Saturday, November 07, 2009

Rocks and Surf

By Wednesday, it was clear that the weekend weather was going to be perfect for fall outdoor fun. JS posted a surfing paddle for Sunday, but I was hoping for a more traditional paddle. Fortunately, CR couldn't paddle on Sunday and posted a Sakonnet Point paddle for Saturday. Sakonnet Point paddles are usually a combination of rock gardening, blue water paddling, and surfing.
Saturday was the cooler of the two days. It was the first time this year my car had frost on it in the morning. The temperature was supposed to climb throughout the day and the wind was supposed to be minimal. Still, it was cold at the put in.
There was never a question that it was dry suit weather. The only question was how much to wear under the dry suit. I had brought along flannels pants and a pair of fleece pants for the bottom and a collection of long sleeve tops. I opted to go with just the flannel pants and two layers on top. I figured I'd generate plenty of body heat in the morning and as the temperature increased during the day I'd be cool enough. Just in case I packed all the other clothes in the kayak.
We paddled out of the harbor and towards the lighthouse. The seas were a little choppy and promised some nice rock gardening.
After rounding the lighthouse we headed over to the islands to find rocks to dodge. The outside of the islands did not disappoint. The waves were big enough to make things look big and had enough force to make paddling a challenge. There were a few spots that were down right crazy, but for the most part everything was well within our range.
For some reason people did not want to paddle to the mainland to have lunch on a sandy beach. Instead we found a slippery, jumble of rocks to on which to park our kayaks. There was a nice spot to eat, if you could survive the landing and the journey up the "beach." The only plus to the lunch spot was that there was shelter from the wind.
After lunch, the group split up. JS and CM needed to head back early. The rest of the group decided to retrace our steps and take another shot at the rocks along the outside of the islands. The wind and swells had picked up a little, but things were not quite as good on the return trip.
The ride back up the river to the harbor was a blast. The wind had picked up and there was a steady march of wind driven waves marching up river. We surfed the whole way back.
We had a great day on the water. I was more tired than I expected, but rock gardening and surfing are more tiring than open water paddling. This paddle ranks up there as one of the best paddles of the year.

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