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Circumnavigation of Plum Island


spider

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Well the tides, time and weather held perfect for our go around of Plum Island (Wed 9-2-09).

Low tide was 5ish at Plum Island Sound. I had been thinking about leaving Pavillon Beach Ipswich. With a 7 am start Marilyn and I could head up the ocean side of Sandy Point and Plum Island and save the "pretty part "or the estuary for the return portion of the trip.

In realitiy..

... 7 am finds us at the local Dunkin Dounuts and 8am finds us pushing off the beach in the Boreal Design Beluga (it's a tandem) heading up the estuary. The decision was made that we didn't want to be worried about running out of water on the return. We wanted a stress free ride. "Pas problem mon ami"

High tide rendezvous was 10:45ish at the mouth of the Merrimack River. Figured we had plenty of time, but was relived non the less when I checked our speed at just under 6 mph. No great paddling on our part we were just riding the tide. Didn't get to poke around to much, but were still able to enjoy the egrets and some various "flighty feathered friends".

Green alligators and long necked geese were in short supply...Unicorns unseen indeed.

Pulling into the Refuge launch ramp up by the main entrance we were surprised to find... or not to find as it were... the little building that had always been there with the rest rooms and a separate information/ exhibt section. It had been there since before I could remember, so that was a bit of a shocker. Handy houses were in the parking area. Hope they plan on building another visitor place like the last one ...small but friendly.

After a little snack break we headed up stream towards the draw bridge. We were really surprised how big and nice and wide the creeck is through there... at low tide it is such a muddy mess that I had thought high tide would just kind of fill it up like a ditch full of water, but instead it was a fine looking easy to paddle mini river. The current had been against us since before our snack break as the flood tide fills in the estuary from both ends not just the Pavillion end. Pleased to be right on target time wise there was no real push to the current and we headed on up and out the Merrimack ( 1st time for us) stayng on theIsland side instead of crossing over to Sailsbury beach...mostly just to stay out of the boat traffic in the area.

Seas were calm and wind was light as promised...it was a gorgeous day and no need to worry about water levels. We swung around the breakwater and landed on the beautiful sandy beach that continued as far as the eye could see. Another short sunny "munch-athon" and we were on our way.

Noticed another paddler in what looked like an old style surf boat. Turned out to be an old Dagger white water boat...fellow said it was about 25 years old. Very cool, and scooted right along catching any hint of a wave or ripple to accelerate.

Knew there was no landing on the refuge property so for the most part we didn't.

Still it irked me no end, to look over on the beach and watch pick-up trucks and campers driving up and down the beach.

It has something to do with surf fishing and permits, but it burns me big time when you watch them drive through a flock of birds.... that the refuge is supposed to be a refuge for...

and it sure doesn't help the dunes any either.

(okay, not the place to go off on a big rant about it)

Moving right along...it was a long haul paddling down to Sandy Point.

Long and quite beautiful to see all that endles sand that is such a nice change from the rocky shores that we often find up north.

Also surprised how far off shore we were to round the rocky section of Sandy Point where the water gets rough...were the going get tough and the tough get going...or some such thing.

On this day it was calm as could be and we swung around for a landing on Sandy Point and hang out for, of course, more picknik goodies.

Pat ourselves on the back for our 1st 20 miler and generaly soak up the sun..no I wasn't lookng at any bikinis...nor she any buff guys..

Back to the car by five and off to Woodmans to end the day.

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