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Doc ladies travel Conomo to Lanes Cove


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Leslie Beale and I took off from beautiful Conomo Point (at a reasonable hour!) close to low tide and headed around the southern perimeter and out of the Essex Basin . It was a glorious day but the heat gave us some pause over our clothing configuration.

Leslie opted out of the dry suit and went with the paddling jacket and dry pants, me; always fearful of the cold water ,decided to sweat in my dry suit.

Before I left the house the marine coastal forecast called for light winds 10 kts getting to 15 in the afternoon but small craft advisory for 3-5 foot swells coming from the east.

Because the sands had sifted so much over the winter across the break between Crane and Coffins we had a slightly bumpy ride on the way out. I wondered how hard it would be to get back in.

We headed quite a ways out to avoid the breaking surf, parallel to Coffins and headed towards the Lighthouse near the Annisquam River. Leslie tried to calm my need to tell all the folks wearing cotton and one layer of 'something' that they might want to rethink their clothing given the water temp. Actually, Leslie with her refreshing 'live and let live' attitude, let me be but just didn't want to be party to my mild finger shaking.

We headed toward Halibut point, shielded by the eastern swell and into Lanes Cove. A sweet local let us use her bathroom and we got to explore a house 5 minutes from Lanes with a fabulous view of the ocean for $800/month rent. What am I doing in Arlington!??

To save time we decided to bee-line it from Lanes back to the cut. The wind had picked up a bit and the swell increased as we got out of the lee of Cape Ann.

We approached the cut and were carefully observing the backside of waves crashing and spraying along the south side of the cut. We scouted the middle and as we approached the channel the waves were crashing the entire length of the cut. We realize that at this mid tide the wave action was exceeding our comfort zone.

In the usual negociating style (I usually give in-just kidding, Les) we decided to land on Coffins and walk our way around the north point and in to Essex bay. The other option was to wait for more water to fill the cut and hope to calm the size of the waves.

So we did a manageable surf landing on Coffins and then proceeded to walk our boats like walking a very big, waterlogged dog around the point. There were fits of laughter, falling in the water, scrambling for all the stuff pursuaded out of our boat by the unending surf and running to avoid getting hit by one of our boats.

Once we got into Essex Bay there was enough water to head straight for Conomo Point...or so we thought. At one point we got stranded by the flats. But we were so happy to be in the placid water that rather than haul the boats over the very shortest portage we just chatted and waited for the water to lift us over the flats.

Leslie left for home and I read the paper and watched the amazing setting light at Conomo. West you look over the Essex river and East, you look at the winter swept dunes on the back side of Crane. The most glorious view was the low reflected blue light looking to the east at the water next to the white dunes on a well-deserved, warm spring adventure.

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