Four of us got together for a nice, easy, early season paddle in the Duxbury Back Rivers. The participants were Abby, Steve, Bea and me. Russ arrived at the same time as Bea but he was there to go for a run, not paddle. But since he came by to say hi, we put him to work helping take the boats down to the water.
The Powder Point Bridge is closed to vehicles for repairs, so the parking lot was very busy with people parking and walking across the bridge to visit the beach. We were lucky to all get parking spaces.
We arrived at noon and the weather was beautiful with air temps somewhere in the 50's, clear skies and just a little breeze.
Bea trying to remember where to stow away all her gear. It's a little hard to paddle with all that gear in the cockpit!
Abby helping Steve with his dry top.
There was plenty of foot traffic on the bridge, but one thing that was noticeable to me was that there was nobody fishing.
The lower level of parking was very limited by a dock being stored on the beach.
We paddled straight across along the bridge and then went under at the far side. We came across Russ running in the beach parking lot and he came out to the water to say hi again.
High tide was at 2:23, so we had plenty of water throughout the paddle. The marsh grasses are still matted down, so it was easy to see a long distance. We had the whole place to ourselves.
All my ducks in a row.
There's an interesting house that looks like it's just been built with half of it up high on stilts along the beach.
Once in a while we'd find a wide stretch of river to paddle four across.
I didn't do a very good job leading this trip. I dug out charts from a previous trip but left them on my desk at home...not that charts help much in this expansive marsh. With the high water, it was hard to distinguish the real creeks from the thin cuts through the grass. At one point we did some poling with our paddles and then when that got tiring, Steve and I got out and dragged the boats over a shallow grassy area - see Bea's Facebook report for pictures of that part of the trip.
When we finally got done cutting across and found some deeper water, we came across this shack and stopped to check it out.
Bea seemed very intrigued by this place and circled all around it.
I wonder if the marsh in this area has sunk a little as there didn't seem to be much clearance. We were here at high tide, but it wasn't the highest tide of the month and the whole place seemed to be in jeopardy of flooding. I didn't get out to look inside, but the fireplace looked pretty big.
It seemed like a good time for a break. Steve and Abby got out of their boats to stretch their legs and have a snack. Bea and I stayed in our boats. Bea wanted to lay back and take a nap. After all, she was skiing just yesterday at Killington.
During our break time, the tide turned. We decided to venture a little further west after the break, looking for a wide creek that Bea and I both remembered from past trips.
With the water now flowing out against us, it was more difficult to swing the long boats around the tight turns. Sometimes you could see the strength of the current flowing in the underwater grass.
We thought we were in the right creek, fairly close to the shoreline...
But we soon found the creek thin out to nothing and had to turn around and head back out.
It was about time to head back to the take-out anyway, so we paddled back to the bridge. It seemed exceptionally clear looking out over the bay to the Gurnet Lighthouse.
Bea seemed to head right past the beach...
But then I realized she was heading over to get a picture of that odd private property sign that looks out of place when the tide comes in.
Here is a Google Earth view of the area we paddled with our GPS track shown in red.
A few specs from the trip:
Launch time: 12:36pm
Snack stop at the shack: 2:32pm Distance: 5.1 miles
Depart snack stop: 2:49pm
Take out: 3:56pm Distance: 8.02 miles
Thanks for coming out for a leisurely paddle Abby, Bea and Steve. Sorry about the bad guidance across the marsh. I hope nobody damaged their paddles.
Bea - please add a link to your Facebook album to show your perspective on the trip.