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Portsmouth at Night


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1820 just home from work

phone rings.. hey...?

You want to go for a paddle?

Sure; ocean? I'm not into the lake and the bugs...

sounds good, I'm next door taking care of the animals, I'll be home in a couple minutes.

Driving to Portsmouth:

you know what the tides are doing?

nope, but it was high water near 1600 Sunday so it should be up pretty good; add a couple hours

2000 Launching from Goat Island

what a nice night.

Its getting dark...

yeah, I can see your Pilgrim pretty well though.

we should just paddle inside the harbour.

ok, which way do you want to go?

just around Pest and Leachs Islands...


The hotel is really lit up eh..?

It's like a castle.

This is so much fun paddling an empty boat!

2100: a bit of paddling, rolling, maneuvering about in the dark flat water.

So... you want to go out and around?

Hmmm, ok, you have a light?

Yeah, a little headlight.

Its really getting dark...

I can see ok, you?

not great; I can't see you that well.

we'll stick close.

Paddling past the luxury motor yachts at the Wentworth Marina. The main saloons lit carefully to create just the right atmosphere... They appear as vignettes of very fancy restaurants I visited in another life.

out through Little Harbor, gliding silently past the breakwater.

its a black night with a glassy sea, a bit of swell and some locally generated waves and such.


you really activate your other senses to do this.

yeah, have to feel the boat and the water since you can't really see it.

this all looks really different; we should do this more.

yeah, what fun eh?

we're a little illegal with only one light aren't we?

Yeah, when we get near the Coast Guard station, stay in a line close together and maybe we'll look like a tandem.

oh yeah, sure... whoa, watch out for that ledge!

crap! a boomer... more like a whale rising.

I can feel the ebb kicking in

oh yeah, when is max?

not for a bit...

Reggae music drifting across the water as we "eddy hop" our way into Portsmouth Harbor and up the Piscatiqua.

Where's the music coming from?

must be the party boat.

look at that thing listing over.

maybe they're all looking at us; stick close, we're supposed to look like a tandem.

We watch the tour boat negotiate the turn around Henderson Pt on Seavey Isl. It begins the turn with Henderson Pt close aboard on the stbd side but crabs vigorously to port in the current almost completely across the river ending up on its new heading with Pierce Isl (very) close aboard to port. It was really something to watch... for a brief moment, we thought we were about to witness something much more dramatic.

2230: sliding under the bridge past the west end of Goat Isl. Off the water.

What great paddle!

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2230: sliding under the bridge past the west end of Goat Isl. Off the water.

What great paddle!

It's been a long work week without paddling. You just fired me up for the weekend. Thanks for the trip report Jon.

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