Sunday, August 30, 2015

Camping with a Bug

For our first kayak camping trip with Bug we decided on Grape Island. It is a short hop from Hingham and does not involve any major crossings. The ferry provides the ultimate emergency escape. We also enlisted two of Bug’s favorite camping friends: the Benders.

When we planned the trip, we thought it would be a piece of cake. Sure H was just starting school, but all of our camping gear was ready to go from our previous camping trip. Also, we were going for one night and launching from a major metropolitan area. Easy as pie….

The meltdowns started before anyone was in clothes. Bug didn’t want to go anywhere. We hadn’t really done any packing before hand. H was stressed out. We got out the door an hour after we planned. Then as we were getting on the highway we realized that we had forgotten the bulk of the food.

Fortunately, we knew that there was a store across from the put-in and that once we were on the water, relaxation and joy would was over us all.

By the time we were done restocking on the food, everyone was in a better place. Getting the kayaks packed up was a breeze. It was the first time packing up Big Red and the first time in a **long** time packing up H’s kayak. Big Red’s hugmungoness made packing up easy as pie. We could have packed all of the Bender’s gear into our kayaks without much trouble.

The paddle over to Grape Island was pleasant. We took our time and got into the spirit of things. There wasn’t much breeze or boat traffic to shake things up.

Once we were on the water H relaxed. Bug started splashing around and pointing out all the birds. She took out her paddle and helped paddle. It was exciting to see her get it right.

The only tension on the trip to the island was not keeping the Benders waiting any longer than necessary. We left the beach more than an hour after they did. We needn’t have worried. The Benders took an extra tour over to Bumpkin Island.

They had been on Grape long enough to scope out the camp sites and set up their tent. They decided that the best spot was in the overflow area. The main sites are all in the woods, but the overflow site is fairly close to the dock and close to the outhouse. The site, despite the closeness to things, offered a lot of privacy.

It was a great choice.

The rest of the day was spent chilling on the beach by the dock. We played some frisbee, dug in the sand, collected snails, and watched a gymnastic show (or two).

Just before bed time, I went on a little adventure. I took a wrong turn coming back from the outhouse. I wandered down a dark path deeper and deeper into the woods. Every turn looked like the one that would lead me back to camp. Next thing I know, I am on the beach facing Boston. I followed the beach for a while looking for a path back into the woods and back to the docks. I stumbled upon a couple that pointed me in the direction of a path. Eventually, I entered a clearing full of Outward Bounds kids. They pointed me back to the docks. I was lost for so long I had to pee again. H was just about ready to send out a search party….

We had big plans of getting up early and taking a ferry over to Georges Island to see the fort. Instead we lolly gagged around. It was too nice to rush.

We took a leisurely and meandering route back to Hingham. We went around Grape and its sister island. We then weaved our way back through the little islands that spot Hingham Harbor. Bug helped paddle for a little bit. She sang us a few tunes.

I for one wanted to enjoy the water for as long as possible. The beach meant the real world and all of its associated stresses. No need to rush back to that….