Thursday, August 11, 2011

Boating Expedition

after 2 years of living on ocean street we finally made our first voyage onto the ocean from our beach. the dory we are building is still in the basement, but we didn't want to let that stop us from getting out on the water so we assembled a wood and canvas double kayak that tim got in ithaca and looked at the tide charts. we left before high tide so that we could make sure our return trip wasn't during low tide, when our beach extends out into 100 ft of clam and hermit crab filled mud. our destination was spectacle island, which we had visited before, but never by kayak.

tim and the Klepper folding kayak

it's generally quite calm in quincy bay. we got out past squantum quickly-

we passed moon island that has police and firefighter training facilities on it. it's not open to the public. though we could have landed here to count it as a harbor island visit we decided to venture on.

on the eastern side of moon is the rusty old bridge to long island, also closed to the public.

on the shore of moon island we spotted some well-camouflaged shore birds- semipalmated plovers and semipalmated sandpipers.

we brought along our old GPS that we had on Slowly to see how fast we were going. we typically made a pace of about 3.6 mph.

our first glimpse of spectacle from behind moon island.

the buildings on moon island are part of the police and firefighter training facilities. the tallest building is one they set on fire to practice putting it out.

thompson island with boston in the background-

once we passed under the bridge, out of quincy bay, the water was a little more stirred up. there is a small channel along western way that was between us and spectacle. the boat activity created wakes, but the wave action was minimal and fun and the kayak took it well.

we brought the camera that has a water case so it didn't matter when it got a little wet...

the inter-island ferry we take to get to islands like lovells and bumpkin passed by us.

a red "nun" channel marker directing the boats. when coming into a harbor you keep the red nuns to the right and the green "cans" to the left- hence the phrase "red, right, returning".

through the channel and beached on spectacle we were a little wet, but happy to have made it- and in time for lunch. it took us about 1.5 hours to paddle there.

on the beach there was a collection of found objects on display

we tied the boat up next to another display

one of the items looked like an iron pig-in-a-blanket.

the view around the south drumlin back to boston. spectacle has two drumlins that have been greatly enhanced by big dig fill. we had previously been to the north drumlin which has a closer view into the boston harbor. the south island is a little less traveled and also has great views.

Ural False Spirea (Sorbaria sorbifolia) among the evergreens

the view out to long island

deer island's wastewater treatment plan on the far right

a sign described out they capped the site after they used it as a dump for the big dig fill. they creates huge dikes (corrugated maroon metal in the picture) to contain the trash until it was properly capped.

view towards the north drumlin

in the distance we could see pleasure bay near fort independence in south boston

thompson island

a vent stack for the land fill and the trail...

right above the horizon you can see a plane landing- busy harbor!

we had the little gazebo all to ourselves for lunch

looking back to moon island where we just paddled under the bridge

top of the south drumlin

then, after a quick dip in the rather cold water, we paddled back towards quincy

a buoy that sailboats go around for races starting from wollaston beach- the SYC stands for squantum yacht club

almost home

the view back to boston from quincy bay

our first big boating adventure into the harbor was a tiring, but very rewarding success!