“Dying” To Get Out?
– Last Updated: Apr-10-05 11:01 AM EST –
It's pretty exciting when you have all the equipment in place to go out for some adventure. You recognize the water is still cold by the fact that you mentioned it, along with having immersion gear. In May, the water, especially in the ocean, will still be chilly and can be dangerous even with immersion gear if you can't get back in a boat after a capsize.
I would suggest you limit your initial excursions to inland waters rather than your "favorite spot" -- Boston Harbor. Go out to the Charles River, by Charles River Kayak and Canoe, and take some paddles there. It's a nice spot, expecially in spring when the flowers and tree blossoms begin to bloom. The other nice river to paddle is the Sudbury River. Go to Lake Cochituate and/or Walden Pond to paddle and practice self rescues. Both lakes usually have some folks doing practices, though Walden tend to be Greenland folks and white water playboaters.
Once you get some practices in for self rescue and feel you can handle them, you can begin to explore some of the "protected" coastal spots for some paddling around. Hingham Bay is pretty protected from the east and south winds and waves. Weir River which runs into Hingham Bay is even more protected. Watch out for low tide though 'cause you can get stranded on extensive mud flats. Dorchester Bay (Boston Harbor) around Thompsons Island, Squantum Point, UMASS, etc. can be a very pleasant paddle. But be careful of strong winds, especially westerlies (offshore), because you won't see the steep chops that can get generated out there until you in the midst of it. Warmer weather also will see more active usage by powerboaters of the channel that run from the outer harbor into Quincy Marina and Neponset River.
There are other protected bays/estuaries down in Quincy/Weymouth area, etc. But, you need to be aware of the tides because of the strong currents that can get generated by the ebb and flow in these restricted areas.
Also, as a new paddler, you can only benefit from joining a local club that will help you develop some skills, e.g. North Shore Paddlers Network, Boston Sea Kayak Club, AMC Sea Kayaking group, etc.