Sunday, July 22, 2007

Back to Reality

After our excellent Alaska adventure, H and I were ready to paddle our own kayaks on our own turf. Narragansett Bay may not have the pristine grandeur of Glacier Bay, but it does offer plenty: varying and challenging conditions, access to good food, and most importantly the chance to paddle with good friends.
H spent the week fretting about the trip. She was uncomfortable with the "bring helmets" declaration on the trip description. She also was not keen on paddling around Brenton Point because she has not really been in challenging conditions yet this season. Despite the time of the year, life conspired to keep her off the water.
So, we decided that while we really wanted to hang out with the gang, it would be best if we did a different paddle. The plan was to paddle out of Wickford harbor so we would avoid any peer pressure to go on the RIC/KA trip.
On the way, we heard from the Bs. They were planning on launching from Ft. Wetherill, the RIC/KA trip's launch, but well after the RIC/KA trip left. It was a stroke of brilliance. We'd avoid peer pressure and get to hang out with the gang!! It also meant conditions that could offer a bit of thrill.
Getting back in the Q-Boat and wielding my new mighty stick was pure joy. I nearly capsized a few times while making ridiculous turns, but it was worth it just to be able to edge the kayak. I recovered quickly enough and was psyched to get out on the open water. I think we all shared similar experiences with reclaiming our rides.
We started off towards the Dumplings. The tides were such that there would be very little happening at the Dumplings, but the chance to paddle a little more distance made the trip worth it. We checked out the Clingstone House that sits on a dumpling. It looked like someone is fixing it up. I can remember when it looked like the condemned frat house I lived in at WPI.
From the Dumplings, we turned around and paddled along the coast to Mackerel Cove. It was a pleasant paddle. PB and I stayed close to the shore and found rocks to play in while the girls stayed a little further off the coast. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity readjust to the Q-Boat's lively feel.
We lunched just to the right of the public beach in Mackerel Cove. We were very careful to avoid the swimming area and any private land. The only thing I don't like about the eastern coast of Jamestown is the limited landing spots.
From lunch we continued down the coast towards Beavertail. The plan was to turn back well before we got to Beavertail and we did a good job sticking to the plan. We turned back towards Ft. Wetherill about half way between lunch and Beavertail.
To get back to the launch we decided to make a bee line. It was getting late and we didn't want to miss the RIC/KA crew. The crossing was fun. There was just enough swell and wind to keep us on our toes.
We kept checking the Newport coast hoping to catch a glimpse of the RIC/KA crew as they made their way home. We thought we spotted them and tracked them as they passed Castle Hill. Given their position we figured we easily beat them to the cars.
When we paddled into Ft. Wetherill we were greeted by the RIC/KA crew!! They were packed up and waiting for us... That didn't stop me from my post paddle rolling ritual. A roll is a precious thing and must be practiced...
Once we got our kayaks and gear stowed, we headed into town for dinner. PB passed around his Alaska photos - excellent!! We then grabbed some ice cream and listened to some music down near the water before heading back to the work week.
It is good thing that we have a hobby and friends to renew our spirits before each week.

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