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And with more volume and greater amplitude:

Gloucester native Patty P. won the gold in the lobster eating contest!

'nuf said about that one. :-))

Saturday a group of 9 paddled together from Lanesville to Rockport, on a classic late-August dog day. Several had not paddled that stretch of coastline so we hugged the shore to sightsee, then we dipped into Back Beach to use the restrooms, taking care to avoid the many divers.

Al was able to raise another group of 4 who left Lanes Cove after us and were heading to Adam's hideway on Straightsmouth, so we joined them there for lunch at really fun landing/launch spot. A bit of swimming for those so inclined, and a decision to circumnavigate Straightsmouth for those getting restless. That group met 3 more NSPNers coming 'round the other way, including one very happy fellow in his new Explorer.

After a bit of socializing while everyone got on the water we headed back, straight across Sandy Bay. That was the first long crossing for one of the group and she did great. Many sailboats to weave through and we could have surrounded and captured a couple easily but chose to let them cross our path unmolested.

Paddling to Halibut Point we talked about the weather and how it did not look threatening, despite the forecast. Hah! After turning at Halibut Point the western sky nearly blended with the water surface. Hog Island was barely visible. Slightly south of Hog the sun broke through, surrounded by blue sky. It was quite amazing to see the storm form up right before our eyes. The group wisely decided to head straight to Lanes Cove and get their boats on their cars. The later took place in the deluge. (Lucky for me the rain ended quickly so the weed pulling could begin.)

I really would like to thank everyone for their help. I'll be posting a couple more trips soon, having been freed from hours of solo tedium amongst the mosquitos. And I will have a huge load of mulch delivered to keep things more under control in the future.

Liz N.

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Patty started out back in the pack, lobster-eating-wise, but jumped to the front with a burst of explosive intensity that those of us sitting near her could practically (or literally, in some cases) feel. Honorable mention must go to Adam who, I could swear, consumed his entire lobster, shell and all.

Thanks to Liz for organizing and leading. The silky, polished-glass surface of the sea just before the squall, on our way back, was a new sensation for me. That may also have been my longest open crossing too, I'm not totally sure, but on a day that perfect, the biggest technical challenge was avoiding sunburn. (A test that I (ouch) personally (ouch) failed.)

This was also my first experience with the Bolonsky Official Unbeachlike Landing, Disembarkment, Entertainment and Relaunching System, an excellent scheme that's kind of like playing a game of oversize reverse Jenga while standing in a swimming pool filled first with beach balls and then with ramen and then with well-chilled chocolate pudding.

Plus I got a good tutorial in advanced marine radio technique from Al, Kevin and I developed several interesting bracing techniques for use in cutting down (and up) small unwanted trees, and I'm sure we're all eagerly awaiting the results of Liz's efforts to dehydrate an entire watermelon.

If you weren't there, you were missed. Actually, to be fair, I think Patty also missed Kevin, but he was sitting all the way at the other end of the table, and may have been leaning back in his chair at that precise moment...

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>we're all eagerly awaiting the

>results of Liz's efforts to dehydrate an entire watermelon.

Ya' know. I gotta try it. Not a whole one, in one piece. As much fun as it was to speculate about creating a watermelon jelly bean that could be rehydrated out on some island - it won't fit in the dehydrator. But I do have to dehydrate some slices of watermelon to see what, if anything, is left. I'll report back.

I'll pass on the suggestion to dehydrate ice cubes though.

Liz N.

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