Vineyard Avenue, Chatham, MA
Somebody who wrote a book on kayaking Cape Cod said this paddle is PART of his favorite kayak trip on the Cape. He describes a much more complicated paddle than I dare try, in which you paddle a loop and don't end up back at your car.....you walk to your car and drive it back to pick up your kayak. Knowing my limited sense of direction, I would have us wandering fields and marshes looking for our cars.
So, let's try this. We'll launch at the Chatham town landing at the end of Vineyard Ave, a small dirt lot used by commercial clammers. We'll be launching at low tide which may be when the clammers go out. We'll paddle down the Oyster Pond River and down the back side of Harding's Beach. We'll cross the channel at Stage Harbor Light, which may have motor boats leaving Stage Harbor and going out into Chatham Harbor. We'll hug the shore on our right to stay away from motor boat traffic and be close to land that is not full of houses, go along the north edge of Morris Island and along the causeway (dike) leading to Morris Island and then up Mitchell River and into Mill Pond (by going under the bridge on Bridge Street).
That's the plan. This is not my kind of paddle because we will be seeing houses and mixing with motor boats, but at low tide there should be many shorebirds feeding on exposed mudflats and marsh...and it will be after Labor Day and not a weekend. The tide should be going out while we are heading out and will turn at Harding's Beach at about 1:30 PM.
DIRECTIONS: From Rt. 6, take Ex.11 and drive Rt 137 south to Rt 28. Turn left/east on Rt 28 South and drive about 1.9 miles to Vineyard Ave. Turn right/south on Vineyard Ave and follow it about one half mile to the town landing.
Much of the paddle is wide open, so high wind will cancel the paddle. Make sure I can contact you the evening before, As always, no guests on paddles. If, like me, you have never been to the Vineyard Ave landing, leave plenty of time to find it, to unload your gear and be in the water by 11:00.