Rowley River to Plum Island Sound kayak route map

2 09 2009

Check out our full trip log of our kayak up the Rowley River to Plum Island Sound

Edit

Advertisements




Rowley River (Rowley, MA) to Plum Island Sound (Newburyport, MA) kayak trip log

2 09 2009

We explored yet another river entrance into Plum Island Sound, and hung out on a sand bar. We also know a little about where not to launch in Rowley ( if you don’t want to be hassled by bitter locals.) Boo! Anyway – a lovely quiet river that offers a relatively quick jaunt to the beachy boat friendly world at the south end of the Sound, so closer to Crane’s and the whole Ipswich/Pavilion Beach area.

Route Map

When:

August 3, 2009

Launch Point:

Rowley Town Launch (right next to Perley’s Marina, where you might consider launching instead)

Tide/Current:

Left about one hour before low tide (not ideal but manageable and almost no boat traffic to contend with)

Trip length:

About 2.5 hours (including exploration and a 30 minute sand bar hang)

Trip log:

We had some vague information about launch points in Rowley. The first area, on Railroad Ave., does not look too inviting, but it was hard to tell. We headed over to Warehouse Ave, by Perley’s Marina. We’d read somewhere that we might need to pay to launch, and were ok with that. At Perley’s, we asked inside and they directed us to the town launch, about 50 yards to the left of Perley’s launch.

We launched from there, but cut to our return…well, if you care, that’s all at the end. Anyway – our trip down the Rowley River was quiet and lovely. We had buckets of Skin So Soft on, which was absolutely necessary in greenhead (fly) season, in a marshy river, at low tide. You could smell us coming. The river is pretty standard fare for rivers around here – marshy, quiet, many shore birds and in Rowley, a few neat houses here and there.

The biggest mystery of the Rowley River to me is this:

Please tell me what these are (seriously!)

Please tell me what these are (seriously!)

We still have no idea what this/these are. There were a few things like this on the way out – we think they would be underwater most of the time, but we went through at high tide when they’re exposed. Shell fish oriented? Old and abandoned fishing relic?  No idea. Comments welcome.

At the end of the Rowley River, we headed toward a channel marker, cause we like to do that. This is Patrick making our new Newburyport Kayak Report Channel Marker 21 gang sign.

Two to the one, PPain say...

Two to the one, PPain say...

Then we explored a bit more around Plum Island Sound. Though it was a Monday, there were still many speedboats, and “fishing” parties catching a few beers, moored by sand bars all over the Sound.

Sand bars abound in PI Sound, yo.

Sand bars abound in PI Sound, yo.

We made our way to a spare sand bar area, at the north end of what’s labeled “Middle Ground” on the map. We stretched our legs and practiced our ninja kayak gang moves.

Getting rowdy at the (sand) bar. Someday I'll stop making that joke. Not today though.

En garde, Ipswich.

After hanging out for a bit, we lazily headed back to the River.

Patrick heads down the right river, yay.

Patrick heads down the right river, yay.

Anyway – it’s a mellow river ride, the tide was with us, which is always nice. At one point near the launch, the commuter rail crosses the River. It’s kind of picturesque to kayaking-types, though, perhaps. How green would it be to kayak to the T station?

Rowley River with MBTA commuter train in the background.

Rowley River with MBTA commuter train in the background.

OK – the stunning conclusion: After a nice lazy afternoon, we pulled up,  chatting with incoming boaters as we all loaded boats. Just as we were loading the second kayak on, the boat, respectfully at the end of the ramp (that is to say, with plenty of space for other loads) — an incoming boater landed. He greeted us and immediately asked if we were residents, when we said we weren’t, he said the launch was residents-only. Except he said that using way too many words and being a total a-hole in a “polite voice”, which made it all the more irksome since, as you remember alert reader, we’d actually made the effort to ask the apparent “people in charge” near the ramps about the proper place to launch. Anyway, if you go, you might consider seeing if Perley’s will let you launch at their ramp, especially if you don’t like random confrontation. Hannah would have gladly paid $5 to avoid that experience, though Patrick didn’t really care and in retrospect, it may have been worth it to watch Patrick and the guy square off in a surreal,  polite, suburban, a-hole dance with each other. I should have documented him for this blog. Darn.

