Plum Island Point (Newburyport, MA area) to Salisbury Point (Amesbury, MA) kayak trip log

15 06 2009

Riding the tide is the only way to go! This route took us (literally at times) through a variety of terrain and was thoroughly enjoyable.

Route Map


June 13, 2009

Launch Point

North End of Plum Island “the Point” (we think)


Go up the Merrimack with the incoming tide, break around high tide for lunch wherever it works, ride the tide back out.


We left around 2:15 – high tide was at 4:37. Stopped around 4:20 to 4:45 at Deer Island, back to car at the Point at 6:15.

Trip Length

About 12+ miles (according to the Our Google Route Map)

About 4 hours with a break and some mellow times.


We took off from the Point at the Northern Tip of Plum Island. You can get “beachfront parking” for $5 by the Captain’s boat charter place (to the left of it.) Or there’s a big lot for $10. And some free spaces – we’d tell you where they are, but then you know, we’d have to… Anyway – we think the $5 option is a bargain.

Took off through choppy water toward Newburyport, staying left for sort of an arcing approach. Definitely some swell and boats, but made great time. Headed into the harbor checking out OPB (other people’s boats.) Oooo…ahhh…

We called ahead to have the bridge opened.

We called ahead to have the bridge opened.

We continued up, heading right between Ram Island and Carr Island in this back channel area. There were many boats and people fishing. It wasn’t “quiet” at all — many boats — though it was more mellow than the harbor. There are some jetskis and yahoo boat passengers (to use a friendly term for our inebriated brethren) who can provide entertaining, though not sophisticated, humor.

Patrick provided some humor of his own by running into a large channel marker…to the amusement of some boaters. The equivalent of hitting a lamp post in a parking lot. I wish I had a picture of it – but I just heard the loud CLANG behind me, and a boater yell out “Careful” and Patrick start laughing.

We continued up the Merrimack talking about real estate and buzzing backyard parties. We passed under the Hines Bridge and under the Route 95 bridge.

There was a good looking party with a live band, so we floated and listened for a while. Free real entertainment! We “rewarded” them by being the picturesque backdrop. PS: Chamber of commerce – you should pay us off to glide by heavily touristy areas on the hour.

Did you know that the river is a crime watch area? Patrick is attempting to commit crime on the sign.

I'm tellin'.

I'm tellin'.

Actually as some boaters flew by the no wake sign, jostling us with some serious wake…I considered placing a call to the crime line. I didn’t – though did make a mental note to stay to the sides and expect that kind of thing on the river.

We looped around another marker just north of the route 95 bridge and headed to Deer Island for power bars and water.

Can't stop posing - even on Deer Island.

Can't stop posing - even on Deer Island.

We hung there until about 4:45, (high tide was around 4:37) and headed back. Definitely many boats to be aware of…you’re pretty much paddling through busy harbor, but that can be cool.

On the way back, the mouth of the Merrimack (well, not the actual mouth where the jetties are but the spot…well, look at the map.) It was a bit like paddling through boiling water. There are no pictures of it because it was no time to be snapping photos. It was exciting and we could handle it, but was demanding. Near the end, a crazy set of waves propelled us, surfing atop them, to the shore where we landed.

Full gallery:




One response

20 06 2009

Organized crimewatch in Salisbury Point — very safe except for the occasional drunken jet skiing.

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