Hey Boston Harbor Paddlers

Heading up to your neck of the woods next month for our annual trek.

Last year we put our kayaks in at Hingham Harbor and enjoyed paddling around the south shore Islands.

We would very much like to paddle right around Boston Harbor proper, and are looking for a launching spot convient to the south shore, (where we will be staying).

Some place where we won’t be screwed by a low tide, and is a safe place to leave the vehicle.

Possible around Squantum, Quincy, Castle Island or Malibou -

Any good suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



quincy beach
Quincy Beach works. Parking is good, tides not too bad.

Where is " Quincy Beach" ?

– Last Updated: Jul-02-09 5:46 AM EST –

If you mean Wollaston, (not sure of the spelling), that would be no good a low tide.

- No water !


Pemberton Point, Hull, MA

– Last Updated: Jul-02-09 6:24 AM EST –

drive all the way to tip of Hull, by the high school and wind mill. There is a launch and parking there. Shoot across, or with the outgoing tide at Hull Gut (about 3 knots), and you'll be out to Georges Island, the Brewsters (outer islands) and beyond. (Watch the powerboats going out/coming in through the Gut.)

Or cross the Gut and get behind Peddocks Island to the inner Boston Harbor Islands, e.g. Long, Rainsford, Lovell.

Or dodge the the Gut altogether and paddle towards Hingham and the inner islands, e.g. Grape, Bumpkin, etc.

You can launch at any tide at Pemberton. Whether your car will get broken into. Hey... I hear suburburn boys can get just as wild as the homeboys in Boston.... (kids will be kids... Break an arm if you catch a punk, okay? ;) )

Just google map, Hull, MA.


How about Hull Gut?
You can put in at the School right at the east side of Hull Gut. The current is a bitch, but you’re a close shot to the Harbor Islands.

Watch the traffic on Nantasket Roads (the shipping channel between Hull and Boston Harbor Light). And be aware that conditions can sometimes get rough in that stretch if there is an East swell and ebbing tide.

The Harbor islands are great for exploring.

quincy beach.
Yeah, I Wollaston Beach.

I thought it’s got a little walk to the water at low tide, but not far. After all, there’s a boat house right there at the beach, right? Can’t be more than a few hundred feet to the water? Maybe I’m remembering wrong. Never put in a kayak there. Just drove past it a hundred times.

I used to put in there quite a bit
and paddle from there to camp on an island on weekends. A few hundred feet is about it. It does make a significant difference between low and high tides. At higher tides the water comes right up close, so you can’t really get much closer at that type of beach.

Pemberton Point/Hull Gut would be good. It can give you some fun mid tide.

Paddle out to The Graves if that would work for what you’re wanting to do. That’s a cool lighthouse sitting out there by itself among a bunch of rock, and you can check out other islands along the way.

Boat ramp on Morrissey Boulevard
There is a large boat ramp on Morrissey Boulevard next to the gas tank. There is plenty of parking and no tidal problems. It gives easy access to Thompson, Spectacle, Long, Rainsford and the other islands closer to the city than those near Hingham. The parking is visible from Morrissey, which makes break ins unlikely.

The only downside is that the ramp is near a couple of marinas, so the water right there gets busy. Also, as an urban boat ramp, there is a fair amount of litter which is always a bummer. Still, I live closer to City Point in South Boston, but I go the extra five minutes to this ramp instead, mostly because there is plenty of parking without a wide beach to carry gear over.

If you haven’t paddled that portion of Boston Harbor, you will be pleasantly surprised at how remote the islands feel. Keep your head on a swivel, though, because there are plenty of drunk fisherman out there and the Salem and Hingham ferries can really come up on you fast.

Also My Favorite Launch…

– Last Updated: Jul-02-09 11:29 AM EST –

being 15-20 minutes from JP.


I wouldn't bet on being next to Morrisey as "preventive" for break-ins, especially since the cars are pretty much zooming by. In "plain view" is the best for jimmying into a car. :) Heck, had my car broken into in a parking lot, right next to busy Washington St in the South End.

But, as a city dweller, I don't worry about the car. If it happens, it happens. Never had my car broken into on that ramp during the day.

The other plus of this launch is the cobble stone bottom. No freakin' gooey mud flats to walk across, e.g. Hingham, Squantum, etc.


