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Graves from Pemberton Point - 8-12-07


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Launched at 10 AM from the very tip of Pemberton Point - half way through the gut. Good parking and small rocks.

A group decision took us directly to George's for a convenient quick use of the facilities. You have to wonder about a guy like Tom H. who was disappointed that the snack bar was not yet open just 20 minutes after leaving the beach. He said he just wanted some quick carbs. Tom was first in his division at the Blackburn. I guess he was worried our slow pace would over time burn more carbs.

Then, since the tide was nearing high, we went direct and non-stop to Graves arriving in about 1 3/4 hours after put-in (including the stop at Georges). The water was a smooth as ice, the temperature moderate, and almost no wind. The view back from the ocean side is very impressive with swells breaking around the rocks. It felt like we were really "out there" when we were close enough to block the great view of Boston. One very large (100?) closely packed group of ducks was impressive.

We headed back towards Boston Light hoping to stop for lunch on one of the islands along the way. Leslie B., Alan M., Judy W, and Scott K. all made sensible suggestions, but my embarrassing search for the perfect beach failed and we lunched at Boston Light.

As usual, the volunteers there were wonderful. Leslie and I had an academic discussion of what would be the best way to return to the gut assuming we had a tired paddler who could handle the conditions. A moderate wind had come up, blowing towards Boston (the direction we needed to go) but the tide was running out against us. Moderate amounts of small craft of all kind were in and out of the channel. Should we go straight across to Pemberton and then down the shore to the Gut? Should we point more towards the gut letting the wind help us down (longer channel crossing)? Should we return to George's and cross there (directly downwind, short channel crossing, but in the heart of the boat traffic). Someone ask the old salt of a volunteer which way he would suggest....not much help. We considered sending each paddler on a different route and ask them to write a long memo if they made it, but no one wanted to write a report. So we took the second choice, dodged a few boats (they were nice to us), and used the eddy along the shore before the gut to help us.

The gut itself was running hard out to sea. Some sailboats made no headway on sail alone. However, the eddy along the shore shot us to the takeout (against the current) with such force that I almost went by.

So. A great day had by all.

Comment on level: It hardly was a level 2 on the way out, but some wind, current, and large and/or confused waves and distance made it a solid 3 on the way back. However, the consensus was that given the potential for much more wind and larger waves out near Graves, calling it a 3+ was appropriate.

Thanks everyone for a great day.


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We had an excellent tour of that part of the harbor. Classic day with good people. Paddling in different enviroments from remote islands in Maine to harbor mouths of great cities add to the quality of the sport and yesterday's views of the Boston skyline, all of the islands and sections of the Northshore and Southshore in clear conditions was icing on the cake. The stop and lunch break at the Boston Lighthouse was like walking into an Edward Hopper painting as the setting, architecture and lighting were premier.

When discussion of how to rate the trip came up, we all agreed that the benign conditions for the paddle out to Graves could be quite misleading and the crossing of the channel on the return trip proved to be much more bumpy with current, afternoon breezes and boat traffic now in play.

The standing waves at the Hull Gut which froze large boats in place led me to kiddling say "Let's call it a Level One with Class III whitewater trip"

Great day and paddle so thanks again to Al and all. Just whished I had brought a camera.


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