July 2, 2016: Wind’s a bitch

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This is a gorgeous stretch of houseless state forest land along the western shore of Paugus Bay, between the Long Bay gated community and Pickerel Cove.
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The entrance to Pickerel Cove. I still didn’t go in.
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Gunstock and Belknap mountains were in and out of the clouds.

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Since last weekend’s lap around Paugus Bay was so awesome, I decided to do it again. But the lake had other plans for me. It wasn’t nearly as calm, after the thunderstorms that rolled through last night, but it wasn’t excessively windy when I started out at 6:00 AM. I paddled up along the western side as usual, and considered paddling into Pickerel Cove for the first time… but then decided against it, since my arms were already getting tired.

Instead, I decided to paddle across to the eastern side of the bay. That’s about when the wind started picking up. It took quite a bit of effort to get across with a crosswind blowing, but I got there. Then, just as I was approaching Christmas Island, the wind shifted and kept blowing me back to the west. After trying to resist it, briefly, I gave in and just headed over toward Big Island, and paddled the rest of the way back along the western shore.

While I saw very few boats during the first half of my journey, lots more passed by on my way back, so not only did I have to fight the wind, I had to fight the boat wakes as well. I was so glad to get back to shore!

My pace was only slightly slower than last week, but it took much more and much harder paddling to get there. Last week was a leisurely, steady paddle, while this week’s was peppered with several grunts and a bit of swearing (particularly when four boats sped by all at once).

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