Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Barking Crab

Bridge in the Mist

Today was the annual Barking Crab paddle. I scheduled it early this year hoping to get some better weather and I changed the put-in to add some distance and scenery. I also made sure the Crab knew a group of kayakers was going to show up for lunch.
The changes were a mixed blessing. The weather was warmer than in past years, but the morning was gray and raw. After lunch, the weather cleared up and turned exceptional. The new put-in location resulted in a few people getting lost. The new location, at the CRCK kiosk on Soldier's Field Road, had plenty of safe parking and did offer exceptional views of Cambridge.
With a total of 17 kayaks, it was a large group. I feared that it would get hard to manage that large a group. My worry was unfounded. Most of the paddlers had been on the trip before and knew the drill. (H was one of the few Barking Crab virgins.)
We wended up the Charles, through the canoe lagoon next to the Esplanade, through the old locks, under the Zakim Bridge, through the locks, past the Boston waterfront, and into Four Point Channel. We had a pleasant lunch and actually managed to figure out the bill without fisticuffs. Then we returned home following the same path.
The return journey was the better of the two legs. The ride in the locks was more dramatic. The weather turned warm. The group spread out just far enough so paddlers who wanted quiet could avoid the chatter boxes.
After the paddle H and I had people back to our new abode for cake and coffee. It was a great time. People who usually dash off after paddles came for the after paddle. We were happy that people seemed comfortable and enjoyed themselves.

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