Westport River, West Branch - Friday - 9/30/11

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norm
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Location: Stoughton, MA

Westport River, West Branch - Friday - 9/30/11

Postby norm » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:07 pm

I've paddled the Westport River a few times now but had not gone up the west branch yet. This time the plan was to start near the top of the west branch, using a put-in that I found listed in a book. I knew Sue was available at the end of the week, so once we knew the weather was going to be nice on Friday, I posted the trip. Nobody else signed up, so it was just the two of us. We car-pooled from a park and ride on route 24 and got to the put-in by using a geo-cache location on my GPS. The name of the geo-cache is "Serenity Now". It was a handy tool to find the correct place to turn off the main road, easier than finding the little sign for "Adamsville Landing".

Adamsville Landing is just a straight dirt road along the river that looks like somebody's driveway. There's a house right above the landing, so it really feels like your in somebody's driveway too. The landing has some wide spots to park your vehicle out of the way. I'd hate to turn down this road by accident at night. You could drive right into the river.

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We took a couple minutes and found the geo-cache before launching. It was a very easy cache to find.

The weather was perfect and we launched into bright sunshine.

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The landing is not at the very top of the river so we headed upstream first to see how far we could go.

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It got pretty shallow and it seemed there were large boulders blocking the way.

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Sue was undeterred by the rocks and slid right past them.

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There is a nice home with a shady stone patio beside the river, complete with a chandelier hanging from a tree. The home looked like it might have a separate building that is an artist's studio.

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On the way down-river was a rock covered with cormorants.

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On the east bank of the west branch was this interesting houseboat.

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As we arrived at the top of the harbor area, the conditions seemed fairly calm near the mouth of the river and it was almost high tide, so we devised a plan to head over to the knubble. The knubble is a prominent rock that is probably about 30 feet high. I was surprised at how much current there was flowing into the river. It was a tough workout making our way across the harbor to the west side. It was basicly a long ferry across the current. Thankfully there was little boat traffic and we didn't have to worry that we were in the main channel. There was a single sailboat that worked its way out of the river and around the knubble during our long ferry. The mast of the sailboat was still visible as it rounded the knubble and headed west outside the river.

On the west side of the river there are many houses and boathouses built on pilings above the river.

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They like to use ropes and pulley systems to secure their launches near shore.

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There are a few sailboats moored on this side of the river also.

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The water outside the river mouth was very rough. A power boat went by and headed out through the waves.

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Looking back across the river mouth to Horseneck Point, the water looked so calm, it was hard to detect that it was ripping through at a good clip.

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The beach right behind the knubble was calm enough to land our boats and get out.

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The ducks and cormorants know where to hang out to stay out of the current. Look at the lean of the red channel buoy in the background. The tide was still coming in pretty strong. We had 30 to 45 minutes to explore before slack.

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It seemed there were a couple different kinds of ducks hanging out with the cormorants.

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Sue grabbed an apple to munch on, so I grabbed one out of my lunch bag too and we started climbing up the knubble. Partway up, there is a flat spot before it gets steep. We stopped there and finished our apples so we'd have both hands free for the climb to the top. I took a few pictures from this level.

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Sue picked a smooth side of the rock to climb to the top and I chose a rough spot with sharper footholds.

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The view from the top was much better without any obstructions. We probably hung around up there for 10 minutes looking around and watching waves crash on the shoreline rocks and ledges offshore.

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Looking back up the western shore.

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Looking across to Horseneck Point and then up Horseneck Beach.

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A small powerboat came out of the river and turned into the swells.

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A closer look at the harbor in the river behind Horseneck Point.

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Looking up the outer shore, there are some remnants of some type of old structures. I checked Google Earth's historical shots of the area and whatever was there in the past, has been gone since 1995.

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Another look up the west bank of the river. It was so calm and serene in the river.

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At the same time it was calm inside, there were waves crashing on the outside shore.

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Sue wanted a closer look at the wave crashing on the outer shore rock so she climbed down for a closer look.

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But she got a little too close and got splashed.

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Another couple views of the outside beach from ground level.

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Some small birds raced ahead of us as we headed back to our boats.

