considerate paddler has started the year by setting a benchmark for dumb
actions. This kind soul has freed all other paddlers from the stigma of
being first in the new year to successfully complete a faux pas.
joining Gary, Eric, and Bob at the Bridge to Nowhere launch site, our
illustrious voyager had his boat and gear ready to launch in record
time. Until he recalled that he had left the just printed map of the
marsh in his van. Upon reaching the van, our champ realized the need to
test the relief zipper on his wetsuit. Of course this is more readily
accomplished with two free hands. Not wanting to place the just out of
the dryer fleece vest on the ground, our paddler set it on the seat of
the van. And closed the door. With the easing of the fluid pressure on
the brain, our nature boy went into a mild panic as one of his exuberant
canine companions danced on the arm rest. The drivers side armrest. The
one with the electric door lock button. This would not have normally
caused concern to our always prepared former boy scout, since he always
carried a spare key, just in case. Except this time the spare was
attached to his other constant traveling companion…the fleece vest.
Yes, as Junior
happily pressed his face against the window, his rear paws buried in the
newly washed fleece, he revealed that while he had mastered the lock the
door trick, he had not progressed to the “unlock” portion. Our
resourceful team of paddlers shortly scavenged the high water marks and
came up with just enough wire, creative thinking and a bird watcher with
nimble fingers to rectify the situation.
pays off !!!
wind aided the ebb tide in redefining the mean low water depths. That,
or the charts were referring to inches of depth at mean low water, not
feet. After a relaxing five or so miles of mud poling and occasional
paddling the group made tracks for the take out. Spirits were high, and
smiles were as big and bright as the surrounding sky. Rounding Main
Point and heading toward Turtle Cove “Old Barny”, seven miles distant
stood sentinel over the vast expanse of bay and salt marsh. A solitary
Loon parallel paddled just to the north of our track, and repeatedly
heralded our return to the salt marsh. As we turned south from Log Creek
(appropriately named) onto Cedar Creek, we were greeted by a great Short
Eared Owl working the marsh for a New Years meal.
paddlers will spot a Loon in it’s splendid summer plumage during warm
weather excursions. The Short Eared Owl however, maintains a summer
residence north of the tree line. The Jersey Shore salt marsh is a
winter habitat of this far ranging visitor from the north. A magnificent
treat for our paddling efforts. The abandoned bridge is an excellent
elevated observatory for birders to survey the salt marsh for miles
around. The surrounding salt marsh is best paddled with the tide in.
Clear uninhibited vistas, warm penetrating sun, nature in progress. Is
there a better way to start the new year? The Bridge to Nowhere really
does lead to some where very unique.
Thanks guys for
not leaving when I told you to, and for helping me get the car unlocked.