Thursday, June 4, 2015

Neither Lands

I put in on a river that was new to me and one that I expected much from, but when I took out at the end of the trip I found that I had not written a thing in my journal.

I started just below Mystic Seaport, one of the best of maritime museums.  Here, the river is fairly wide and the current benign.  Paddling past the museum turned out to be the highpoint of the trip, first passing under the iron hulled sailing ship, Joseph Conrad, and then past the whaling ship, Charles Morgan, the only sail powered whaling ship afloat.  It is a surprisingly small ship.

Charles Morgan ahead, Joseph Conrad to the right

I found myself in the neither lands, so to speak.  The river was much more like a lake than a river, and it no longer had the curiosities of a working seaport.  There were no cargo ships, no fishing vessels, no processing plants or drydocks.  All of the diversity of purpose that those earlier boats held had been replaced by motor yachts...all of them individual and different but all of them built for the same purpose, to be driven around in the water six or ten days a year.  They are boring.

Upstream, the river stayed lake-like for a bit over an hours worth of paddling.  It was sub-natural or sub-industrial to borrow a slant from the word suburban.  Suburbs lack the energy of a big city, but also lack the tranquility of the country....similarly the Mystic is stuck lacking enough nature to be interesting and missing the curiosities of a working port.  It's just water.

Anyway, after that hour, the river narrowed sharply and became a river, for a quarter mile.  Than it split and became two shallow creeks.  I waded one for awhile until it seemed that the effort would go nowhere.

I passed my put in on the way down and paddled on a half hour, under the unique 4-bar linkage Mystic drawbridge, then turning back at the railroad swing bridge, quite weary of paddling in a boat parking lot.

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