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Salem Harbor / Willows stroll waxing gibbous moon paddle

Kevin B (RPS Coach)

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The moon was bright as we lauched from Derby Beach slightly before 9pm under an almost cloudless sky. With the water unbelieveably warm and a nice breeze from the SW, it had the makings for a nice, leisurely night paddle. There were four friends, Gilly, myself, Chris and Beth. Given the fact that Beth was brand new to ocean paddling, we stayed well within the inner harbor and the South River.

As we launched from the beach, we were given a 21-gun salute in the form of the Beverly fireworks, for which we had a fabulous view. In the protected waters near Derby Wharf, Beth became accoustomed to Gillian's Aquanaut (Gilly was trying out my Avocet). She handled herself admirably with Chris staying by her side, offering advice and support. We could also hear him chuckling from time to time after she made certain manuevers. There may have also been some indescribable sounds, but we let them be;) After a quick adjustment of her footpegs, she became even more adept at handling her boat.

With the moon lighting our way, we turned in to the South River and paid a visit to the Friendship, for which the bouys usually blocking the path to her were once again removed. After being asked not to touch the boat by a ranger on shore (we didn't actually touch the boat :) ) , we paddled back out towards Forest River Park. The ride back was wonderful, with the moon, wind and current behind us and the sight of Salem's lights in front.

A lite two hour paddle among friends, a waxing gibbous moon, and a fireworks display...once again proving that making time in our busy schedules to kayak usually leads to a beautiful experience.

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