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Salem Willows to Marblehead 8-27


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My first trip report and first ocean trip (bays don't count.)

Arrived early and wondered where everyone was. I listened to the weather for awhile and reassured myself that Ernesto was not very close, that a 5-10 knot wind was okay and that a 1 to 3 foot sea was doable by this novice.

Kevin and Gillian came on time, but we missed the others who said they might come along. They missed a fine paddle.

As we rounded Juniper Point, the SE wind hit us abeam. To me, it was no longer a 1-3 foot sea. Some thoughts of "I should have made a will" came and went as I realized that I was able to control the wind and waves. Could not have done that two weeks ago.

We decided to cross straight over to Marblehead via buoy 20. There were a few pleasure craft and the Salem Ferry to watch, but we picked up the pace and made quick work of the channel. Kevin, of course, went over to investigate anything that was sticking up such as day markers, rocks, etc. Lunatic.

In the lee of Marblehead the paddle was fantastic (yeah, I know in a few months time I will probably use words like "mildly interesting bordering on boring" but I was finally using my kayak for what it was designed instead of practicing rolling.)

We found a dead seal near Fluen Pt. Did not really see anything else other than numerous cormorants on the trip, but then I was pretty busy concentrating on other things such as "use your torso", "why are my legs shaking", and "use your torso, you idiot".

We rafted for a few moments to fix a blister that one of us developed from being a bit grabby on the paddle (no points awarded for guessing who.) That was also interesting to me, how stable rafting made all three of us.

As we rounded Peachs Point, the wind again (which certainly seemed more like 15 knots) and waves were daunting. Of course to Kevin and Gillian "daunting" was translated into a series of whooops and yippees as they surfed and played. I stayed upright and dry. Yippee.

There were numerous rocks along the coast and Kevin was attracted to all of them. Gillian followed him and showed me how much more there is to learn and have fun with in a kayak. Gillian looked as though she was going to ram into several rocks only to quickly stop and let the confused waves play with her boat. I guess it was some sort of "learning experience". Lunatic.

We dipped inside of Brown Island and took a break on Crowninshield where we met the Trustees of Reservations caretaker who also was a kayaker. If we didn't pry ourselves away we would still be there talking with her.

After rounding Fort Sewall and entering Marblehead Harbor, Kevin turned around and headed back. Gillian and I were making it a one-way trip. The Harbor was fun in that this was one place I always wanted to paddle. It was amazing to see how much larger the Harbor appeared from a kayak as compared to being on land. We met several boaters and other kayakers; all were friendly.

We ended at Riverhead Beach.

I had a great time, never got wet, and am greatful to Kevin and Gillian for their advice and reassurance. Oh, and the blister is healing...


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Brian I can't wait till I post my first trip report about you going something like "I only saw the top of his head as he rode the waves, yelling yipee!!!!!! Lunatic!"

:) We had an awesome time too and can't wait to paddle w/ you again!!

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