Thursday, May 26, 2016

Great Bay's Little Brother

After getting my first look at New Hampshire's Great Bay estuary last spring I'd been hoping to experience more of it this year.  When a training seminar brought me to the area this past Wednesday I found the forces of the universe (in this case the tides) were perfectly aligned for my purposes.

My boat hit the water 1.5 hours before high tide and I headed north from Adams Point...
...planning to explore the area north of Furber Strait shown on charts as Little Bay.

Just past Fox Point I reached the area where the Oyster and Bellamy Rivers enter from the west, and looking to the east the bay's outlet into the Piscataqua River could be seen...

Veering northwest brought me to the Scammell Bridge...
...which, after passing under, brought me into the Bellamy River and up to Clements Point where I turned about and headed back. 

Most of my return trip was in slack water which allowed for some gunkholing into pleasant spots such as this...

Before landing at Adams Point I passed through Furber Strait for a peek into the area of the bay I'd paddled last spring...
...where a distant Footman Island tempted.  However, as the tide had turned an hour before, the bay was now draining in earnest and my afternoon foray came to an end.

Very little in the way of trash was encountered (same as last time)...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Downtime on the Sudbury

This Sunday morning found the water level at Egg Rock's "Meeting of the Rivers" getting down there (photo at left). 

Aside from thrashing carp in the shallows, the Sudbury River from the confluence up to Fairhaven Bay was quiet and peaceful.

A moody-looking sky tried several times to rain but just couldn't seem to get much going. 

Newly enlarged Canada geese families line the river...

A white-tailed deer monitored my progress...
...and didn't move a lick...

Encountered the well prepared TRYAK heading upriver...


My trash haul reflected a family-sized group having enjoyed a bucket of KFC while fishing from the shore at Heath's Bridge...
 
...and an old medicine bottle with the apothecary symbol for ounces.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Trestles, Aqueducts, and Mileposts

For this blog, yesterday's paddling beneath the venerable Waban Arches (photo at left) results in Trashpaddler's post number 1,000.  How did it come to this, you might ask?  It's simple...I really like getting out on the water and have no problem scooping up trash I encounter along the way.

Yesterday, with an afternoon job scheduled in Dover, I left early in the morning allowing for an upstream paddle on the Charles River starting from Redwing Bay at the Needham/Dover line.

Though I'd paddled this stretch of the Charles before, I hadn't previously stumbled upon the entrance to this headrace located a fair bit above Cochrane Dam...
 

Heading upriver the first bridge encountered was this rickety old railroad trestle which a person had just nimbly made it across...

Upon closer inspection the barricades at both ends and many missing cross-ties attest to its abandoned status...

This spot was sheltered from a still pesky breeze left over from the recent multi-day gales.

Roadway crossings provide street names and distance from Boston Harbor...

The scenery is pleasant and wildlife plentiful...red-winged blackbirds, cardinals, red-tailed hawks, blue herons, mute swans, ducks, and Canada geese.  Some of the geese are still sitting on eggs...

Two escaped floats were seen...one on 6 drums and the other on 8.  The 8-drum float appears to be supporting a beaver lodge...
...but it's actually in front of the shore-built lodge.

This cross-river blowdown near the tip of Elm Bank tested my desire to proceed further upriver...
There was just enough water to shimmy my way across the fallen branches.

My reward soon appeared in the distance and brought me into Waban Brook for a closer look...
...which, in turn, brought me under the structure built in 1876...
...and, subsequently, allowed this first time (for me) downstream passage and view...

The setting combined with the imposing size of the structure had me thinking as though I'd stumbled upon the ruins of a lost civilization.

The aqueduct was built to convey drinking water from Framingham to Boston.  While no longer in use it remains intact and could be placed into service in the event of an emergency...

"Waban" is said to be the Native American word for wind, which was certainly appropriate for yesterday's visit to the brook of that name. This spring so far has been one of the windiest I remember.

Trash rounded-up along the way...


Friday, May 13, 2016

A Little Bogastow Unwinding

With yesterday's last job ending in Sherborn, my boat and I launched from the nearby Farm Road bridge.  Shortly, I was paddling through the Rocky Narrows (photo at left) en route to the confluence of the Charles River and Bogastow Brook...
...where the pictured tree divides the two streams.

Only a short distance up the brook is South End Pond...
 ...which hosted a lone kayak fisherman and became my turnaround point.

The trip back had me paddling toward a horizon of various shapes...
...arising from the Medfield State Hospital site.  Seems to be a fellow standing atop the tank to the left.

This blue heron seemed to be enjoying the afternoon warmth...
...as much as I was.

Trash recovered along the way...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Up from Sherman's Bridge

Got out on the Sudbury River this morning launching from Sherman's Bridge in Wayland.

Paddled the winding route up to and around the loop formed by the river's bypassed original course just below Rt. 27.

The view southward as I headed in that general direction...


Because vegetation has yet to leaf-out this cannon-shaped piece of polyurethane flotation could be seen and retrieved...

It's possible that it once provided flotation for a river buoy such as this...

At any rate, it was a beauty of a morning...
...and I arrived back at Sherman's Bridge with very little trash...

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Out of the Blind

Thanks to some awesome help from the folks at Go Daddy this blog is "out of the blind" and once again visible.  Rare to experience real 24/7 help these days.

This morning with rain in the forecast there was just enough time to sneak in a paddle on the Assabet River in Stow and Hudson.  I launched at Magazu's Landing and headed upriver noting one of the last sunlit moments of the morning (opening photo).

 Heading upriver I came across this large nest...
 
 
 
Ordinarily I'd think it was a hawk's nest, but eagles have been frequently seen in this area.  Sure enough another immature eagle was spotted not too far from the nest...
 
...and in flight...
 
 
 
 
I ducked under the box culvert...
...and passed into Fort Meadow Brook...
...surprising this sandpiper...
 
The beavers have been busy rebuilding their barriers where the Boston and Maine RRs Central Mass branch once crossed over the brook...
Glad I took advantage of the opportunity this past February which allowed paddling through the trestle.  May not have another chance for quite awhile (if ever).
 
Back on the Assabet I continued paddling up to the mill at Gleasondale...
...and caught a glimpse of the water flowing over the dam beyond the pedestrian bridge...
 
Rain showers had begun at around 9:30 but no real steady rain occurred while I was on the river.  My trash haul included only 2 empty mouthwash bottles which is a definite improvement over previous hauls from this section of river...