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Tour of Salem Sound - 7 February

bob budd

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Arrived at Tuck's Point to find Brad slumming with a powerboater. Brad proclaimed it a "50 cent day" with proper credit to Joe Dodge. The power boat soon launched and freed up the one-car-wide swath through the still deep snow to the sandy beach. Dropped my boat and gear off and headed up the street to park and don my dry suit.

Aside from the occasional snowy ice floe the snow at the top of the beach was the only remaining sign of winter. We headed up the coast past Lynch Park and several Beverly beaches and the "Admiral's quarters".

First stop was at Chubb Creek. Brad played for a short while in the standing waves at the creek mouth, then we landed and crossed the train tracks. Aside from the requisite trash there was nothing in the scene save the flattened grasses and the channels reaching back into the small marsh.

We both managed to catch some pebbles in our skegs so we headed across to the "harbour" on Misery Island to remove the pebbles. Whilst there we took a quick tour of the island, tromping around in the remainings snow and inspecting what must have been goose tracks distorted by the melting snow.

Once away we headed clockwise around the island towards the cut between the islands. At one point a large wave threatened to break in Brad's face but he was disappointed. The large, smooth swell was creating impressive breaks on the rocks at the shore and on the day marker. Another wave pushed me through the cut to the calm waters between the islands while Brad played in the hydraulics near the rocks.

From there it was off to the Gooseberries, my first time there. The nearest island was an interesting study in contrast with the near side a large rock with sheer cliffs behind which was a small sandy beach. Snow remained atop the rock as well, with few birds at this time of year. As the gulls called to us I remembered "mine...mine" from "Finding Nemo".

Eagles Island was our next destination. Along the way we saw a fishing boat approaching from the left. We chose to stop to let it pass. They slowed down and wanted to know if we were alright. A thaw in the strained relations between fishermen and kayakers?

We had a short chat, they were out checking their traps after the storm. The captain was impressed we were at sea as his kayaking experiences were limited to inversion and swimming. We paddled on around Eagle and headed toward Coney Ledge/Island. Needing a stretch we landed at Coney Island to inspect the flotsam including an engine block.

As we rounded Juniper Point we needed the low tide forced us out towards the channel. The return the beach was uneventful though the sticky sand/mud repeatedly sought to claim my dry shoes. No pictures this time.

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