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Outer Boston Harbor, Sunday Sept. 18th


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On Sunday Morning five of us; (a Pintail, an Explorer, an Xcite, a Tempest 170 and a Force 4) , set off from City Point in South Boston, for the Brewster Islands and the outer reaches of Boston Harbor.

We paddled past Spectacle Island (made of landfill from the big dig) and thence to the tip of Long Island and Nixes Mate, ”A prominent black and white stucco covered wood pyramidal beacon, resting atop a granite base”, just across President Roads shipping channel from Deer island. Here (the internet tells me), a pirate named Wiliam Fly was gibbeted after his execution in 1726. We were faring considerably better on this beautiful early autumn day, despite a brisk front quarter wind, which made our progress somewhat plodding.

It was sunny, water was not cold, temperatures were probably in the high 60's. We had fussed a bit over what to wear on this "shoulder season" paddle; some were maybe a bit overdressed but did okay. Boat traffic was light to moderate, ferries from Hull and the occasional sailboat requiring a bIt of watchfulness.

After a brief stop on Lovells Island, we followed a necklace of submerged ledges (“Great Brewster Spit” and “Kelp Ledges” on the chart), which led us to the Brewster Islands ,and, after stopping on Great Brewster for lunch,we rounded Middle and Outer Brewster Islands. At the easternmost end of Outer Brewster, which receives the full brunt of the ocean, things got interesting, and it all felt like adventure-on-the-high-seas. The southeast quadrant of Outer Brewster is rocky and dramatic, a choice spot that would satisfy the appetites of the most carnivorous rock gardener.

The Graves, one mile distant, and a mess of tall ledges called “shag rocks” near Boston light, were enticing , but it was time to begin our journey back . We made a mental note that the shorter approach from Winthrop would give more time to enjoy this area, and set off for home, paddling the entire 7 miles back with a rear quarter wind, which set us right along in our direction but made for a tiring home stretch.

All in all a 14.5 mile day which, because of the day-long winds (front quarter and then rear quarter), felt like more.

Thanks, all, for your company on the water.

here's a link to Graham's photos posted in the trips section.


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