Its apx 55 miles from Hartord @ apx 1 hour of typical drive time.
PRINT YOUR DIRECTIONS, LOOK AT YOUR MAPS. CINDY HAS INFORMED ME THAT THERE IS AN ART SHOW IN THE OLD TOWN SO WE MAY ? HAVE TO BE CAUTIONS IN AND OFF THE EXIT AREA AND TO TAKE A DIFFERENT ROUTE TO THE BBQ AREA TO AVOID ANY POSSIBILITY TRAFFIC.
We will wait up to apx 11:30 just in case there is OR WAS traffic.
I am taking rte 2 to 11..cut off at Witch Meadow Rd then continue down 85 to I 95 N... so i will experience the same traffic you may.
I know there is about room for 60 or so cars at best if parked correctly maybe only 20 if not --- There are spots along the road too yet limited also, Doubble park with other group members if possible.....but as usual this too is a popular spot for the locals and others, If you can get there earlier you will get the prime spots and also cut down on any possible beach traffic..study your maps to avoid beach traffic..there are a bunch of alternate routs that work very well...
This event is an alternate event for those of you that are Not Going or can not go for some reasons to the Yak Jam event down in Norwalk CT: http://www.meetup.com/StamfordKayakGroup/events/25582531/
Saturday: Variable winds less than 5 kt becoming SW 5 to 8 kt in the morning. Sunny. Seas 1 ft or less.
I like this particular location because it is more of a single destination with sites along the way and in a big loop if conditions warrant it, (tide conditions have to be right to go under 1 low bridge comfortably). A spot just outside of Ram island is our snack destination and where we can enjoy the beach for some time. Its called AHOY island.
The only bad thing here is "Its got the most boat traffic out of any place i list in the year" compared to any previous events, its not bad at all but something to be aware of.
This adds to our experience about channels and its just what is here for you to experience.
We will enjoy the trip.
Since the tide is right, its the EAST side of Mason island under the Mason Island Road Bridge first to get to Ram Island area..
Look at the following info if interested:
I have noticed the group separating apart too much while out paddling to be safe enough for some in rougher conditions and while others are also still working on their skills. I am finding it hard to be up front so i can have you go to the areas i have in mind. Some areas have tide or other considerations and sometimes there is a certain order of stops along the way because of tide-wind +/- or because i have a FEATURE for you to explore and if you blast by, its a lost part of the event.
So in many cases i may be somewhere in the middle of the split groups and it benefits very few including myself.
I also will help those that are in the back since their boats are least built for travel and their skills are the least developed yet who still want to enjoy the event also. Its hard for me to be in both spots at once.
On this particular event those that like to go fast can do so as a separate pod but make sure someone has the skills and equipment to perform self and assisted rescues (some of you seen why on the Bluff Point event -- (just consider swimming to shore a dum option, while getting the person back in the boat in less that 5 minutes max the preferred option.) , we will all meet at AHOY-Quirk - Ram Island which is pretty easy to find, I have a set spot where i plan to go for a few reasons, you can go where you want and stay there or join a few of us at the planned spot.
There is a table and other reasons for the spot i chose.
On the return trip if you are not familiar with the island layouts and you paddle ahead of everyone, Good Luck.
I have chosen that the group to go around both sides of Mason Island since we are more of a touring group to see whats out there and there may also be wind reasons for either side first and a last order of sequence. IE SW wind of 9k or so and low tide or if it looks like the main river channel has a lot of boat traffic. Then its East side of Mason first also.
Soo, This location is good spot to continue to build up some more strength and skills since a future paddle to search for Sachems Skull near StoneHenge is about a 12 or so mile total trip out in sea conditions which may be totally flat or with 2 foot waves in some spots. Wind is also something to be aware of. Being ready for this is good thing, and you will learn to handle seas if for some reason the weather changes un-expectantly wether you join us for the Sachems Skull Hunt or Thimbull Islands trip or not, learning more skills is a good thing.
Weather, sea: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=41.31907562295138&lon=-71.9769287109375&site=okx&unit=0&lg=en&FcstType=text
Weather, air: http://www.usairnet.com/cgi-bin/launch/code.cgi?Submit=Go&sta=KGON&state=CT
Tides: Saturday 9:27 L 2:47 H
Sun 10 H 4:30 L
It really only matters how we have to tie up our boats at AHOY-QUIRK-Ram Island and the Mason Island Road bridge, yet we still can make it under the bridge at high tide but have to duck.
This paddling event starts under the I-95 Bridge and we head out to the Mystic Seaport to check out the sights, make like Pierats and scare the tourist people on the ships.
After the Pierat thing, We will pass under the 2 Bigger bridges and head out to the left or right of Mason Island until its end.
From there its cross the open channel to Ram Island for our snack.
You can use the 2 markers to target a course but just use caution. The chart above shows the spot(s).
