Above the stone arch bridge, I turn us back into the the little creek that drains from the hills where someone built a stone dam 160 years ago to power a sawmill.
I always try to take people in here. I like showing them the collision of man and nature. With the high tide, we paddle right to the remains of the dam.
Back in the river, we continue upstream, under the deadfall that guards Foote Bridge, under Foote Bridge, and into the swamp where the river becomes narrow and paddling is a contortion exercise.
The tide has turned, but with the lag, the current is still slack. It catches up with us as we return.
By the time we've returned to the marsh sneak, the water is down a foot or so. This narrows the sneak a surprising amount. Another 1/2 hour and it would be a close call to pass through.
I don't know why, but the willets are far more aggressive on the return. They are putting on the sentinel bird show, coming out and loudly scolding, circling around us and at times flying straight at us only to veer away with ten feet to go. All that has changed is the level of the tide. Perhaps they were sitting tight at their nests while the water was high.