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Two days of Misery

bob budd

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Saturday departed Manchester harbour bound for Good Harbour Beach around 1:45PM. The tide very high then, there was no avoiding going around the bit of dock there. Enough boats were passing the "channel" there that we hightailed it across and wound our way between the moored craft toward House Island.

The day was very clear, not at all like last week, and Baker's and Misery were visible as was the whole of Salem Sound. The high water made easy passage at the mouth of the harbour as we head up the coast. There was a bit of bulging and nuzzling to be had there, though it was modest.

As we approached Kettle Island, the notion of a short break was advanced. Ultimately it was decided to take a short break, a "stretch of the legs" as it were. The high water made for an easy landing on rocks that we sat looking up at only a week ago. Once all three boats were secured on the rocks, we set about stretching our legs.

The "stretch" led to "nap" and "eat", as often happens, and we never ventured further. Donning the diving mask I spent a bit of time in the small cove and trench looking at the starfish, urchins, and crabs. Several stripers were in attendance as well, wondering where Adam was. Not much more can be said of what transpired there, as we were quite lazy.

When the inevitable return to land and domicile crept upon us we looked at our boats, now perched high above the water and seaweed. This was no time for conserving gel coat. Soon enough we were all back in the water and headed around Kettle Island.

As we approached the end of the island, I spied what looked like a duck. It dove and returned to the surface which strangely. As I peered through my salt-encrusted sunglasses I realized it was instead the head of a seal pup. He came close my boat then dove and swam about the three of us, popping up for a peak now and then. He couldn't have been more than eighteen inches long.

When we returned to Manchester harbour we found it now quite shallow with the receding tide. In the shallows we saw the first live sand dollars in the sand, they were many. A bit of sculling practice, then on to the put-in. As I passed the dock I spied a couple in white at the end of the dock who had recently taken the plunge. We concurred that it was an excellent day for the activities we each had chosen.

Sunday departed Marblehead harbour with the customary lack of definite goals found in a show-and-go. After a short chat once were free of all the boats, we pointed ourselves toward Eagle Island. The trip across the water featured a bit of swell now and then and the odd boat but was uneventful. On the way we passed a sailboat race but otherwise accelerated or waited as each boat passed.

At Eagle one of our number needed a Power Bar so we bobbed about the water near the shore for a few minutes. The next destination chosen was Misery Island, which was light work from our present position. The strait between the two islands was populated with moored boats, a selection of dinghies, and the odd swimmer.

Once ashore, we headed for high ground looking towards Baker's for our lunch. Our visitors during that time included Rigor, the dog, and his humans. The boats below included many sailboats, the odd stink boat - one under tow, and what must have been a rower in a nearly invisible craft.

Our trip back took us on the back side of Eagle and Cat/Children's but little bulging and nuzzling was to be found. The trip through Marblehead harbour featured the familiar dodge through the many boats. At the put-in we saw the distinctive pink Sirius, formerly of Mr. Godfrey.

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On the way back to Marblehead, we picked up some trash that appeared to be a sealed container of someone's creamated ashes. When we got to the beach we were releaved to find out it had been emptied at sea. I hope that the depositing of the container in the ocean was unintentional.

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