Let's get our boats wet in salt water. Leave from the DEEP state boat launch under the I-95 bridge in Westport and paddle out to Cockenoe Island where we can take a rest and stretch legs. Then over to Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk where we can eat lunch and use the potty. Return leg can hug the coastline. This route is approximately 6 miles.
We will cross navigational channels and may encounter all types of other boat traffic ranging from paddle boards up to and including commercial vessels, so grouping up and staying visible is key. Since kayaks are at the bottom of the pecking order in terms of having the right of way, vigilance is a priority and your responsibility. Always assume the guy driving the power boat heading in your direction has been drinking and does not see you.
Keep in mind that swells, currents, wind, tides and other natural factors not found in our usual inland venues will require vigilance and an honest self-assessment of your skills and conditioning before you decide to venture out. This is a gathering of people enjoying a common interest, not a guided tour, so your personal safety is your responsibility alone.
The DEEP Saugatuck state boat ramp is on Elaine Road in Westport, CT. Plug in 4 Elaine Road (which is the address of the Westport waste treatment plant) on your GPS, pass the plant on your left, and the animal shelter on your right. The road bends sharp right, and the driveway to the boat launch itself is immediately on the left. Parking is free, but we should also park nose-to-tail in the slots to avoid taking up too many spaces. There is a porta-potty there too.
The boat launch web site is: http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2686&depNav_GID=1620&q=384280
Map shown below is suggested routing, we can adjust as necessary due to traffic, mob rule, or whim. Weather will obviously be cause for cancellation. Recommended boat is one with sealed bulkheads, airbags, or other integral floatation. PFDs and whistles required. Bring water, sunscreen, lunch, snacks and/or money for snacks at Calf Pasture. This will be a moderately-paced paddle. This paddle has been cross-posted with the New Haven & Fairfield County Kayak Club and the Kayaking the Liquid Skies meetups, so you might get the opportunity to see new faces.