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HarvestBall
jwg

Canoeing on the Annisquam river

It was a nice day today so it was time to take out the canoe.

First of all I had to make a repair. The device whose name I don't know on the stern where a line can be tied had separated from the canoe because the rivets had broken/corroded. It is an aluminum canoe, 24 years old and is used exclusively in salt water so it does corrode a bit. I drilled new holes and put in some self-tapping screws. I got the screws yesterday and the installation was easy. It seems fine - as good as new.

Next we had to mow the right-of-way. Across the street from our house and down two houses is public access to the river. (This river is essentially a tidal inlet opening out to Ipswich bay; the other end has a canal extension into Gloucester harbor.) So I mowed a four mower wide path down the hill (about 75 feet). Then I went back for the string trimmer, the hedge trimmer, clippers and gloves. rsc got assigned the task of emptying the grass bag and doing some more mowing. I trimmed some of the branches that overhung the path with the hedge clipper, cut a lot of cat briar (that's why I had gloves since it is wicked stuff), and used the string trimmer on the edges. And then cleaned up the debris.

We brought down the canoe and went out. Our first trip of the year is usually around the island in the river (only possible near high tide - the water level varies by almost 12 feet at the max). It was about an hour after high tide. We decided to go counter clockwise instead of the usual clockwise direction so that we would be returning with the wind behind us - it was quite strong. It is tricky to find the passage through the reeds on the back side from this direction. Since we were anxious to get out of the wind which made us almost stay in one place when paddling against it we chose a doubtful route. No doubt - it was wrong. So we had to portage across the reeds - it seemed that would be easier than going back out again. The trip is about 2 1/2 miles and it took a bit over an hour thanks to the wind.

There were no other boats, ski-doos, or water skiers out today which made it much nicer. We didn't exceed the 5 mph speed limit; there are lots of more warning buoys out this year. Saw lots of gulls and egrets, and a turtle and just enjoyed the sun and breeze (except when paddling against it). No clammers were out since the flats are closed temporarily because of Red Tide.

Summer is here at last!


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And I discovered that you can see "Toad Hall" from the south end of the channel behind the island!

Explanation: "Toad Hall" is our name for a place on the east side of the river, maybe half a mile from our landing, where there are three large boulders just at the high-tide mark, the largest of which has a shape that suggests a sitting frog -- so much so that somebody (presumably the owner [or a former owner] of the property) has painted its upper half turquoise green and added eyes and a mouth, and further extended the idea by painting the two smaller boulders, which are rather less frog-shaped, similarly. Anyway, we were paddling along against the wind, and I caught a glimpse of that unmistakeable turquoise off to the left -- I guess I'd never looked in that direction from that spot before.

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