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Salem Willows to Rocky Neck Gloucester

Kevin B (RPS Coach)

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Decided once again that I wanted to paddle alone. Gilly had enrolled in Adam's forward stroke glass to be held at Rocky Neck, so I thought this would be a great day to put in some distance. Gilly took the Jeep and her Aquanaut to Gloucester after dropping me off at the Willows. The forecast was for hot, humid weather and glass-like seas. Unfortunately, the sea-state was ridiculously calm, so I decided that the day should be st be spent sightseeing along the cliffs. The early morning start meant little to no boat traffic except the few odd lobster boats and and the solitary recreational fisherman.

So off I went on my lone paddle, crossing over to Beverly from the Willows, heading down the coast past Brackenbury Cove and Great Misery Island. After a detour to investigate House Island (there is a small beach accessible only at low tide on the west side of the island), just past Misery, I decided to island hop, eventually paddling around Kettle Island. By then the boat traffic had picked up, and I watched a not-so-bright kayaker stay in the channel near Manchester on a surf ski. He almost got ran over twice and still didn't seem to understand why the close calls had occured.

Past Kettle Island, I headed in towards the cliffs to admire the grand houses that had come into view. Upon entering the outer harbor of Gloucester, a quick call on the VHF verified the location of Adam's class, so I paddled until just before Ten Pound Island. The channel crossing at this point was quite easy. Patience and timing ensured an uneventful passage between fishing boats, whale watching boats, sail boat and those crazy cigarette boats. Found the class on Ten Pound where I took a quick break. The class still had several more hours to go before concluding, so I decided to take a leisurely tour of the inner harbor. The most interesting portion of the tour was seeing the boats out of the water for maintenance. We think they're huge in the water, but paddling up to them while out of the water is fascinating.

I joined the class for lunch on Ten Pound on the way back and since they still had more to do, I paddled around the island and then to the take out point on Rocky Neck. All and all a good day to be on the water. :)

URL for this route is: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=299063

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