Cape Cod - Monomoy Island
by Dave Miller
Sunday, September 9-10, 2011
Where do I begin?
Lee, Dave Bianca, Alex, Jean cc HRCKC
We met up in Cape Cod on a Fri afternoon. Taking advantage of nice weather we made a late afternoon excursion on Pleasant Bay, paddling out around Strong Island. We had several seal sightings and some significant out going current. Fortunately Lee knew the area and kept us from washing out to the break. We rounded Strong Island and the late afternoon sun lit up hundreds of starfish on the shallow bottom. We had mechanical engineer Alex with us and his underwater video camera documented the amazing starfish colonies. A couple miles paddling west back to shore with a spectacular sunset ! What a paddle. Then we all went out to dinner to discuss the next day's paddle plan.
Paddle #2 (You really should look at a map after reading this report)
Five of us paddled out of Sears Pt. in Chatham, Ma. We rounded the bend in the harbor and caught our last glimpse of the Stage Harbor Lighthouse. That same lighthouse would be a sight for sore eyes some 8 hr later. We headed due So with wind and waves at our backs as we left the Inlet. 2 1/2 hr later we hit the beach at South Monomoy Island, Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge (And they don't call it that for nothing). What a remarkable place ! I think we saw 2 boats during our couple hr stay on the island. Lee led us across the land on a footpath to the ocean side, passing an old lighthouse (The only structure on the island). Bayberry, cranberry and many other assorted bushes and hundreds of birds along our route to and on the island. As we sat on the beach eating our lunches, the seals came remarkably close to us, almost as if begging. The birds dove in front of us hunting for their own lunch. This place was so amazing my words cannot do it justice. We hydrated, and ate hardy lunches to prepare for our paddle back to the mainland. It was hard to leave such a relaxing, beautiful environment but we had some work ahead of us if we were to get back in a safe timeframe. We hugged the shore for about 45 min to shelter us from the headwind and waves out of the north. 3 1/2 mile of steady paddling brought us back to the take out. The highlight for me was being followed by a SHARK (I believe it was a great white). Jean calmly said: "Dave, I think that's a fin by you". I turned and replied: "Oh My". Sure enough it was an Ash colored dorsal fin with a pretty large body to go with it. I stopped paddling and coasted (Hands and elbows UP out of the water. He swam the same speed as my boat just behind and to my left. While a little un-nerving, it was a pretty cool experience. Safely back on the mainland, we all went out for dinner and re-capped our magnificent day.
I believe there was an additional paddle in Wellfleet Harbor on Sun. but I was up early and on my way back home. Hope to do that paddle another time.
I am sure the others have better pictures, but here are a few that I took. Enjoy!