(click on photos for larger images)
Atlantic Ocean -- Marblehead, MA
Put-in: Tucker's Beach
Harpswell Sound/Casco Bay -- Orrs Island, Maine
Put-in: Lombos Hole...but there are many put-ins around
Report: I circumnavigated Orrs Island, paddling down the East side, under the unique Cribstone Bridge connecting Orrs and Bailey Islands, and back up the West side through Harpswell Sound. Four breezy hours of soaking up the gorgeous scenery and riding the swells.
Essex River > Essex Bay > Atlantic Ocean -- Essex/Ipswich, Massachusetts
Put-in: ERBA boat launch, Essex (park behind town fire station)
Report: Easy put-in at ERBA or at the adjacent town launch. I paddled down the river, through Essex Bay and out into the ocean. Much of this area is within the Crane Wildlife Refuge. Nice paddling through an irreducibly complex estuary ecosystem. On this Saturday in July there was a fair amount of motorized traffic. Going with the tide can make the trip easier. Leaving the bay and heading up the coast, I soon had a stretch of Crane Beach all to myself - to land, eat lunch & take a quick nap before heading back upriver.
Lake Cochituate -- Natick, Massachusetts
When: 6/17/02, 6/29/02
Who: Jason paddling, Jiwon swimming
Put-in: Boat launch off Route 30, between Rte. 27 & main park entrance
Report: Lake Cochituate State Park comprises three large ponds: North, Middle and South. The main park entrance is on Middle Pond. The put-in I use is on North Pond, which sees less use than Middle Pond. Suitable for swimming or flatwater paddling, there's nothing of great interest here, but with easy access and no crowds, it's a good bet when you feel the need to get out on the water.
Heard Pond, Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge -- Wayland, Massachusetts
Who: Jason & Jiwon
Put-in: Pelham Island Rd. (off Route 20)
Report: This beautiful pond has quiet, open water in the northern end where you put in, and lovely wetlands to explore in the southern end, with a nice variety of water plants. The pond is within the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and is very lightly used.
Charles River -- Cambridge/Boston, Massachusetts
Who: Jason ('cause I love that dirty water...)
Put-in: Magazine Beach, Cambridge
Report: From the put-in, went under the BU Bridge and into the Charles River Basin. The river is nearly a half-mile wide in the basin, and between choppy water, sailboats and (not so) occasional power boats, alertness is required. On the Boston side, between the Harvard and Longfellow Bridges, is the Esplanade, with good people (and turtle) watching. The roundtrip is six or seven miles.
Atlantic Ocean -- Hull, Massachusetts
Who: Jason in the water, Jiwon on the beach
Put-in: Nantasket Beach
Report: Beautiful open ocean in easy striking distance of Boston. Calm water & light wind offered a good opportunity to practice launching & landing on the beach, as well as to do some relatively low-risk playing in the surf. Great fun!
Concord River -- Bedford, Massachusetts
Who: Jason & Ted
Put-in: at Route 225
Report: Quiet flatwater broken only by an occasional powerboat. This stretch of the river runs through the lower end of the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, but with high water obscuring the usual shorline, there wasn't much of visual interest along the way. (Ted says we can kayak Puget Sound when I visit Seattle - I will report here!)
West River -- Brattleboro, Vermont
Who: Jason & Jiwon
Put-in: at Retreat Meadows, Rte. 30, just north of Brattleboro
Report: Cold, clear, shallow water below, birds of prey circling above, we paddled through Retreat Meadows, at the confluence of the West and Connecticut Rivers, then went up the West until the rapids stopped us. Nice scenery, easy paddling, some traffic noise.
Sudbury River -- Wayland, Massachusetts
Who: Jason & Josie
Put-in: at Sherman's Bridge Road
Report: For Josie's first kayaking experience, we went to the calm waters of the Concord River as it passes through the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. A peaceful afternoon was had by all.