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Not the NSPN Graves Trip 9-7-03


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9/7/03 Boston Outer Islands Trip (trip plan of Mark Stephens, posted to BSKC website late August)

Trip could be titled "A Swell Day on the Water", for the light swells remaining from hurricane Fabian - or "Take Me To The Graves".

Mark Stephens, Jim Rice, Peter McLaughlin (NSPN), Ken Hunt, Linda Burke & Diane Manganaro (NSPN)

8:30 meet @ Windmill Point (Hull Gut). Said hello's to the assembling NSPN paddlers. In the shadow of the seemingly out of place, giant, windmill we headed out around the point to Little Brewster Island. All seem impressed with the gentle conditions. We landed on Little Brewster's steep rocky beach. We were immediately met by Colleen Kloster who is our guide for Boston Light. A little history, and a climb of 76 stairs and 2 ladders to the Fresnel lens (1850) surrounding a $120.00, 1,000 watt lamp, amplified by the lenses to 2 million candlepower and visible 27 miles. Boston Light, originally destroyed by the British, is the oldest lighthouse in North America.

Heading northeast past Shag rocks, we soon spot something strange falling slowly in the sky. Its a bird - its a plane - no! its a huge bunch of purple & gold helium balloons. Jim (a marine biologist from the Boston Aquarium) with help from Linda - pop them - then Jim used one of the balloons as a bag to hold the popped remnants for the ride home; he was concerned that the balloons might impact whales/seals.

On to Outer Brewster, with a stop in the north cove, near Pulpit Rock. By this time the chilly winds at the put-in seemed to have moderated and the temperature is rising. Water crashes over rocks, but in the cove it feels like being rocked in a cradle. The bottom can be seen with long strands and bunches of sea grape.

Next off the 1.4nm to The Graves Light, standing dark and tall to the main shipping channel into Boston. Graves Light seems a lot less cheery than the well maintained, bright white Boston Light but, in the bright sunlight, not as dark as the descriptions of it in many texts. Then to Green Island for extended stretch & lunch. Mark was not to be undone. Two loaves of French Bread, sharp cheddar, summer sausage, sliced homegrown tomatoes, a Cajun smoked salmon, and cold grapes. Ken brought a bag of Lucy's cookies. Diane has her staple PB&J; Linda has a peach. Peter has a salami sandwich. Lucky for Mark he offers to share. I guess in the history of these islands, this is a good choice for his sake!

Boston's outer harbor is an area of many sights and sounds. The islands have a fair amount of heights, boat traffic, light in the morning, picked up by afternoon, planes come-and-go out of Logan, even a cruise ship came by, contrasting when seen through the craggy rocks of the islands. And almost everywhere the sight of that windmill acted as a reference point... from whence we came...

After lunch we paddled past Little Calf, Calf Island, the high cliffs of Great Brewster and turned west following the gravelly gray Great Brewster Spit to Lovell Island and crossed around to Georges Island where we stopped for a short tour & photos in Fort Warren. Most tourists left on the last boat while we toured, and we ended-up almost having the entire island fort to ourselves. Crossing Nantasket Roads to Hull Gut at low tide with the most concentrated boat traffic of the day, and more exciting current than we left in.


PPPO: Tried to do Red Parrot overlooking Nantasket Beach but very busy & no parking. Ended up on the patio of Casa Del Rey, 15 North Street in Hingham - just around the corner from the rotary - a great little Mexican restaurant with a nice patio. We all enjoyed chips & salsa - beer & ale - and tempted by the Margueritas.

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