This channel is frequented by bigger boats so wake waves are pretty large at times (just point into them and you will do ok) and we have to time our crossing a bit to be free of any problems.
AHOY*-QUIRK-Ram island area is our destination for our snack and beach time. bring something comfortable to lay on, use dry bags for items..etc...
From Ram island we head to the other side of Mason Island and / or can divert to the 2 other islands if the desire is there.
Then head back to the Sea Port then to the boat launch.
The group potluck Barbie-q is at the nearby BB cove. (info further down)
BOAT LAUNCH SITE DIRECTIONS : Launch Site: Under I-95 Bridge Launch.
Initial Directions: THERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO GET HERE..ONE IS 9 SOUTH TO 95 NORTH.
USE YOUR SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS FROM YOUr LOCATION OR JUST USE YOUR GPS.
The following directions are just a guide. THE WAY I WILL TAKE IS RT 2 SOUTH TO rte 11 SOUTH.. TAKE LEFT at Witch Meadow exit to avoid the end of the highway back up, go to a right (south) onto rte 85, ---> go under rte 395 ... pass by THE MALL, AND GET ONTO 95 NORTH TILL THE # 89 EXIT AND FOLLOW THE REST OF THE DIRECTIONS BELOW.. (MIGHT EVEN TAKE 395 TO 32..ETC..NOT SURE YET.) depends on traffic, etc.. its apx 1 hour from hartford..so plan ahead.
From the West: Take I-95 North to exit # 89.[/color] at exit end: Make a right to go onto Allyn Street. Then take a left on Sandy Hollow Road. Continue until the end of Sandy Hollow Road at which you will make a left onto ( Cow Hill Rd) or High Street. (i have seen both names)...Just go left here,
Then go a short distance to the first right turn onto Bindloss Ave, following to its end.
( this is a side street with a boat launch sign as best i can remember) --
make a LEFT turn onto River Road -- Once on River Road continue on a short distance and just after you go under I- 95 Bridge,
the boat launch/Parking area is on your right. Pick any spot to park and carry down the yaks.. GPS ADDRESS: APX 550 or 604 RIVER ROAD, MYSTIC, CT
The group Potluck Barbie-Q spot is nearby at Beebe Park in Mystic-Groton line. Parking is limited but we can all fit if we park in a way that lets us all have acess.
Beebe Pond Park "NEW Pot Luck BARBIE-Q SPOT"
GPS: apx 700 Noank Road Groton
NEW BBQ SPOT DIRECTIONS BECAUSE OF THE ART SHOW IN MYSTIC TOWN: From Boat ramp, Head back to Sandy Hollow Road (the same way you came in), Cross Allyn St and continue strait on Sandy Hollow rd to its end., Take a left (south) onto NOANK LEADYARD ROAD.
Cross over Route 1,
Continue Strait onto FISHTOWN RD to its meeting up with NOANK RD,
Take a LEFT onto NOANK RD, Parking is on the left across from the little cove.
Where to Park: A small dirt parking area is located at the entrance just off Route 215 and on the side of rte 215 as needed.
We will head in a short ways for privacy. Bring your chairs and small tables. I will have the Webber on Wheels grill.
Description: Beebe Pond Park encompasses 97 acres of woodlands with a salt pond, remnants of an old mill, stone walls, swamp and stream. Trails are easy to moderate.
Regulations: Unruly people must be on a leash; stay on marked trails; no open fires or camping; no motorized vehicles; no cutting trees or brush.
Amenities: Picnic table near Route 215 entrance.
Natural Features: Many rock outcrops, ledges and large glacial boulders are found throughout property.
More information: http://www.grotonrec.com/docs/2008%20-%20Groton%20Trails%20Map.pdf
This trip is ok for most recreational and all sea kayaks if you feel up to it, we will watch out for you and help if needed. But i will make a decision if the wind is above 10 mph and seas are more than 2 feet are in the forecast.
Rain cancells the event.
I will update the weather as we get closer to the event..
Simple stuff to have is a sponge, pfd and whistle, pump and paddlefloat.. If you dont have this, dont worry, most of us have this on our own boats so there should be enough..but if you can get these items, they are cheapo life insurance.
Please understand i can only carry 7 total and prefer to have enough for those that reserved and also not to have any sitting un supervised in the parking lot or left on the boat ramp.
ANY of MY KAYAKS need to be reserved prior to me leaving for the PADDLE SITE preferably by the night prior to or the event: (i may not get a chance to check MEETUP.COM in the morning of the event and there is the pre-travel time..etc for me to get busy with).
Yes its a STRAPPING & WAPPING ** $20.00** PER FULL DAY for kayak types, brands and special equipment you simply can not get from any other source.
(This is really a donation i do need to maintain, repair, and add new equipment over time. it also covers the costs of the "Decent Quality" boats with all the Special Accessories including the transportation to and from the site, etc.)
