Monday, July 18, 2016

Cape Ann Encircled

It's the high point of my summer...4 days and 3 nights camping and paddling on Cape Ann.

Before paddling around the Cape with some 317 other participants in this year's Blackburn Challenge, I spent a few days enjoying the Annisquam River from its namesake lighthouse at one end (photo above) to the Blynman Canal Drawbridge at the other...


The view from my tent at Cape Ann Camp Site looked out upon the Jones River...
...which afforded me access to the Annisquam.
 
Paddling along the Annisquam I encountered this boat...
...proving, as I always suspected, that Josey didn't spend his last days in Texas.

Of course it being Blackburn Challenge weekend, it's only fitting to see dories on the water...

...and even better to see one with two guys pulling hard as they passed Ten Pound Island Lighthouse...


Reaching the finish line at the Greasy Pole was Saturday's major objective for Blackburn rowers and paddlers...

Reminders of Gloucester's past such as the old Tarr and Wonsen Copper Paint (for hulls of boats) factory built in 1863 still stand...

...and the Gloucester Fishermen's Memorial near the Man at the Wheel Statue on Stacey Boulevard...
...which lists the names of fishermen lost at sea during each year since colonial times.  The year of Howard Blackburn's ordeal in 1883 was a particularly bad year with a long list of names.  Included among them was Howard's dorymate Thomas Welch...

Only a short distance away a more modern face of Gloucester has taken shape in the form of the recently opened Beauport Hotel...
...where the old Birdseye refrigerated plant long stood.

Around town banners displaying cast members of the television show "Wicked Tuna" hawk related merchandise...


While paddling the Annisquam a bit of trash in one little cove was gathered up from a spot which seems to have a magnetic attraction for flotsam...
 ...and a few lingering Hookset disks...


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Old and New on the Concord

Found things fairly peaceful on the Concord River in Bedford and Billerica yesterday.  The cloudy skies and occasional drizzle provided ideal conditions for grinding out some double digit miles in preparation for next weekend's Blackburn Challenge.

My focus was less on trash and more on sustaining a respectable speed.
Nonetheless, being the weekend after the Fourth, new trash was there to be found...

Found amongst the newbies was this much more dignified old whisky bottle embossed with the words "Guaranteed, Honest, Measure"...
...simplicity that stood the test of time.  I like it.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Wild Time on the Concord


Got out on the Concord River this beautiful July Fourth morning.  After passing under a very quiet and serene Old North Bridge (at left) I continued downriver and near Saw Mill Brook encountered three wild pups playing on the riverbank...

Hard to tell if they're fox or coyotes.

One stalked me...
...before looking like it might charge...
...then just emerged from the shrubbery and sat-up like a dog...
When it returned to the woods I noted its tail was black-tipped.


Another mile or so downstream this handsome white-tailed buck with velvet antlers stood at water's edge...
...and added some majesty to the holiday.

Once back at Egg Rock I noted the very low water level in relationship to the inscription...
...before ascending the Assabet River as far as Spencer Brook which is down to only a trickle...

With the Assabet seeing very little boat traffic due the shallow water this heron acted like he had the place to himself...


Returning to the confluence at Egg Rock I found a very busy intersection...
Several families were fishing from the Calf Pasture while an endless line of canoes and kayaks passed by.

My trash haul reflects the low water conditions...

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Merrimack in Tyngsborough

Yesterday the New Hampshire Appalachian Mountain Club Paddlers held their July Trash Patrol on the Merrimack River in Tyngsborough, MA.  Mrs. Trashpaddler and I joined with 13 other paddlers in trash patrolling an approximately 2 mile stretch of the river up and downstream from Frost Road Park. 

Some 756 items of trash (of which 260 were recyclable) were retrieved from the water's edge.  Larger items included a portable dehumidifier that was clearly in over its head...
The quiet and breezy park made a great spot for participants to enjoy a post trash patrol BBQ provided by trash patrol organizer Denise Hurt.  A great way to kick-off the 4th of July holiday weekend.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Quick Quota on Quinsigamond

It didn't take long to fill my trash quota today on Lake Quinsigamond's wavy northern half.

One trash hotspot was the small beach near the shuttered Buca di Beppo lakeside restaurant... 

This is the time of year when a spot like this should be bustling instead of sitting empty.

My plastic and polystyrene quota for the day was fulfilled...


Monday, June 27, 2016

Egg Rock Sampler


Launched from Lowell Road in Concord this morning and was glad to see trash and recycling receptacles in place.  After unloading my boat I parked roadside and saw this little bag of goodies next to the guardrail...
 ...meaning, more than likely, that someone walked past the receptacles before leaving their trash on the ground.   Can only shake my head.

At Egg Rock it was apparent...
...that water levels were quite low, and to borrow a phrase from the Big Lebowski..."New Sh#t has come to light" in the form of previously submerged trash.  Old bottles such as this Pureoxia Boston...
...and Father John's Medicine...
...were found.

Newer beer cans with a nautical theme were Whale's Tale...
...and Stowaway I.P.A...

From Egg Rock I paddled a mile or more of each of the three rivers.

On a very shallow Assabet I was left to wonder who arranged these stones in a semi-circular pattern...


Wildlife seen on the Concord...


White-tailed deer seem to be especially active this week.

Day's trash haul...

A Long Day's End

Watched the first Saturday of Summer's lengthy daylight portion come to an end while padding upon the Sudbury River in and around Fairhaven Bay. 

Before the sun dipped below the trees several white-tailed deer were drawn to water's edge...
 
 
...and a "Sunset Cruise" pontoon boat made its way across Fairhaven Bay...
 
 
Some beekeepers were also enjoying this very peaceful part of the day in tending their hives...
 ...and trash was at a premium...