Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Site

Check out Marissa's new Jewelry Website....

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wessagussett Beach (Weymouth, MA)

When We Went:

We went to Wessagussett beach in Weymouth, MA in the middle of the week after work in Late July 2005. It was one of those feels like over 100 degree days.


Getting out on the water later in the afternoon on a really hot day is such a special thing. This day was perfect. It had really started to cool off and with a good breeze on the ocean water it was really nice to get out. We started on the east / right side of the beach and went west into the Fore River.

The first interesting thing we came across is the Wessagussett Yacht Club. It is located right next to (and in some ways around) the beach. Boats of different sizes are docked near the club and moored further out around the beach area. We continued down along the shore and soon were approaching the Fore River Bridge. We ended up turning around because the sun was setting (it was a spectacular sunset actually) and we wanted to get back before it was dark. On the way back we went past the east side of the beach to look around the corner of the shoreline and saw Lane Beach where we have put in earlier.

Wessagussett Beach is located in the Fore River Watershed area. Check out their website for some great information on the area.

Put In:

There is a parking area up a small hill to the right of the beach. There is a "no parking" area at the beach. We unloaded our kayaks in the "no parking" area and parked the car in the parking area. No permit was required to park there, and there didn't seem to be any problems finding a spot. We assume this is different during the middle of the day and on weekends. The parking area is actually part of Great Hill Park.

Map and Directions:

Follow Route 3A from Quincy or Hingham. Turn Left from Quincy or Right from Hingham) onto North Street. There is a dependable Dry cleaners in a old converted gas station at this corner. Follow North Street to the end and you will arrive at the right most part of the beach. The boat club is to the left and the parking area is up the hill.

This is a link to the Google Map of the area.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Lane Beach (Weymouth, MA)

When We Went:

We went to George Lane Beach in Weymouth, MA on a Sunday afternoon just before high tide in the middle of July 2005. It was a relatively calm afternoon


George Lane Beach is located in North Weymouth, MA. Lane beach is also called the 'new' Wessagusset beach. It's actually just to the east of the original / 'old' Wessagusset beach.

We started out heading north to go toward William Web Park. It was a nice paddle, lots of good sized waves to crash over the front and back of the kayaks, lots of interesting sea-front houses to look at, lots of boats passing (mostly further away in the channel / boat lane area between Weymouth and Quincy). After we got to William Web park, (actually close to it, we didn't stop) we headed north out into the channel and went around some of the bigger buoys.

We had a "it's coming right for us" experience with the Hingham ferry, but it actually made a 90 degree turn into the Hingham harbor. The ferries did provide us with some good waves though :). After heading out into the channel and coming back west (now north of the beach) we decided to head back as it was getting towards sunset and we wanted to save venturing across to the Rock Island cove area of Quincy for another trip.

As we were coming back to the beach we found that the combination of the tide coming in and the waves had created a surfing effect. We were really able to get the front of the Kayaks out of the water as we paddled along with the waves. Really fun stuff!! and a great way to end the afternoon.

George Lane Beach is located in the Fore River Watershed area. Check out their website for some great information on the area. You will notice that some of the other places we've reviewed are inside the watershed area. You will also likely some places you'll see add reviews for soon, and a few more places we need to try.


Lane Beach at Sunset

The Picture was taken from the East / Right side of the beach in the short term / no parking area where we load and unload Kayaks.


Lane beach has a great parking area located just across the street. Weymouth residents pay 5 dollars a year for a parking pass, others pay 20. It didn't appear that the parking was enforced after 4 or 5pm when the office near the boat ramp was closed, but we can't be certain. We carried our Kayaks across the road and down the right hand side of the beach. When we came back we got a little smarter and moved the car over to the "short term" / no parting area across the street.

Map and Directions:

Following 3A from Hingham or Quincy turn onto Neck Street (Right from Hingham side, Left from Quincy). Follow Neck St. for a few minutes (under a mile and 1/2) and you will see Lane Beach on the Right and the parking area on the left.

This is a Link to a Google Map of the area


Sunday, July 10, 2005

Compo Beach (Westport, CT)

When We Went:

We went to Compo beach in early July of 2005. It was a early Sunday morning. It became a little windy while we were there, but was a very nice day. Compo Beach is located in Westport, CT.