Full gallery:







Pavilion Beach (Ipswich MA) to Sandy Point (Newburyport MA) kayak route map

23 08 2009




Pavilion Beach (Ipswich MA) to Sandy Point (Newburyport MA) kayak trip log

23 08 2009

Paddle a lot or a little, and check out the house boats and boat scene while spending some time hanging out on Sandy Point.

When:

August 1, 2009

Launch point:

Pavilion Beach, Ipswich

Tide/Current:

Between low and high (isn’t too strong in that location)

Trip length:

About 3 hours – but it’s a very short paddle across (like 10 – 15 minutes) to Sandy Point to Pavilion Beach – then explored for about 1 hour, hung on the beach for an hour and paddled back.

Log:

We wanted a low key paddle – so we decided to take our bocce balls on board on a rec paddle from Pavilion Beach to Sandy Point at Plum Island. After leaving the beach, we headed diagonally left – north, then east to the opposite coast. There are many houseboats out there (check them out in later photos) — but notably, there’s a residential house on Plum Island that we never knew was there (because there are no other houses out there):

Dream house location - wow!

Later that week, in a wine-fueled, late-night history session with longtime Newburyport residents/real estate experts (who we’ll keep anonymous so we can do it again soon!) – we learned that houses out on Plum Island (where once were many) must stay in the original family, and once those people pass on, the houses are destroyed and the land becomes part of the Refuge. Or something like that. There are probably more details about all that, but for some reason, we don’t remember them.

Anyway, we followed a picturesque channel past that lone house. The channel was super shallow – but we’re used to that, due to our habit of paddling around low tide. Well, to be clear, our habit is more about paddling in the afternoon, so on a regular basis, that means we’re paddling at low tide.

Sing it with us: "Low tide-er don't move too fast now..." (Like Low Rider? Get it? Get it?)

Sing it with us: "Low tide-er don't move too fast now..." (Like Low Rider? Get it? Get it?)

As soon as we got into the channel, the noise of the boats in Plum Island Sound faded away and it was quiet and idyllic.

Wildlife taking refuge from annoying kayakers.

Wildlife taking refuge from annoying kayakers.

We thought we might make it through the channel to this big pond we saw on the map. The funny thing about looking at maps vs. actually going somewhere is that sometimes, bodies of water that you think might connect…don’t. And you find this:

No admittance.

No admittance.

We got out and explored a little. Here’s the pond we were trying to reach:

The pond at the south end of Plum Island.

The pond at the south end of Plum Island.

And we looked around a bit more — Patrick had some of his own ideas about where the exploring expedition should go.

Hint: Don't take listen to men wearing life jackets in fields.

Hint: Don't listen to men wearing life jackets in fields.

We found the road that leads to the house we saw. There was a sign saying “area beyond this sign closed” — but as Hannah, the daughter of a folk-music-maven, knows – we had to check the other side. Sure enough, on the other side, it didn’t say nothing.

This side was made for you and me.

This side was made for you and me. (or H & P, in this case.)

Have no fear though, law-abiding readers – our trespassing ended shortly after taking this picture. We made our way back to the kayaks and headed out.

At the end of the channel, we veered left along the shore of Sandy Point, aka boat world. Many boats were anchored, full of responsible families and groups of jolly friends who were definitely not drinking and boating. No, not them. We pulled up, unloaded our bocce balls, slathered on some Skin-So-Soft to keep away the greenhead flies (totally works), took out our very responsibly-mixed adult lemonade (with just a touch of spice), and set up camp for awhile….before beelining back across to Pavilion Beach (a short paddle, thankfully) at the end of the day.

Camp NKR (Newburyport Kayak Report) on Sandy Point. Check out the houseboats offshore, too!

Camp NKR (Newburyport Kayak Report) on Sandy Point. Check out the houseboats offshore, too!

Sandy Point essentials: Skin So Soft (for greenhead protection - it really works too!) and "lemonade" so we can keep up with the other boaters.

