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Kittery Point to Rye


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With a forecast of 17-18K winds and gusts to 25K it may have seemed like a good day to stay home. A couple of us needing some time on the water, Dave C. and myself planned a trip to stay either in sheltered waters or lees wherever we could. We left Kittery Wharf an hour before low tide and headed out into a spirited west wind past Fort McClary and into the back channel behind Seavey Island. Until we reached the Pistcataqua near the Memorial bridge this was a hard paddle into strong winds. After crossing the river we paddled south behind Peirce Island and were happy for the wind behind us. Passing Shapleigh and Leach Islands we were racing with the wind. Before crossing into Little Harbor there were wind driven white caps to surf on. Flying through Little Harbor and paddling north alongside Newcastle we received the brunt of the early afternoon wind. Since the wind was now more from the north than the west our return up the Pistcataqua was like our western route at the beginning of this trip, challenging. The seas were now rolling from the north west and were breaking and up to 2' high. We returned to the wharf after a circle of just under 8 miles that felt more like 12. I now have new found respect for wind which in some ways can be even more daunting than waves. Approaching Little Harbor there were times that the following wind blasting my blades as they came out of the catch and had me thinking " 5k more and there goes my paddle. By staying within a couple of hours either side of slack tide we avoided the complication of currents, although with the Piscataqua there always seems to be some current even at slack.

Here's a link approximating our route: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=4133683


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