The Beach area closest to the entrance of the parking area was full of people. We went to the far end of the parking lot which seemed to be more the place for people interested in boating or picnicking on the beach. We saw a few wind surfers and a few other Kayakers. We also saw a few people attempting to launch sail-surfers (large kite attached to the person and person using a smaller surf board), but they didn't seem to be able to get the wind they wanted and were gone when we returned from our trip.

We had a 5 Star breakfast on the beach before we started out on our trip. We started out on the beach and crossed the boat lane (red and green bouys) and went out to a island (you can see the island on the Google map below). We contemplated crossing the very thin part of the island (maybe 25 feet across at that point with the tide (looked to get skinnier at higher tides) and go to one of the Norwalk Lighthouses, but at that point the wind had picked up quite a bit. We decided to turn around and it was likely the correct decision. On our crossing back toward the beach the wind and the waves had picked up quite a bit. The wind was headed off shore, so it made our paddling back more work than the trip out to the Island.

It had been quite a while since we were last out in waves that crashed over the front of our kazoo. Needless to say it was nice to have spray skirts on. It was really quite fun to deal with the larger waves generated by passing boats (most people were nice enough to try to swing wide of us or to slow down, so nothing was overwhelming). Even some of the smaller waves pushed us around (or up and down) at unexpected times. It was fun, but not for the beginner.

The people who were showing us their stomping ground commented that normally the water was much quieter, so newer Kayakers should not be deterred.


Compo Beach Entrance

Picture of the Beach Area

Put In:

The entire beach is a put in area. As you enter the parking lot go around to the far left side. There tend to be far less people there, mostly people launching Kayaks, or Sailboats. The beach area made for a great put in no matter what the tide level was. No concerns here. The waves also did not present a problem. Likely because this is the sound and it was a relatively calm day.

Link to Map:

The Link to the Google Map for the Compo Beach area is below. Compo beach is actually the gray area at the end of the Compo Beach Road. Google doesn't have it listed as an area. All of the other online maps of the Westport area also had a similar lack of detail.

Google's Map


Monday, July 04, 2005

Pond Meadow (Braintree MA)

When We Went:

We went early in the morning (early for us) on a Friday in early July of 2005.


Pond Meadow Park, and Pond Meadow itself were a surprise to us. They are located in Braintree, MA on Liberty Street (also Liberty Street in Weymouth, MA). They are very close to our house, and very close to many places we go, but not quite on the main road.

Pond Meadow is a beautiful park. There are quite a few very nicely kept walking paths (and TONS of people walking). There is also a nice picnic area with benches. The lake itself is on the small side. We went around it's border in about an hour, definately at the 'taking our time' speed. The pond was filled with lilly pads and flowers from the lilly pady. We were a little concerned that we were damaging them, but tried to keep the impact to a minimum.

We constantly saw fish jumping out of the water. When we were about 3/4 of the way around the lake we noticed 3 turtles getting some sun on a rock. Two were quickly into the water, but one stayed as we paddled (quietly) past. We then noticed a few more rocks, and a few more turtles on each. On one rock there was a very large turtle (likely 2-3 times larger than the others). He didn't budge :). After we saw the turtles we saw a giant grey bird take off from a very high tree, swoop down closer to the water, do about a 1/2 lap of the lake and then flew over to top of the trees on the far side of the lake. We think it was a Osprey, but can't confirm it yet.

Needless to say Meadow pond is Teeming with life :) It was really fun.

Downsides were the "high Yick factor" of lots of seaweed and the lilly pads, and also the relatively small size of the pond. There was also quite a bit of road noise from Route 2.

Pond Meadow was definately the place to go if your trip included people who weren'g going to be kayaking, or if you wanted to get in a few trips around the pond before and after a picknic.

Put In / Hours:

There are a few different parking areas at the Park. We followed the road all the way in to a very nice put in area (just adter a picknic area). There was a wide traffic circle (at the end of the road) where we were able to unload the kayaks and leave the car. One issue that had been preventing us from getting there after work was that the roads inside the park close at 7pm. Not exactly after work friendly.

Link to Map:

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Aaron River Reservoir (Hingham MA)

When We Went:

Late June 2005. It was another after work adventure. This one didn't turn out as planned, but was interesting.