Boston Harbor Launch sites

– Last Updated: Jul-02-09 4:20 PM EST –

Finding a Boston Harbor Launch site on the south side that isn't muck at low tide is kind of tough. Hingham Harbor, Wollaston Beach and the other Quincy Beaches all have substantial mud flats and low tide.

You might want to try the boat ramp at the Quincy Marine Center, next to the Quincy Yacht Club on Sea St. in the Hough's Neck section of Quincy. It doesn't get a lot of use from powerboaters at low tide, and you can usually launch without much trouble even at high tide except on real busy weekends. There's ample parking (free) and you'll have reasonable access to the Harbor and the Islands.

You might want to touch base with the folks at http://www.wtpaddlers.org/ if you want some company (I think you'll recognize some folks there from some of your preveious North River races)

Maybe we'll see you on the water!

We did those Islands last year.
I know the Hull Gut area well.

-Would like to do Boston Harbor proper this year



Ah, that sounds like just the ticket

We’ll check it out.



Ah, ha
the ever popular Turkey boat guy.


We’ll check this one out also.

We will be doing the race again this year also.

We originally heard that they were not having it since they were building a new bridge at the starting line, but at last check they said it was still on.

We just got back from Maryland yesterday where we ordered a new Susquehanna C-2 stock, and hopefully if we get it in time the North River race will be it’s maiden race.

Short story if I may:

We were driving up last year and were some where in the middle of Virginia, and we got a call form Sarah, (North river race head honcho). She asked if we minded being interviewed by the local newspaper reporter up there, and naturally we said “OK by us”.

About a hour later we got a call from the reporter, and since I was driving, my wife did the talking.

They blabbed for a good half hour, and the reporter said to make sure we checked out the newspaper since they would be doing a story on us.

Needless to say we were very excited, and did in fact get a zillion and one copies of the story which was about three columns wide.

The only problem was there was a picture about five by seven that accompanied it entitled something like " the happily married paddling couple, Jack and Nanci", and it was not us.

We got many comments from relatives and friends like “wow, you guys sure disguised yourself for the better”.

Just prior to the start of the race, I was shooting the breeze with a guy who turned out to be the editor of the paper, and when we introduced ourselves to each other, he just gave me a big stare and said, “Oh no!”



Beautiful boat Sing

– Last Updated: Jul-03-09 2:49 PM EST –

I thought you were a surf boat guy though.
That sure looks like the Mailibou bridge in the back ground.
Memories: when we were kids, we used to jump off the bridge, but we had to be careful of the tide. When it was low, you would sink up to your waist in mud, and that is where we learned to hold our breath for as long as it took to wiggle free and come to the surface.
In those days, as it probably is now, it was illegal to jump off the bridge, and we used to line up on the rail and when the MDC cop would pull up in the cruiser, we would shoot him the bird and jump.
When they caught the timid ones who were afraid to jump, they would piut them in the cruiser, drive them up to the Blue Hills, and then let them out with no shoes, and just their bathing suit on. - Needless to say, I never got caught, and I am still here, so I was always able to wiggle out of the mud.

What part of JP are you from ?
the "bride" is from Glenside Ave.

I am an old Dorchester boy.


From hull gut
Go North. Sounds like you did the Hingham Harbor Islands last time, right? Grape, Peddocks, maybe?

You want to do the Brewsters and Lovell and Georges this time. Maybe up to Little Calf and Graves, etc?

Pemberton Pt/ Hull Gut is the best put in for those outer harbor islands, I’d say.

If you’d prefer to do the inner Harbor Islands, like Rainsford and Long and others I can’t remember the names of, then Wollaston or South Boston might be better places to launch. Personally, I’d skip those for the outer islands though. It’s incredible out there. You’d never guess you’re so close to a big city. I spent a lot of my graduate school time out among those islands. More time than I should admit! :slight_smile:

You’ll get a lot less traffic in the outer islands too. Be very careful crossing Nantasket Roads from Hull to Little Brewster, and stay out of the shipping channel that’s between the outer islands and the Dinosaur Eggs in Winthrop (NE of Lovell). And watch for fast ferries zipping between Lovell and Gallops. eek!