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Silly Seas off Cranes


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4 of us launched at Ipswich's Pavillion Beach this afternoon and rode the end of the outgoing tide current past the sand bar, which never seems to stop growing, at the tip of Plum Island. Large numbers of people were beaching walking, dog walking and horse riding on this perfect New England fall day.

The sea was simply silly. The offshore winds made small waves that moved from beach to ocean. Occasional small swells rolled in from all different angles. The tidal current from Plum Island sound and Essex Bay seemed to meet and clash. "Zippers" appeared here and there. We had thoughts of surfing but - which direction? where? Some waves moved through with incredible speed, others stood nearly still. A rogue dumped one of our number, who did an impressive reenter and roll. Alas, said paddler got to do it all over again not long after as rogues were playing favorites. Note: When rafted up 4 kayakers can easily drift offshore a mile in an offshore wind.

Leon's GPS said we paddled about 8 miles but a lot of it was in circles, trying to find waves to ride.

On the return we crossed a bit of the sandbar and I caught a little wave, actually staying on it -- straight using my newly-found stern rudder -- until it petered out in deep water. Yippie.

We drifted with the incoming tide back to the put in, not wanting to rush the end of a gorgeous afternoon before the sun set.

Liz N.

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