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:

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