Friday, June 3, 2011

Sudbury & Concord Rivers - Sherman's Bridge to Old North Bridge

This morning I joined forces with Erik of Open Boat, Moving Water blog to scout and trash patrol Musketaquid waters from Sherman's Bridge in Wayland down to Concord's Old North Bridge.
Erik and a group of fellow paddlers from neighboring Rhode Island plan to paddle this same stretch of river on an upcoming weekend.  They may find the river a lot busier than we did as their trip will likely coincide with Riverfest.

Erik and I paddled into a headwind for most of the trip downriver.  Upon entering Fairhaven Bay, we saw a woman in a kayak working to remove invasive plants from the shallow waters of the bay's west side.  The deck of her boat was covered with either water-chestnut or perhaps milfoil.

As we approached Clamshell Bank, we saw this young white-tailed deer bounding around as if in play...
Other wildlife seen today were blue herons, Canada geese with goslings, wood ducks, mallards, eastern kingbirds, red-winged blackbirds, tree swallows, a red-tailed hawk, and a cormorant.

Another boat seen making the trip up and downriver was the always interesting Tri-yak equipped with an outrigger and small motor.

Nearing Egg Rock and the confluence of the Assabet River a mysterious magnetic force resulted in the convergence of 4 bloggers...
Bloggers and their respective blogs from left to right are Erik (Open Boat, Moving Water), Sue (Water-lily), and Jackie (Saratoga Woods and Waterways).  Sue and Jackie are in Concord while visiting from upstate New York.  It was good to see the blogosphere come to life at such an appropriate spot.

Erik and I continued paddling down to a very busy Old North Bridge and checked out the visitor's center there.
Once back at Lowell Road, our jointly collected trash haul emerged for the count...

There were 31 pieces of trash that included 11 recyclable containers (6 redeemable) and 20 pieces of miscellaneous rubbish that included plastic bags, styrofoam cups, fishing line, bait tubs, and a power strip.  YTD total stands at 2935.


suep said...

Al it was really something for us all to come together for a moment, at the place where the waters come together in Concord. Sounds like you and Erik had a great day.
Next trip to Concord I will definitely have my boat with me !

Any Doorway said...

Thanks for what you do! I've recently started doing the same in Western Maryland, just on the land and banks of streams so far. I've also just found your blog, so I'm wondering about your technique for collecting trash while in a boat. I have a kayak, but with a spray skirt & floatation, it's too difficult & wouldn't hold much. Looks like you have a longer, sea-type kayak. Do you put the trash IN your boat or somehow fasten it on top?

Al said...

Suep, Great! Sounds good.

Al said...

Any Doorway, Your welcome! I've visited your blog and read of the similar terrestrial trash patrols you've done. Nice work!

For me, using my boat in trash recovery operations is a continuously evolving process. My fore and aft (below deck) compartments are sealed from the cockpit in which I sit. This is a good thing as I prefer the cockpit to remain trash free if at all possible! Otherwise a few stowaway spiders can create an "abandon ship" situation! I speak from experience.

Trash that is placed in the aft compartment goes into a large trash bag. The forward compartment is only used for plastic bottles and aluminum cans.
Topside (above deck), I place trash in a dry bag and odd shaped larger objects are lashed down with bungee cords.
I convey the trash from the water to my gloved hand via my paddle blade as this extends my reach.

Meeting the challenge of making it all fit onboard provides a sense of satisfaction.

If your boat has only one large compartment (in which you sit) you may want to keep any trash you collect inside of a tightly sealed dry bag. Happy trashpaddling!