By Vladimir Brezina
So, here is the last of them.
The previous days of our 2011 New England kayaking vacation (see here and here) were exhilarating, but by the same token just a tiny bit tense—although we had good conditions, they were exposed trips on which you can never really relax until you are safe home again.
In contrast, this leisurely trip on the protected, warm Cape Cod Bay was pure gold.
On July 19, 2011, as the morning sunlight begins to filter through the surrounding trees
we eat breakfast at our campsite in Nickerson State Park (in Brewster, Massachusetts, in the crook of the elbow of Cape Cod—highly recommended!)
The sun is rising higher, flooding the forest with light—high time to go kayaking!
We arrive at the beach at East Brewster that we have scoped out yesterday evening as a good launch site…
Wait a minute, there was water all the way up to these rocks yesterday!!
Doh! It’s low tide!
The marine chart, and in retrospect even the Google Maps satellite image above, clearly shows the wide expanse of shallows all along the shoreline of Cape Cod Bay, so we should have foreseen the problem…
There are some nice tableaux of exposed marine organisms as we walk across the sands
The tide is coming in, but it will be a long wait.
Johna briefly tries magical thinking
but then we resort to a good old-fashioned portage.
… at first across the turquoise shallows
Over Billingsgate Shoal off Wellfleet, out pops a seal! A totally unexpected sight in this warm water… But it turns out to be only the first of dozens.
.Johna gets out of her boat for a swim with the seals (in retrospect, perhaps not the wisest thing to do… especially in view of Dan’s comment concerning sharks below)
Then we press on past the shoals toward the range of sandy cliffs that we see in the distance.
we land on the beach at the base of the cliffs
Looking inland over the low dunes, a broad vista of Wellfleet Harbor opens up
for lunch with a view
south over the shoals past which we have just paddled
as well as north toward Provincetown and the tip of Cape Cod
before we head back through the turquoise warm waters
off the beach, in the tide rip, all around…
There is no wind at all and the afternoon grows hot
Finally we land back on the beach that we launched from, now mercifully covered with water
Content, we watch the warm, golden day come to a close…
Finally, we look back at the beach one last time as we head back to camp
for our evening activities: chopping wood in the twilight
cooking over the open fire as night falls
and, finally, the dinner that we’ve been ravenously anticipating!
The end of a perfect day!