Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rain Day

It's raining lightly with high tide still to come, but not far off.  The wind is light as I start the portage, shouldering my canoe and looking out at the waters as I walk and seeing small waves without any white on the peaks.  I decide to paddle down to Gulf Pond, having not been there in a very long time.

The wind is out of the south and light as it is, the eight miles of open water gives it time and energy to build a small onshore wave.  Near shore, near the safety of shore that I paddle in during winter, the wave is a messy chop no more than a foot high, but constantly irregular in shape and size.  As I near Pond Point, the shore becomes a seawall.  It is a neighborhood known as Point Beach, but this is a name given to it by people who look out from land.  From the water, in a small canoe, it is just a seawall and the registered name fits poorly.  The onshore waves come in at an angle and echo back off of the wall at an equal and opposite angle.  Waves add, peaks double and wave troughs descend twice as normal, and there is everything in between, and there is no weather side to watch because the waves come from all directions.  Clapotis - the omnidirectional jumble. 

I round Pond Point into Calf Pen Bay and the waters mellow into simple foot high waves out of the south.  I follow the shore around the bay in its relative kindness, the rain still light and steady, but I rethink the trip to Gulf Pond.  There will be more chop around the next point and it is slow steady work paddling in such stuff.

I turn back at the south end of the bay, stopping for a moment in the mouth of Calf Pen Creek.  The tide is still flooding and the clearance under the bridge is barely enough, so I exit the creek not wanting to be stuck up there waiting for the water to drop (I could portage out, but I'd probably have to cross private property to do so). 

I spot a loon in the bay as I head south. 
I find three male long tailed ducks off of Pond Point.

The clapotis is still having its fun when I get to the seawall, but beyond that the sea has calmed some as the wind is either dropping or shifting direction.  It tempts me to stay out.  I resist.

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