August 20, 2016: Post-Birthday Paddling

When I checked the weather last night, I saw that magic word listed in the 6AM slot in the 48-hour forecast: CALM. To me, that means kayaking at sunrise. So that’s exactly what I did to celebrate the first full day of my 48th year on this planet.

One highlight of today’s paddling was going into Pickerel Cove for the first time. It was kind of fun paddling through the tunnel, hearing the tinny echoes of the water splashing as I made my way through the huge metal tube. Once on the other side, though, it wasn’t all that impressive. It was nice and peaceful, and I imagine it would be awesome (but also expensive) to own one of the homes along the shoreline there, but it seemed to be a bit small of an area. Plus it doesn’t connect to anything else, so it’s just paddle in-paddle out. It also gets narrower as you get farther in. I thought I was seeing the far end of it, which appeared to be a marshy area, but that was only about the middle of the total length of the cove. I’m not sure if I’ll go back to explore any further – I’m not too crazy about paddling through plants, if they’re as dense as I thought they looked.

I didn’t see any loons today. I know they’re around, though, because I hear them occasionally as they’re flying (just heard one yesterday morning). However, I did see three osprey (or maybe I saw one of them twice). Just south of Pickerel Cove, one flew by and landed on top of a pine tree for a short while. And in the meantime, a second one flew by. When I was on my way back out of Pickerel Cove, another (or one of the previous two) flew right overhead.

It was pretty calm when I started out, but not completely. There was a slight breeze making some ripples on the water. By the time I had paddled up to Big Island, it had gotten quite windy, and I was paddling straight into it. My kayak was pop-splashing over little waves like they were speed bumps. But the wind subsided a short while later, and once I reached the shoreline of Paugus Bay State Forest it was calm once again. After emerging from Pickerel Cove, I was able to head a little farther up the shoreline to Paugus Bay Campground before cutting across the southern end of the Weirs Channel and heading down along the eastern shore.

I didn’t even have too many boats to contend with. There were a few fishing boats and a couple people waterskiing, but the boats didn’t really start hitting the bay until I was nearly back to shore. All in all, a great early morning for kayaking.

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