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The Harvest moon...


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Eight of us launched off Devereux beach sometime just after 1800 (six pm), after a beach conference long enough to agree on whistle signals to be used (they weren't!), and put to sea in calm conditions with a small swell. We dodged a few fishermen as we cut inside Tinker's Island (shame for them: evidently none of them saw the fish saw soon after we got off the beach! They were all around us: eat your heart out, Adam!)

We played in the somewhat-increasing swells around the big ledge south of Marblehead Neck with a veritable fleet of sailing boats in the background, racing late, and decided we would enjoy moonrise from the ocean, so after more play, we rafted-up somewhere beyond the ledge. It was now quite dark and we passed time both star-gazing and engaged in intellectual debate! (Well, don’t we always?)

The moonrise was (in a word) !! A huge, flattened disc of flaming orange (burnt umber? No: more dark apricot, perhaps?) that arose mysteriously from the depths of the Atlantic and metamorphosed through several shapes until a perfect orb. Like a lantern whose power increases steadily as the wick catches, thus our moon...and thus, too, the path reflected on the oily surface of the ocean. We were entranced.

Realisation dawned that we were probably mid-channel (happily no traffic) and prompted us to start over to Children’s. We circumnavigated the island and happily played in the swells beside the rocky shore until we reached that shingled beach on the north, where we got out to stretch legs and consume some calories. Since the moon had disappeared behind the “hump” of the island, it was a real night-time landing, albeit an easy one. More star-gazing and when we all started to feel chilly, we donned more clothing and retraced out tracks, the long way back around the island.

Lo and behold! A pair of lights coming at us, low in the water, from Marblehead announced the arrival of reinforcements as Casey Carey and Richard Najarian materialized out of the night! Perfect!! The squadron now comprised Suzanne Pritchett, Jonathan Richardson, David Lewis, Gerry Smith, Chris Cotter, Marjorie Woodwell, Bill Lord and your (not so very) humble scribe plus the two late arrivals, for a total of 10.

We decided to show Casey and Richard the island by moonlight and made another circumnavigation before sedately making our way back to the harbour and the take-out. It was marvelous paddling through the silent, moored boats and it was about 2240 when we got out of our sea-kayaks.

There was unanimous approval for this lovely night on the sea. No dramas, no theatricals, no scares, hardly any traffic...just plenty of good company, much beauty and some good laughs (Oh, and Suzanne's gingerbread!) Had our founder been along, doubtless there might have been some “technical challenges”; but we can pretend he's there when we do it again!!

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