Sunday, January 26, 2020


I set out just before high tide, the water just a few inches below the boat launch parking lot.  It was a very short portage.
There was more wind than I expected, more than the weather service said.  But, it is almost a standard observation at this location.  Unless it is dead calm, there is always more wind than I expect.  But, there is a wind chill today, the air temperature about 35F and having grown up in winter country I know that the wind chill can cause you to overestimate the actual wind speed.

I decide to head up Neck River and Bailey Creek.  The Sneak, which passes from Bailey Creek into the East River is one of the first canoeable passages to hold ice and I am curious to see if it is frozen.  I push a small flock of eight Buffleheads up the river.  Every time I near them they fly up a bend or two and settle back in.  I spot two dozen Canada Geese out in the center of Ox Meadow (the island defined by the East and Neck Rivers and Bailey Creek).  The last time that I flush the Buffleheads a single male Common Merganser is mixed in with them.

The Long Cut
The Sneak is open and well full with the high tide.  I turn off into the Long Cut before reaching the East River.  I'll have the wind and my face on the return and I seem to be sailing along at a good clip.  The Long Cut is also full and it is an easy paddle back into Bailey Creek, where I flush about 40 Black Ducks and about the same number of Canada Geese.  Then I continue up until I get to the canoeable end where it flows through a small submerged culvert.

Bailey Creek
It is a headwind paddle on the way out.  Although high tide was about an hour ago, the water is still rising.  The onshore wind is pushing the water level up a few inches over the predicted tide level.  The trip is a short one, just two hours and I finish about an hour and a half after high tide.  But, the water at the launch is higher than when I started by about 3 inches due to the wind.

No comments: