My mother is visiting from England and being the adventurous type I thought she might enjoy a cruise round Mystic seaport in the tandem kayak. I contacted the usual Wednesday crowd and invited them along for the trip, not really knowing how the trip would pan out through the day. I had prepared a chart with multiple options and plenty of potential landing areas by using Google Earth and basically searching out uninhabited areas of the shoreline.
We camped at Rocky Neck State Park, about 20 mins west of Mystic, a great camping base for trips in this area. Unfortunately the rain kept us sheltered under a tarp all evening but a delicious homemade key lime pie kept our spirits up!
File comment: Rainy Night
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At 9.15 or so we met Norm, Sue and Bea at the Mystic River State Boat Ramp on River Road. Parking and launching here is free and there are places for maybe 8 to 10 cars. We unloaded all our gear and set off with the wind at our backs. the river opens up into a bay, surrounded by quaint houses and a few old ships docked beside the workshops of Mystic Seaport museum. We spent some time drifting around looking at the old ships including one in dry dock that was huge.
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From there we went under the Mystic Main St. drawbridge and half drifted, half paddled down to the swingbridge the carries the Boston/New York railroad. Just as we approached, the bridge started to turn, so we watched the bridge close fully and finally the train went over.
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From here the bay opened up and we decided to turn east and try to follow the coast to Stonington. Passing a few small islands we came to Fishers Island Sound and turned east. It was 11.45 at that point so we decided to land at a small beach for an early lunch. We revised our plan and as the conditions were good continued on to Stonington. Once inside Stonington Harbor it was a little busier and we cruised the docks looking for a public boat ramp so we could get out but nothing, a few private ramps and the commercial fishing ramp. By now the wind had shifted from north to south so we drifted back out of the harbor and beelined for Enders Island, a small peninsula off of Mason Island that houses a monastery of some sorts.
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The water was a little choppy, but once round the point it calmed down again. Ahead of us was Ram Island which had two tiny islands off the north end. We landed on one of the small islands to stretch for five minutes. The hike round the island took all of two minutes and the views from the summit were spectacular (!!). The ride back to the put in was a breeze, quite literally as the wind was still from the south, and we finished our trip about 4.30.
We covered about 16 miles and my Mum paddled all the way !!
It was a perfect day, great weather and good company.
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