Sunday, July 21, 2024

Shangri La in a Bottle

 

Getting out on the water early was the key to beating the heat this past week.  In some ways it felt like I was racing against the rising sun.  On Tuesday, reached my turnaround point at Fairhaven Bay on the Sudbury River before 9 am.

Earlier in the week another early start had me reaching the confluence at Egg Rock before 7 am...

The inscription is sitting high and dry these days...

The early starts allowed for some good wildlife encounters such as this 8-point buck...

...and this recently fledged eagle at the Sudbury River nest site...
He'd just demonstrated his ability to take flight...

Previously I thought this nest had gone unused this season.  However the eaglet's calls alerted me to his presence.  As far as I could tell there was only one eaglet.  

The deer and eaglet were in addition to the usual herons (blue and green), kingfishers, and lots of killdeers along the Concord River.

Saw my first Cardinal flower of 2024...

Wrapped up my paddling week on Thursday with a Nashua River paddle launching from the Oxbow N.W.R. in Harvard, MA...

This big old snapping turtle pushed aside a floating bottle in order to climb out of the water...

More and more wildflowers are blooming such as this Joe Pye Weed...



Trash from last Sunday on the lower Assabet and upper Concord rivers...
...and Tuesday from the Sudbury River (mostly shore fishermen stuff at Sherman's Bridge)...

Thursday saw an uptick in trash especially "nip" bottles (55 of them) on the Nashua River...


An empty glass bottle of Shangri La found in the Sudbury River...
This bottle wasn't from Tibet, where I thought Shangri-la was, but instead from the top of Serra dos Cocais, in Valinhos, in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil.  Funny, my finding shady spots and a freshening breeze while out on the river had me thinking I'd found my own Shangri-la.  Sure beats winter!


On the Nashua River, standing out amidst the many plastic "nip" bottles, was this elegant and nicely embossed glass mini-bottle which originated in Ukraine (Nemiroff Vodka)... ...
It held only 0.05 liters. or a little less than 2 ounces.

A receptacle intended solely for mono-filament fishing line had trash left at its base by shore fishermen...



Saturday, July 13, 2024

Westerly Without a Paddle

 

Spent a few days in Westerly, Rhode Island this past week.  Due to the nature of the trip I was without my boat and paddle. Entered Rhode Island from the west where just before crossing the Pawcatuck River I came upon the above pictured mural in the village of Pawcatuck (Stonington, CT).  Unlike me, the pictured Native American canoeist has his boat and paddle.

On the Rhode Island side of the river is this historic sign noting this spot being the westerly boundary of Rhode Island since 1663... 

A little further to the south is the village of Watch Hill where in Village Park there's a statue of the eastern Niantic Sachem, Ninigret, holding two tautog (blackfish) while looking out upon the bay...

The statue was sculpted by Enid Yandell in 1914.


Within walking distance of the sculpture is the more-than-a-mile long barrier spit, Napatree Point...
...jutting into the sea and thus protecting the mouth of the Pawcatuck River and Little Narragansett Bay.

It's significance is explained in two kiosks:




A Mylar Balloon collection station...

Past Napatree Point was the Watch Hill Lighthouse enveloped in fog on this early morning...
Walking closer got a clearer view...

A seaside restaurant across from Misquamicut Beach took care to avoid the use of plastic utensils...

...the beach saw advancing and retreating fog...
...along with light southerly winds off the ocean making this corner of Rhode Island a great place to escape the oppressive heat of late.


Once back home I did get in an early morning "beat the heat" outing on the Assabet River...

...where this year's eaglet pair appeared to be on the outs with one another ...


Only a minimal amount of trash encountered...



Saturday, July 6, 2024

Coasting Fort to Fort

 

As tempting as Children's Island looked in Tuesday morning's sparkling sunshine I continued hugging the coast of Marblehead and pulled into a serene Dolliber Cove where little Crowninshield Island offered an ideal spot to land...


I'd launched 2 hours before high tide from Winter Island Maritime Park (Fort Pickering) in Salem, MA and paddled across the mouth of Salem Harbor to Marblehead's Naugus Head.  Headed southeast from there rounding Peach's Point before reaching Dolliber Cove.  The cove offered a few glimpses of days gone by:
This lobsterman's shack...
...and this banks dory...
...that I'm guessing has never been shrink-wrapped.

Emerged out of the protected cove and looked across the mouth of Marblehead Harbor to the tip of Marblehead Neck...

 Hard to my right was Gale's Head...

...where the guns of Fort Sewall decided who could and couldn't enter Marblehead Harbor.  The fort's biggest moment came during the War of 1812 when the USS Constitution was being chased down by two British frigates, HMS Tenedos and HMS Endymion.  The Constitution found refuge in the harbor while Fort Sewall's guns convinced the British ships to give up the chase.  

Retraced my steps back to Naugus Head and then entered Salem Harbor following its east side to its southern terminus at the mouth of the Forest River...

  Followed the harbor's west side on the way out passing Jeggle Island...

...and several pocket-beaches until reaching Derby Wharf Light Station marking the entry point...

...to the South River where the Salem Maritime National Historic Site includes the Salem Custom House and a replica of the tall ship Friendship of Salem...

...the Friendship's figurehead at the ship's prow...
...perhaps an example of the idiom "putting your best foot forward".

Then it was back to Fort Pickering Light...
...and a post-paddle swim within sight of the little lighthouse.  Winter Island is a great spot from which to access Salem Harbor.  It offers parking (for a fee), restrooms, a beach, camping, and the remains of Fort Pickering.

A chart showing the areas visited...



Yesterday I launched into the Nashua River at Petapawag in Groton, MA and headed upriver.  At the Route 119/111 bridge it was noted that all the tree limbs and debris had been removed...

 
The river was quiet on this morning-after booming Fourth of July celebrations...
...such as the Boston Pops annual performance of the "1812 Overture".
 
Paddled into the Dead River, a cut-off section of river, where this green heron had the place to himself...


Tuesday's trash from the waters around Salem/Marblehead...


Trash from the Nashua on Friday...