by Monica Orso
Sunday, September 15, 2019
Four paddlers met quite early on a Sunday morning at the Manasquan River Wildlife Management area. The game plan was to try and avoid a slew of weekend pleasure boaters, hoping they would all be "sleeping it off" at 8:30am. Joining me were Pete and Naomi W. and Betty W.
We set out in the marshes nearing high tide and made our way out to the open river. A lot of the wildlife was still asleep or hiding, but we did catch some shorebirds and a few osprey. Once on the open river we began to feel a slight tide shift from slack to ebb. After reaching our destination of Treasure Island, we settled in on the beach and crossed our fingers hoping that the sky was not going to open up on us...it looked very threatening. The finger crossing worked.
A jet ski with a pirate flag approached the beach, and the pirate aboard laid down on the ski awaiting the arrival of the famed pirate ship full of kids armed with water guns. (There is a video in the photo album, wait for it to load up). In previous years, the pirate used to lay on the beach and the kids would come ashore and attack him, but apparently some wealthy homeowner on shore complained that laying on the beach was destroying it (?) and they had to switch to this watered down (no pun intended) version of pirate wars. Still fun to watch though not as real of an experience for the little ones.
Heading back after our break, we decided to go the distance in one shot and stop at the River Rock restaurant after our paddle. The tide was coming out quick and the boat traffic picking up. We needed to stay close to the channel as the mud almost swallowed us closer to shore. Back in the marshes the number of kayakers had increased, as well as some SUP's. More birds on the exposed flats too. We met a couple of women on sit-on-tops who were meandering around the marshes, slowly heading back to the put-in. Naomi, being a good trooper, gave them info on HRCKC. Maybe we'll pick up a couple of new members!
Total miles 8.2, time out and about, 4 hours 44 minutes. Food at a very very crowded River Rock Restaurant, good! Thinking this trip would be lovely on a full moon in the marshy area.