Plum Island Bridge to Riverfront Festival at Waterfront Park (Newburyport MA) kayak trip log

12 07 2009

The Riverfront Fest is a free outdoor multi-band annual event in Newburyport, put on by our adult contemporary alternative station formatted for the reluctantly aging North Shore 30+ set. We only occasionally listen to WXRV, so usually manage to miss the build up to the event until the actual day, when we’re clued in by all the people walking around with coolers and jockeying for parking in front of our house….or when one of our adult contemporary friends asks us if we’re going. Anyway, this year, we managed to kayak in.

Route Map

When:

July 11

Launch Point:

Plum Island Bridge, free parking (a good spot around high tide…notsomuch at low.)

Tide/Current:

We left 1 hour before high tide, riding the current in. We were in Newburyport Harbor area around high tide for about 30 minutes hearing music, then paddled back out…in theory going back with the outgoing tide, but the wind ensured that it didn’t feel like a free (current) ride at all. The last end under the bridge (against outgoing tide) requires fighting a quick current, but it’s a short stretch…

Trip length:

2 hours, 40 minutes (with about 20ish minutes of floatin’ time downtown)

Trip log:

We were in the mood for a short trip — and since it was Riverfest Day, wanted to get behind the stage area. Given the high tide at 3:07, we planned to follow the tide in and back out. We launched from a lot by the Plum Island bridge, where there were probably 10-15 cars with kayak roof racks. Nice launch spot at higher tides:

Patrick pulling away from the Plum Island bridge launch.

Patrick pulling away from the Plum Island bridge launch.

We headed left out of the river, toward the Newburyport harbor area. On the way, we saw a plane take off from Plum Island Airport and do a few unexpected dips and turns:

A small plane taking off from Plum Island airport surprised us with some moves.

A small plane taking off from Plum Island airport surprised us with some moves.

It was a little choppy as we made our way into Newburyport, heading straight in to stay with the current. As we got toward the park, people and boats lined the River walk area. There were many boats trolling around. Around high tide, we passed an outgoing Plum Island kayak tour. We floated by waterfront park for a few songs from the Sam Roberts Band. It turned out to be really good, sunny day music!

Patrick floats behind the stage at River Fest (note the drummer's arm up in the air behind Patrick.)

Patrick floats behind the stage at River Fest (for perspective, note the drummer's arm up in the air behind Patrick.)

We headed back out of Newburyport harbor, past the yacht club and checking out the homes near the water. We spent the minutes leading up to this shot figuring out what the hell we were approaching. Then, as usual, Patrick went in to investigate:

Patrick communes with the Newburyport penguins

Patrick communes with the Newburyport penguins

We continued to hug the coast by the Joppa flats, back behind Plumbush Downs toward the bridge. It was windy and it felt like we were in a little but of a current, but nothing too strong. As we rounded the coast right to go back under the Plum Island bridge, a few boats roared through. We saw oncoming jet skis and approached with caution:

Jet skis coming through the Plum Island bridge...politely (for once.)

Jet skis coming through the Plum Island bridge...approach with caution.

We pushed back through the current under the bridge to the launch. As Patrick was ramming his boat into the shore for the second time (he didn’t like his landing angle the first time) – he caught air and flipped the boat and fell out in a foot of muddy water. I could not stop laughing and so wish I could run my mental video of that moment.

Patrick collects himself after crash landing his kayak.

Patrick collects himself after crash landing his kayak.

Full gallery:

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: