Weekend Road Trip: Kayaking the Parker River

Kayaking the Parker River


Last weekend, Denene and I paddled ten or twelve miles up the Parker River starting near the mouth of the Merrimack. We began the trip at high tide with little or no wind. The river was calm, with a texture almost pudding-like.

By the time we reached halfway we were paddling into 40 – 50 mph wind gusts. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the water temperatures in New England are still quite frigid. The spray felt like ice crystals hitting our faces. The water became so rough I elected to leave the camera in the waterproof container. Besides, if I’d stopped paddling long enough to take a picture I’d have been blown backward, losing what little momentum I had. It was a blast!

The trip started out calmly.

These two were nesting. They allowed me to get fairly close, but the expressed their displeasure quite loudly.

This pair wasn’t as cordial. They took to the air, circling my head until I moved on.

This guy didn’t care how close I got.

Love was definitely in the air.  We saw dozens of “pairs” of horseshoe crabs along the water’s edge.

The wind started to pick up about halfway through the trip, bending these reeds.

We ran into a group of young kids on a guided kayak tour. The instructor/guides began to frantically get the kids to the nearest shore when the wind started pushing waves over the tops of the boats. They all made it out safely. (These photos were taken before the winds struck).

The wind was starting to pick up. This was the last photo I took. Waves began to splash over the bow soon after.

2 replies
  1. Terry
    Terry says:

    Hubby and I sea-kayaked once. After our experiences with leisurely canoe trips in Florida, the waters of Washington State were something else. We were on a trip with my parents, who each had a guide paddling with them. Hubby and I were in the ‘divorce boat’ which was their term for what happened when an inexperienced kayaking couple was stuck by themselves.

    I suppose I should have suspected things wouldn’t go all that smoothly — after all, hubby ran our canoe into every mangrove root in the river, not to mention having to duck under all the low-hanging branches he steered us under.

    But the ocean kayak was something else. No mangrove roots — just lots of kelp beds. The trick was paddling. No easy feat when one of us (the one in charge of steering) couldn’t grasp the concept of paddling in unison based on a steady beat. “Beat? What’s a beat?”

    We were lucky that the weather was cold and drippy, but not overly windy. And those cute kayak skirts kept us dry enough.

  2. Becky Levine
    Becky Levine says:

    I love this. It means your back is SO much better! 🙂 I don’t think I ever told you about the time husband & I kayaked in Tomales Bay & I got minor hypothermia–the water was so rough the waves were coming over us (ME in front!) and I got drenched…But fun!

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