Wednesday, July 11, 2018


I don't set out from here too often during the summer.  This is big boat water...amateurs with big boats to be more accurate.  Big wakes, big noise, big speed, small seamanship.  But, this is midweek and I get out early (for big boats early means before noon).  I start at the site of 18th-19th century ferry.  100 feet upriver I'll paddle under an Osprey nest, and that turns the trip just so much wilder than it would otherwise be.

I have a 15 minute talk with a guy who is poking around the beach with a metal detector..."goofing off," he says.

Teh Ely House
I find that first nest dilapidated with an immature Bald Eagle perched about 50 yards away. We had a powerful windstorm a little over a month ago and I've noted that more than a few Osprey nests were damaged.  It's possible that the young were tossed from the nest, or what remained of the nest, during the storm, and the adults have little reason to maintain it.  Up on the Salmon River, a couple of Osprey built new nests in new locations.  This is interesting because Osprey return to the same nest locations each year after migrations, even if the nest doesn't survive the winter.  In this case, a storm, some of the Osprey pick up and move to a new nest spot.

Botom of the Selden Channel
The next marker on the trip is the Ely House, which stands at the mouth of Hamburg Cove.  Ely's Ferry is where I started.  I can't say exactly why, but I very much like looking up the forested shoreline and seeing that house in the distance.The house is an ideal location for someone working the river.  I think it is still an ideal location even if one's work isn't on the river.  The owner is out watering his vegetable garden as I pass.  We wave to each other.

Half a dozen Osprey are in sight at the bottom of the Selden Channel.  Some of the nests look good and a young Osprey head peeps up from one of the nests.  It is a pleasant paddle and I have the channel to myself all the way through.  Great Egrets work the edges here and there, and more Osprey show themselves as I go.

When I exit the top of the channel I follow the island downstream for a short ways and then cut over to the small island that stands off of the Chester boat launch.  The Essex steam train trundles by on its way up to its stop on the bank opposite the Goodspeed Opera House. 

The heat comes on as I follow the west bank.  It's damned near sleepy here in the canoe, but even now the motorboat traffic is very light.  I ride a few wakes, I cross the river, I lift the canoe from the water.

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