Sandy Point essentials: Skin So Soft (for greenhead protection - it really works too!) and "lemonade" (so we can keep up with the other boaters.)

Full gallery:





Merrimack River (jumping rock and eagle nest!) Newburyport MA kayak trip map

22 08 2009

Check out the full trip log of Hannah & Jamie’s kayak up the Merrimack River, complete with a stop at the jumping rock, across from an eagle’s nest!





Up the Merrimack River, jumping rock and eagle’s nest with Jamie! (Newburyport MA) kayak trip log

15 08 2009

Hannah’s friend Jamie came out to play in the kayaks (Patrick was off playing softball.) We went up the Merrimack, where we discovered a jumping rock, an eagle’s nest and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Route map

When:

July 26, 2009

Launch point:

Cashman Park, Newburyport MA

Tide/Current:

We left about an hour before high tide, headed up river, and rode the tide back out.

Trip Length:

About 2.5 hours

Trip Log:

We launched from Cashman Park in Newburyport. We ended up awkwardly launching from the park wall, which I’m not sure I’d do that way again (though it worked out fine.) There’s a busy pay boat launch and parking lot here too (the highly un-enthused teenage boys minding the ramp didn’t have any information to offer about the best place to launch kayaks there.) However, after our awkward launch, we noted another ramp to the far left of the paid boat launch that is probably worth investigating.

Awkward launching at Cashman Park (I'm sure there's a better way.)

Awkward launching at Cashman Park (I'm sure there's a better way.)

Anyway – we headed up river, bearing to the right to go into the back channels behind Ram Island and Carr Island. I’ve paddled through here before – but had never seen a crowd at the big rocks. This day, there were maybe 4 speedboats anchored and 15-20 people of all ages jumping and diving off the rock. We were going to pass it by, but Jamie suggested stopping. I was all for it. We pulled our boats up – and just then, it started to rain. (The forecast had warned of that, but Meteorologist Hannah had determined that we had a few hours  before things got dicey.) The rain passed pretty quickly though, thank goodness.

The jumping rock rocks! It’s about a 12 – 15′ drop and there’s a handy painted arrow showing where to jump. I would imagine it’s best done around high tide (that’s when we were there) — and like all times jumping off high things into bodies of water…be careful (and we assume no liability for telling you about the jumping rock.) We both jumped and the rush was thoroughly enjoyable!

Jamie jumps off the rock!

Jamie jumps off the rock!

Hannah jumps off the rock (note the attention to form).

Hannah jumps off the rock (note the attention to form).

We also learned that there’s an eagle’s nest just across from the jumping rock! Bonus! With an eagle and baby eagles in it! That was very exciting for Jamie…and for Hannah, who, without glasses on, was willing to believe that the fuzzy dark shape in the tree was an eagle.

The eagle family enjoying it's 5th story open-concept nest with surrounded by nature, with a fabulous view of frolicking humans in the Merrimack River.

The eagle family enjoying it's 5th story open-concept nest with a fabulous view of humans frolicking in the Merrimack River.

The kind of view the eagle's get to "enjoy." Surprisingly, they seem fine with it.

The kind of view the eagles get to "enjoy." Surprisingly, they seem fine with it.

As we left the rock, we paddled up the Merrimack, circling around Deer Island, under the “chain bridge” and gawking at the awesome house there. We came back down through the back channel again — passing by the rock — this time arriving around the same time as an “eco tour” boat full of tourists came to look at the eagle. Lucky them also got to experience Jamie and Hannah taking silly pictures with the camera.

Is this what people mean by "lost in the weeds"?

Is this what people mean by "lost in the weeds"?

We headed back for Cashman park – enjoying the Newburyport skyline and landing just as it started to thunder. Another great trip!

Full gallery:





Joppa Flats (Newburyport MA) to Salisbury State Reservation (Salisbury MA) and Tall Ships! Kayak route map

27 07 2009

Check out the full trip log from our journey from Joppa Flats (Newburyport MA) to Salisbury State Reservation (Salisbury MA) where the Maritime Festival featured 3 tall ships!