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Forest River to Misery


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Last Saturday, after leaf raking most of the morning, I left from Forest River about two. Did six practice rolls before the cold water got into my hoodie and caused an ice cream headache - so then headed to Coney Island. High tide, but the swells were big due to an off shore storm, and they were breaking on the Coney ledges. That was the first time I saw that at high tide. Quick change of plans, and decided to head to Misery. The swells were elevators most of the the way, and very pleasant. I got to Misery about 4:30, just in time for the sun to set. No problem, except I forgot that the sun is lower in sky! It blinked out in minutes (although after a stunning sunset)! I thought the landings were too rough in the Misery cut, so decided to head back. The question was whether to cross in the dark or to hug the coast down to Lynch Park, and then cross to the Willows. Elevators are easier than breaking swells, so I was really tempted to cut across, but lost my nerve (thinking about those breakers on the Coney Island ledges). So it was a paddle in the dark down the coast - which was fine except I had trouble making out where the swells were breaking, and over-compensated by pulling further off-shore. This made the trip longer than necessary. Worse, there was no safe place to land and call my wife. I was concerned that she would call the harbormaster because of the delay. Anyway, seals were much in evidence and they were less afraid of the kayak in the dark. I mistook one for a lobster pot, and then noticed shining whiskers in the moonlight as I passed - very romantic! Eventually, I found a sheltered landing at the back of Lynch. Called my wife, and all was well. She wanted to pick me up, but I was feeling very comfortable in the cold air, elevators, and half-moon sky so insisted on paddling into Forest River. Ended up coming in on a calm, dark, empty harbor with Salem lights reflecting off the water. Just perfect!

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