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Cape Ann Circumnavigation Sun 5/3


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Actually too tired to post a full trip report, but wanted to get the track and numbers up there as some people expressed an interest in them. More importantly I wanted to thank everyone (David, Phil, Lori, Leslie, Kevin, Alex, Bill, Glen, Christopher, Bob & Leon) for making this a great day, and particularly Leslie for great planning (+1 knot north bound, +>1 in the river) and running a tight ship.

~ 21 miles, pavillion beach to pavillion beach (thanks Alex for giving me the courage to run our version of deception pass). ~ 50% @ 4mph, ~ 31% @ 5mph (these are my numbers, add 25% for Leon!).




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A nice day was had by all I'd say. Telling was the reality that most initially planned to bail at Lanes Cove, but once there all most all decided to continue round. I learned that 19 miles of paddling, a 1-2k current and a lobster buoy do NOT make for a good roll this early in the season :wacko: I've got a few pics I'll see if I can get posted later. It was good paddling with you all and thank you Lesley for planning.


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What a nice day. The company and conditions were perfect. Thanks to all. Especially Les; she sure knows how to plan a great paddling day. Now I know for sure why they say: Les is more.

I really enjoyed going around the Cape at below Blackburn Challenge speed … gives you a chance to notice the beautiful rocky shore and beaches of Cape Ann

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Thanks and gratitude goes out to Leslie. I have wanted to do this trip for four years now and, if and only if, conditions were most favorable. Yesterday everything came together: We paddled out of Gloucester Harbor on the ebb and rounded the Dogbar and headed NE past Brace Cove. Light swell, a light breeze at our backs and a cloudy sky welcomed us as we set our heading for Thatcher and Milk. Most landed on the South side of Milk where large rocks and breaking water abounded while some more astute went round the spit and found a gentle landing on the North side. After lunch we headed for the Strathmore Gap. Through the gap and on a heading straight for Andrews Point we paddled the Sandy Bay. A little more swell and light wind embraced our efforts. Somewhere out of the grey a lone paddler approached us from the other direction. He was bearded and used a curious stick for his paddle. I offered to lend him my spare but he was not amused. On to Halibut Point and then heading SW on to Folly and Lanes we were facing the light wind that helped us on our northern heading and the rain began. Pulling in to Lanes for pit stops and discussion, most of us felt bullish enough to go on even those who previously were committed to an earlier exit at Lanes Cove. The trip down to the lighthouse at the Annasquam mouth was pleasant but the wecomed surprise was entering the river at flood tide. I estimated paddling at between 4 and 4.5 knots. I think we had a good 2 knots of current helping. It was in the middle of this current that Phil doing an overly aggressive hanging draw to pull along side a buoy found himself trying to roll with the current pushing him into the buoy. A quick T rescue provided by Alex and that was the one and only excitement for the day. Thanks Phil! The current helped us all the way to the railroad bridge where it started to neutralize. Most of us pulled into the GHS and a few hardy souls decided to go through the canal against current. It couldn't have been too bad since they all made it. Some stats: 18.6 nm, moving time on the water 5h36m, moving average 3.3kt.

To set the record straight; there were 11 paddlers: Leslie, Kevin, Christopher, Phil & Lori, Barry, David, Alex, Bill, Leon and myself. To achieve a task or goal in a way that is graceful with the least expenditure of unnecessary energy is my definition of elegance. Yesterday we did an elegant slow paced Blackburn in reverse. I nominate this trip for an annual NSPN outing.

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Thank you all for being such pleasant companions on my first circumnavigation of Cape Ann for the season.

When circumnavigating Cape Ann, I particularly pay attention not only the wind direction but the tide rate--leave P beach when the tide is at the best rate for dragging us out-which gives time for the Annisquam River mighty flow.

What was significant for me on this trip was how that tide pulled us down that river-at one point, Kevin, Sir Christopher and I were barely paddling--just going can to can, finding the best flow forward- I would not want to paddle against that flow anytime soon.

The next time I find the conditions ideal-wind, tide rate and temperature-- I will post a CAM trip again for Circumnavigation of Cape Ann.

I do have one question--in Rockport Harbor--the mouth of the harbor -- where most of use were paddling--did anyone see on their GPSs or notice the current pulling into the harbor--does anyone know if that area has a particularly strange current--it almost felt like a rip current in places, pulling me into the harbor--or am I just imagining the pull?


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under that little bridge, it was remarkable--water moving fast through a narrow space always seems to act the same, whirlpools, eddy lines, etc. just the degree of the activity changes with the ammount of water and speed, deception pass v. the fast flood channeled under that little bridge. the skills you use to go against are the same too, as far as i can tell.


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