Sunday, December 23, 2018

Naming Rights

I put in from the well hidden launch on the east side of Wheeler Marsh just after the peak of a high high tide.  The temperature was in the 30's, the sun out and there was just a bit of breeze making it cold enough on bare skin that I wore a pair of thin gloves. 

I headed upriver and then back into the first inlet, which is formed by a 1/4 mile long and twenty foot high forested ridge that appears to have glacial origins in that the exposed bank is mostly large rounded cobbles.  It was used by Native Americans as a temporary fishing/hunting camp site.  The town has some artifacts on display at Town Hall. It's no way near large enough to live on for any length of time.  Anyway, the ridge peters out near the mainland and with the high tide there is enough water to push through the spartina into the channel on the upriver side.  I flush one Great Blue Heron and ten Black Ducks in the process.

Then, I head back out to the "main" marsh and continue upriver with an opposing current that is steadily increasing.  The water marks show that the tide has dropped no more than 2 inches, usually this does not come with much current, but I suppose due to the very high tide there is already a strong flow.  Out in the main river the current is 3 to 1. That is, three times as long to go up against the current as to return.  A large Common Loon surfaces 50 yards away, but as I am already paddling away from it, it just goes back to fishing.
Pepe's Rock
I crawl up to the first bridge, cross the river and begin speeding down the east bank.  I cross over to Nell's Island at Pepe's Rock.  I have no idea who Pepe was, but there is a Pepe's Farm Road in town as well.  If both are named for the same person, then the question is what does a farmer have to do with a rock in the river.  I also have no idea who Nell was or why this barely sea level island deserved to be named at all other than to alert steamboats not to run into it.  In Nell's channel I spot another large Common Loon and another Great Blue Heron.

Nell's channel
When I get down to Milford Point, I turn left and follow the shoreline more or less back to where I began.

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