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As good as anything in Maine...


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... is not exactly how we (five NSPN paddlers on Saturday 10/25) judged the paddle north from Scituate towards Cohasset. It's a stretch of steep, pebbly beaches overlooked by rows of middle-class beach houses cheek-to-cheek, though some fancy enough to warrant their own ten-acre plot were they in Cohasset or Gloucester. Looking closely, we decided that there were probably real beaches hiding there, with sand and surf, just not at high tide. A forlorn trio of teen-age board surfers stood atop a rocky dune line casting longing looks down on the small waves breaking directly on the steep shore and nowhere else. We thought of landing, just to say we did, but did not fancy getting washed by the next wave back down the pebbly slope.

Then, as we passed Minot Beach, the character changed to... yes... rocky shoreline, bluffs, trees, islets, ledges, rock gardens on and offshore. This is what they meant! Suddenly Leslie perked up and charged ahead. We called to her, and she yelled back that she was going home... to her family's land. Indeed she was. We pulled behind her into a little gem of a crescent beach guarded by rocky outcrops and just flat enough to make landing feasible for gel-coated boats not on a BCU 5 training mission.

As the rest of us pulled our boats up the pebbly shore, Leslie was already out of hers and scrambling up the 20-foot rock bluff. We looked up and she beckoned to us from the top... here's where we eat lunch! And so we did, with our own private view of the open ocean under a clear sky, over a sparkling little stretch of Maine in Massachusetts.

After lunch, we toured the property on foot. Across a small, barely paved one-lane road and dense woods -- we're NSPN; come bushwhack with us -- lay an open view of the Cohasset marshes, the Glades. Hmmm... can we launch from here right into the harbor, at high tide of course? Hmmm... I'm not sure we can get out through those twisty-turny passages, and if not, we'd have to reverse direction -- literally -- and portage through the brush back to the beach. Lets try it the other way, float in from the harbor on the tide, and if we can't make it, we can just go back to the harbor. Great idea... for another day... next year. But lets do it before the greenheads arrive; this looks like where they convene in the spring to plan and train for their summer attacks all over the northeast!

Some returned to sun on the comfy rock, and others scrambled more around the Leslie's family 6.5 acres of woods and shoreline, complete with beautiful a rock cove, gardens and slots. Hey, we thought, here's the place for the southern clubhouse of NSPN, the North and South shore Paddler's Network. Maybe someday...

Ready to paddle again, we did a quick planning and chart-reading exercise to convince ourselves that we could go out the mile-plus to Minot Light and back to Little Harbor in time to catch the full blast of the ebbing rip, and still get to Cohasset Harbor and our shuttle car by 4:00. And so we did.

After a crossing with a bit of bounce to complement the morning shoreline hugging, we ooohed and aahed at the Light (why is it the I Love You Light?) and circumnavigated it, clockwise like good pilgrims. The heading from the chart and Nav-Aid (245°-250° mag) showed the way from the Light to Little Harbor with deadly accuracy -- though some doubted it as they scanned the shore for a sign of the hidden pond and tried to pull us every which way on the whim of the moment. Trust your compass!

As we arrived, the Little Harbor rip was really ripping. This time it was Sing who sped ahead excitedly, to get in a dozen runs through the current and shelf, including a couple of rolls in quick succession in the standing waves -- showing off, of course! The rest of us were content with a few exhilirating runs or just watching.

We headed back to Cohasset, and then by shuttle to Scituate to pick up the other cars. Gee, a ten-minute ride in a car covers roughly the same territory that we just spent a delicious day paddling and bushwhacking in the brilliant mid-autumn sun. Guess which one we'd rather be doing!


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Wonderful paddle. Lunch at "Lesley's Launch" was great. I marveled at Minot Light. The ebb flow at Little Harbor was a bona fide class II. Trying to surf standing waves, in current, with a long and narrow SOF proved very different then with a short ww boat. The rolling was about the same. :) I am game to try that again another time.

I enjoyed the company too. :)


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Kudos to

David for planing a great trip - with enough variety to keep it entertaining - and for enough perserverance (stubborness?) to insist that Little Harbor really was 245 degrees from the lighthouse

Leslie - for letting us explore her family's peice of paradise

Sing - for his surf landing expertise -

Doug - congrats on your 1st NSPN trip - I hope we see more of you at future events

It was a great way to spend the day!


PS - Now for the more profound question: Is it really called the "I Love You" lighthouse? If so - why?

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Minots Light

The lighthouse was officially lit for the beginning of service on November 15, 1860.  A new optic was installed in 1893 with a distinctive 1-4-3flash.  This became associated with the phrase “I love you” based on the number of letters in each word (1-4-3).  Hence, the light was given the nickname of the “I love you light”. 

Check link below for information on Minots:

Check the WILD Video taken by Edward Rowe Snow, c. 1940s:


Living to learn.

Romany White, Blue trim

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Thank you all for "as perfect as it gets paddling" day--David for planning, leadership as well as determination/tenacity for finding Little Harbor-Sing for watching his grace in paddling surf and currents-- Doug for his humor (and his singing "I love sea kayakin'")--Lisa for her flexibility, fun-loving ability and, finding the cleanest restrooms in town--

But also, to have the opportunity of a kayaking to this property--to land, climb the rock cliffs and walk the woods-- to launch from the beach--to have you trust me that on some level I had to know what I was talking about-the importance of this trip and to share the experience of this land with all of you was memorable to say the least -thx to all, les

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