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One last look at the knubble from a little further away as we left.

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Sue noticed a boat coming in as we were about to cross the channel at the mouth of the river so we waited for it to pass.

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The trip across was much easier this time as the tide was now slack. We headed straight for the gap between Cory's Island and Horseneck Point.

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There was still plenty of time in the day so the next part of the plan was to head up the east branch of the river and find an island to stop on for lunch.

Heading through the Westport Harbor. The southern side seems to be all pleasure craft, power and sail.

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On the northern side of the harbor, at the end of Westport Point, is the commercial fishing pier.

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There always seem to be cormorants on this rock between the boat ramp and the route 88 bridge.

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The great egrets that usually hang around in the marsh of the lower east branch had moved to the treetops since it was high tide and the marsh islands were under water.

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The rock islands.

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The mansion up on the hill.

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This picture is for Jack Z. In our trip down the east branch in the spring, the shellfishing was prohibited north of one sign and south of the other. We figured it was only allowed between the signs. It seemed about half the areas around the two branches were now open for shellfishing.

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We kept searching for an island to stop on for lunch, but they were either too rocky, too bushy, too covered with water or private property. We kept heading north all the way to Upper Spectacle Island. There wasn't much beach to land on there either but we found a spot out of the wind to pull in and drag our boats up into the grass.

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There was just enough clearing in the grass to sit and even a log to lean back on.

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Our lunchtime view.

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The trip back downriver was a bit of work, directly into the wind for 2.5 miles, but the wind subsided as we reached the route 88 bridge.

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Going back through the harbor area, these cormorants seemed to be feeding and got spooked as we paddled through them.

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We stayed to the west of the Whites Flat and Great Flat marsh areas and enjoyed watching a huge number of great egrets and other birds, even a great blue heron.

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Some of the egrets seemed to be arguing with each other. This one was squawking pretty loud. You don't very often capture egrets with their mouth open.

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Some of these egrets seemed to be fighting each other.

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This is how close we were to them.

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There was an old shack on a little island in the west branch. Is this a good WTP clubhouse Bea?

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There didn't seem to be any osprey around all day. I think I may have seen one in the distance. I guess they may have gone south already. The osprey nests were occasionally occupied by other birds.

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On one of the islands in the west branch, there seemed to be remains of a former cottage that must have been built on short cement pilings.

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We had a bit of a push from the wind at times on the way back up the west branch, but it was calm when we arrived at the take-out.

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It's always nice to see your vehicle when you get back to an isolated parking spot.

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Here is a topo map with the route we traveled highlighted.

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A few stats from the trip:
Launch time: 9:00am
First stop, knubble rock: 10:47am, 5 miles, Back on water: 11:32am
Stop for lunch: 12:46pm, 9.5 miles, Back on water: 1:19pm
Take-out time: 3:08pm
Distance Paddled: 16.18 miles


Thanks for joining me on this trip Sue. It was fun exploring with you.
Last edited by norm on Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NorwayLady
Posts: 1300
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:03 pm
Location: Marshfield, MA

Re: Westport River, West Branch - Friday - 9/30/11

Postby NorwayLady » Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:25 pm

Great report, Norm. Love the knubble and all the waves splashing. Did you put a bid in on the WT clubhouse?

Bea
Bea
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centered
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:01 pm
antispam: No
Location: Stoughton, MA

Re: Westport River, West Branch - Friday - 9/30/11

Postby centered » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:20 pm

Thank you, Norm. It was a great day, perfect weather, warm water, beautiful spot and good company. It felt more like July than nearly October. Definitely a place to return to often!
Sue

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kayakerjnj
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Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 12:12 pm
Location: Randolph MA

Re: Westport River, West Branch - Friday - 9/30/11

Postby kayakerjnj » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:23 pm

What a great trip, and so picture perfect.

Thanks for sharing all these, its such a great spot to paddle. You had a perfect day!
Paddle with a big smile, its contagious :D


Jordan

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Birdseye
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:18 pm
Location: Marshfield, MA

Re: Westport River, West Branch - Friday - 9/30/11

Postby Birdseye » Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:06 am

Nice report Norm. Looks interesting. I'll have to paddle there one day.
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