing out "Rule Britannia!"; but saw no one to hail.

I do not often paddle alone; but conditions were benign enough and one has to challenge one's self sometimes, right? ("Too right", I hear Uncle Bob's reply) I missed my friends; but had a wonderful Sunday's jaunt.

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