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The Walk of Shame :) July 4th Gloucester to Rockport, sort of


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So the plan of the day was a one way from Gloucester to Rockport, with all hands on board (myself, Kevin, Rob H., Sir Christopher, Ross, Jim, and Kevin F.). After a bit of a kerfuffle with getting the cars in place and some sprayskirt issues we got off in our boats, and then we got in our boats and paddled under the drawbridge against some current into Gloucester Harbor. Having not as much experience as I'd like, I felt like I'd put in a full days paddle after making it under the bridge :)

We carried on through some fantastic boat wake across Gloucester having to drag Christopher out of the rocks, and got a chance shout out a few yippees over a couple 2 ft. wakes we got to ride. Rounding the corner into the wide open sea we found great chop and lots of ups and downs while paddling along and playing in the rocks.

About a mile from Good Harbor, I went from having a blast to all of a sudden feeling dizzy and queasy . . . having never been sea sick in my life I wasn't quite sure what was wrong but it continued to get a bit worse so I told Kevin and we headed into Good Harbor with somewhat luckily following seas, which helped with the paddling but not the churney stomach. Finally we made it into the harbor where we kept way out the way of the swimmers and pulled over across from the beach onto some grass and rocks where I chided Rob for giving me his sea sickness :) Luckily the extremely friendly life guards at the beach yelled at us for paddling near swimmers (we were no where near them and purposely tried to minimize our impact), and when we told them we had a sick paddler, they yelled louder. Without even an offer of help they huffed off down the beach. Yikes. I'm only sorry I didn't get sea sick enough to leave a present at their expensively manicured feet :)

We decided as a group that I was done for the day and that Kevin would stay with me and the rest of the group would head back to Gloucester Harbor and pick us up if we didn't find a cab to get back to Gloucester High School they'd come pick us up. Kevin and I found a very nice woman at a guest house across the street who let us leave our boats on her lawn and as I started feeling better we walked back to the high school (which revealed a lot of great looking bistros in Gloucester that I'd never noticed; funny what you miss by car) and stopped in at a local drug store for some Advil. While we were paying, we both noticed the strong smell of neoprene, and keen funk and tried to expedite our way out of the nice clean CVS . . .

We got back to the car and noticed that the other paddlers had not arrived, so we took our binoculars out to the main beach and scanned the horizon. Not seeing them, I got a bit worried with the winds increasing and storm clouds approaching but felt confident that those guys would be okay with the wealth of knowledge and experience that was out there on the water. We picked up our boats at Good Harbor, drove back to Gloucester in time to see our paddlers about to go back under the bridge safely, and then headed home feeling relieved.

So the paddle was a bit of a bust, but we worked well as a team and everyone got home safely. It was a fantastic day for paddling and before Rob made me sea sick, I had a lovely time!

Thanks to Kevin for organizing and looking after me, singing me into Good Harbor with funny songs to keep my mind off of not feeling great, and thanks to the group for getting each other back to shore . . .

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You know I'm always happy to share, Gilly!

People who've never been seasick just don't know what they're missing!

We had a bouncy paddle back, with a stop for an impromptu rescue session at the end of the breakwater, and a slog under the bridge against the ebbing tide.

But, all in all, it was a GREAT day on the water!


Explorer - still fairly white

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Hi Gillian,

Nothing to be ashamed off, I think I'm up to three occasions and counting with sea sickness in a kayak. I think I've narrowed it down to getting a little too hot. Now I roll to cool off and drink plenty of water. Sitting and trying to read charts, while bobbing up and down also don't do me any favors. So for me, it's dead reckoning or nothing.........now anyone want to take me out in Maine fog?

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...then I guess I'm not really a man, am I?

Interesting topic arising out of the trip (well, think it's an interesting topic): when we announce "show and go" trips, we should still make a point of discussing among ourselves the weather conditions, the predictions and the tides before embarking on the water -- we all know (I trust) that show and go trips imply each paddler is responsible for him- or herself; BUT when getting together in a group where some do not know each other, then potential problems can arise.

I believe it is natural enough to assume that everyone turning up for one of these trips is well-prepared and all I am saying is that we should beware of doing so (this may seem self-evident...

Newer members might, then, make a point of searching this website thoroughly and making themselves familiar with the various resources regarding weather and tides (I'm not pointing any fingers)

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It's odd how someone can go 30 to 50 years without ever being motionsick and then all of a sudden it comes right out of the blue. I've never experienced it on the water but have guided clients who have---including one very nice lady in her late 30ths who never had it before---oddly enough her bout occurred when we were going downwind in chop about 2 feet. We stopped on an island for about 20 minutes, she felt better and we were able to paddle back to the put in---about a 30 minute paddle with no problems---she told me that going into the wind didn't seem to upset her. The only time I ever had it was in the air, on a commercial flight in a relativly small plane(Beech 99)---now I have a private pilots license and have all kinds of time in VERY small planes on windy days---all with no problem---but on that particular flight it was a hot muggy day and very bumpy---I had no problems until the guy sitting next to me had to use the airsickness bag----all of a sudden I had to too---so being seasick really doesn't have much to do with experience etc---more to do with circumstances and, dare I say it, luck. I suspect that anybody can get it given the right set of events.

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I posted last week to the original thread organizing this trip, forgetting that we have this separate trip report conference. Anyway, from my last post I'll repeat my thanks to Rob & Ross for their quick rescue when I capsized at the dog bar, and also thanks to Christopher for good clear advice all day.

A quick discussion of possible conditions at the beginning of a SNG is a good idea. OTOH, I'm responsible for having shown up for a trip that I wasn't really ready for. It was my good luck to be paddling with folks who were patient and clearheaded enough to keep an eye on me, especially on the return.

I've been hiking for many years and I'm experienced enough that I pretty much know what to expect in most cases. One lesson learned last week was that I can't be that way with paddling, where I'm still a beginner. For any trip, SNG or planned, it's my job to quiz the organizers until I know what I'm getting into.

Just some thoughts. See you on the water..

Kevin Fredette

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