Monday, February 09, 2009

Circling Peddocks

Last week H suggested that I try to muster interest in a Hingham Harbor paddle. She figured we could invite people over to our house for a post paddle gathering. It sounded like a great idea so I posted the paddle.
PB quickly expressed interest. As week wore on I hoped to see more people show some interest. Hingham isn't THAT long a drive from Providence. Maybe the windy forecast made people shy. The forecast called for 15knt to 20knt winds.
On Friday the only responses to my post was PB and a post attempting to stir up interest in an "exciting" paddle in one of the usual haunts.
Between the windy forecast and the lack of interest, I considered canceling. I checked with PB and he was still up for paddling. So the paddle was on.
Saturday morning started off rough. This was the first time I needed to put the roof rack on Egg 2.0. They came off in jiffy and I imagined they would go on just as easily. The rear rack did pop right on. I popped the covers off the mount points, popped the rack on, and fastened the bolts. The front rack was a different bag of poo. The bolts decided to be intransigent. They didn't line up with the mount points. It took much fishing around to get the bolts to catch.
After battling with the bolts, I was late getting on the road. My quick stop at McDonalds to grab coffee turned into waiting in a Russian bread line. Then my iPod started acting up...
PB called me at 9:40 and I figured he was calling to give me crap for being late. Nope. He was calling to tell me that Hingham Harbor was packed with ice. He said he would investigate alternative put in before I arrived.
When I finally got to the put in I saw for myself what PB meant by full of ice. The whole harbor was covered in a thick sheet of ice. Close to shore the ice was covered in white. A little further out it looked like there might be water. Close inspection revealed that it was just ice not covered in snow.
We decided to move the put in to Windmill Point in Hull. That beach is rarely iced in.
The wind made getting into the drysuits and ready to launch. PB said he'd be lying if didn't admit that "what are we thinking?" didn't cross his mind. I was actively banishing that very thought from my mind.
Once we actually got on the water, things turned around. The wind seemed to diminish. The activity warmed us up.
We paddled around Peddocks Island. On the first leg the island blocked much of the wind.
Things got a little interesting at the tip of the island. The wind and the shoal kicked up some waves.
Along the outside of the island the wind was at our backs. The sun also made a brief appearence.
When we rounded the top of the Peddocks the wind made itself known. It hit us in the face and made paddling tricky. We also had to contend with Hull Gut flooding out of the harbor. If we were smart paddlers we might have scouted the situation out and planned a proper ferry angle. Instead we just pointed our bows toward the put in and fought our way forward. PB made excellent head way. I, on the other hand, struggled. I couldn't quite get the skeg adjusted to counter the wind and resorted to corrective strokes. Each time I corrected the current wiped out my forward momentum. Once I got past the tip if the point I struggled to make the turn into the beach. With some agressive edging I made the turn and landed.
Getting back into street clothes was much easier. The temp had gotten into the 40s.
The struggles made this relaxing paddle even better. It turned out to be a great day.