Or you can rent the DURABLE Plastic ones they have at http://www.cckstore.com/rentals/rentals.htm
(or where ever else you get them) for a $50+ price range and you get to clean and load-unload them yourself on your own car if my yaks are not OK for you.
If you have a lot of money, a junky car that ya don't care if the roof caves in a bit, and think that dragging some Hunk of plastic on the rough tar all the way down the boat ramp to the water is how you portage to the water, oh i forgot..if you stand on the floor to get in and moving your fat azz back and forth on the plastic seat like you are scraping off your hemmeroids till you finally get to and in the water is how experts do it, then ya better rent from Collinsville or someone else.
I have some cheap life jackets and some GOOD ones, (Remember a decent life jacket should be a top quality one, its really a form of cheap life insurance so you can enjoy your life in the long run).
Everyone's favourite is the Medium Kokatat* Ladies MsFit Tour: (this is also purchased by guys since it has a great fit and versatility) Its really too small for me, but i like the way it works and feels.
Many ladies in the group have tried this one and now own the exact model also.
& another TWO i chose for me and you is :
When using my boats you have to wear the life jacket, i can not be responsible for your stupidity if you don't since its common knowledge to practice safety in this and ALL OTHER paddling groups since the unexpected happens too often.
Besides, i spent over $100 on some of these jackets for your safety, don't stuff the life jacket in the back somewhere by your azz.
I want to see your head above the water and that other part of your body can stay hidden down in the water.
I don't think you want me to take a picture of only your azz bobbing up and down with a life jacket floating by it for your funeral, the picture may say something in a unflattering way.
All my yaks come with the TOP RATED Werner Carbon Kalliste Paddles because they are Hollow and light (my recommended brand and type). Different lengths [masked]) and types (strait, or ergonomic bent, small and normal shaft dia's.)
You choose your preference.
Also for comfort is my favourite "Yak Pad's" optional accessory to all yaks on trips that we are actually going somewhere.
BOW DECK BAGS are now placed on kayaks to hold water , accessories and other items needed for quick and easy access:
PLEASE read some of the information on the hyperlinks below for the kayak specs and then INDICATE WHICH KAYAK YOU FIT IN AND OR CAN HANDLE in your RSVP if you need one of the following Yaks:
(I CAN SUGGEST WHICH ONE IF NEEDED based on your physical size and skills if you are not sure).
KAYAK #1: Eddyline Wind Dancer Fiberglass/Kevlar, Red, Rudder Equipped 18' @ 24" wide. This is an older expedition style sea kayak designed for rough sea conditions and heavy loads.
Highly stable (initial & secondary) Sea kayak of moderate weight (52 LB).
For almost any sized paddler apx (100 to 240 lbs) with beginner and up skills.
---RESERVED FOR SARAH'S FRIEND---
KAYAK #2: Necky Eliza Plastic, Fire Color, Rudder Equipped 15'-3.5'' @ 22"wide.
Stable and predictable Transitional type moderate weight (49 LB) ladies kayak
Small to Medium sized paddler (100 - 175 lbs) with Beginner and up skills.
This is the heavier model and largest cockpit of the Eliza series. http://www.frontenac-outfitters.com/kayaks/one_boat.cfm?ID=706
KAYAK #3: Necky Eliza Advanced Composite (Un Modified), Red and White, Skeg Version 15'-3'' @ 21" wide.
Stable and predictable Transitional type Light weight (45 LB) Ladies Kayak.
Small to Medium sized paddler (100 - 175 lbs) with Beginner and up skills.
This is the medium size cockpit of the Eliza series.
---RESERVED FOR CATE---
KAYAK #4: Necky Eliza Composite Special Ultra Light Version (Very Thin Fiberglass and now with reinforced floor), Yellow, Skeg Version 15'-3'' @ 21" wide.
Stable and predictable Transitional type Light weight (40 LB) Ladies Kayak.
Small to Medium sized paddler (100 - 175 lbs) with Beginner and up skills.
This is the lightest of the Eliza Series and also with the smallest cocpit.
---RESERVED FOR CYNTHIA ---
KAYAK #5: Wood Cedar Strip Night Heron by Guillemot Kayaks, Fixed Skeg 18' @ 20" wide.
Overall a stable and predictable Sea Kayak with a hard chine, low rocker Greenland style hull (50 lbs).
Greenland style Paddle available also if specifically REQUESTED.
Medium Sized Paddler (apx 150 - 220 Lbs) with NOVICE/INTERMEDIATE and up skills.
---RESERVED FOR KAREN---
KAYAK #6: NDK Greenlander Pro Fiberglass, Red, Skeg Equipped. Greenland style, fast kayak for ocean crusing. 18' @ 21" wide
Low initial but moderated secondary stability when on full edge. Medium sized paddler [masked] lbs) with a MINIMUM of Intermediate to Advanced sea paddling skills needed for this boat.
---??--- I will use this one if the others are taken.
KAYAK #7: SPACE TAKEN ON THE TRAILER by STRAWBERRY's boat .