September 14th dawned cloudy and cool with a hint of rain in the air, one of those days it would have been easy to stay at home and do chores, but we escaped to row and sail the beautiful Poquonock River which flows alongside Bluff Point State Park. It also flows along the Groton-New London Airport but the old Seaplane base is long closed and the few private planes joined in the fun with a wing wag or two. The sun came out. A sea breeze sprang up. Life was good; we would have missed all this if we had stayed home.
We used local knowledge (thanks Dan Nelson) and launched at the Calvin Burrows Baseball Field just off South Road before going under the railroad. It is the railroad bridge over the River that makes this place perfect for our type of boating. The sequence was: launch, row under the rail bridge, row on to pass through the old trolley line bridge abutments, beach on the airport side to raise sail and then sail to the barrier beach where the river meets the sea. It also helps that the chart shows depths ranging for 4 ft. to 2 ft. to 0 ft. - it keeps the motorboats at bay.
First, the Participants: Ellie Czarnowski with her Skeery and two sea-going puppy dogs, René Boelig, able crew on our Peapod, Brian Cooper with his fabric-on-frame Whitehall, John Hacunda with his bright yellow kayak made from traditional recycled soda bottles and myself, Bill Rutherford, Chief instigator.
The high point of the day was Ellie becoming comfortable sailing the Skeery. Given confidence by the group, Ellie sailed her home all the way upriver from the beach. That is what going out on the water with our group is all about; you do not have to be a stellar sailor, paddler or row with your oars feathered inches above the water to have a good time and perhaps learn a few new tricks from others. Mark your calendar for the the second Saturday in September, next, as the English say, and plan to join us for this relaxing, fun outing
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