The Aaron River Reservoir is part of the Wompatuck State Park which is located in Hingham, MA. Aaron River Reservoir is actually a reservoir for Cohasset, MA. From looking at their mass Department of Recreation Web Site, one would think that Kayaking was allowed and promoted at the reservoir. It appears not to be the case, but we'll get to that in a little while. The state park has a main entrance in the north western corner. This road (Hingham's Union St) appears to connect to a number of smaller roads. It does in fact connect to these roads, but none of them are open. They are all closed off to motor vehicle traffic.

When we arrived at the roads that connected Union St to the main road we decided that it was too long of a walk to carry our Kayaks, so we decided to walk to the Reservoir to check it out for next time. This was a long, and very buggy walk. It was about a mile in each direction. The mosquitoes were ferocious.

Along the road we met a park ranger on a bicycle, asked about the reservoir, and were told that only "flat bottom" boats were permitted. She said Kayaks and Canoes were not permitted. This made the trip to the park particularly given the text on their web site "Fishing is allowed in the Cohasset Reservoir. A boat ramp is provided for car-top boats, but no boat trailers, please." and under Recreational Opportunities both "Nonmotorized boating" and "Boat Ramp" are listed.

When we did get to the reservoir it looked very nice. Very clean water as you would expect, and looked like some interesting terrain, some houses on hills above the water, and lots of shoreline. We also found a small pickup truck parked at the boat ramp and were left wondering how they got the truck in there given all the gates off the main road we saw were closed. Just another fustration to add to the list.

Needless to say we plan on calling the Park and understand their rules better than the quick conversation with the ranger on the walking trail (781 749-7160) if you are interested.
That said, we are not overly excited at the moment about returning. The issues are 1) The Long walk would require wheels for our Kayaks to allow us to roll them / carry 1/2 of their weight instead of carry them outright which wouldn't be practical 2) the bugs were just ridiculous and 3) the ranger either not knowing what Kayaks are or the website is wrong and we can't Kayak there at all..

Put In Details:

The put in area was nice, had space for a few cars to park, and offered what seemed like a nice area to get in with a gentle slope. The problem is access to the area is extremely long walk to carry of cart your Kayaks. Maybe a update will be in order if we contact the Park and see if there is a way that we can drive in to the boat ramp. This would really change the complexion of the access to the Reservoir.

Link to Map:

The DOR website provides a nice map of the park itself. Here is a link: The map is a little misleading in that Union St. Does not connect to the local roads at the south entrance. The road is blocked by another of the infamous gates.

Here is a link to Google's MAP of the area.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Whitmans Pond (Weymouth MA)

When we went:

Late June 2005. It was after work, but we had a hour and 1/2 of daylight to work with. It was a nice clear night and a good sunset. It was hotter earlier in the day, but cooled off nicely.


Whitman pond is located in Weymouth, MA. It is one of our favorite after work locations. We went there a few times last season. It is a big enough lake that there is quite a bit to explore, but close enough to home and accessible enough to make it a no hassle location for going kayaking.

The lake has a few different sections and a large island in the middle to explore. There are lots of different houses along the shore to look at also some undeveloped sections. There is some construction going on over near the route 53 end of the lake, some condos are being built close by.

We ended up not going too far away from the Middle street launching area. We had a 3 new kayakers with us. Each took a turn in one of our Kayaks. It was a very successful first trip for them, and fun for us.

There are some power boats on the lake, but most are respectful and have either steered clear of where we were or slowed down so that their wake was not an issue. We've seen other kayakers and people canoeing on the lake. Typically there are always a few people fishing from the shore (normally at the park, but at the opposite end from the the boat ramp area) and a few people fishing from canoes or small power boats.

Put in Location:

There is a nice boat ramp with a good parking area and small park along middle street in Weymouth just north of Lake Shore Drive. The shoreline is not steeply sloped and there is plenty of area to get into the water.

Link to Map:


A picture of the lake from 2002 the put in area is on the north shore of the peninsula in the middle of the picture.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Weymouth Back River (MA)

When We Went:

Middle of June 2005. We had been here before. The previous summer. That first trip was an interesting lesson..... More on that in a bit. Let's review this year.



We went on a Sunday afternoon, night almost. It was still daylight, and we wanted to get in a quick Kayak. After forgetting the paddles at home, running back quick we gave the kayaks a quick workout. Nothing glamorous, just a nice paddle around the Back river area. The tide was coming in which was a good thing, and it was getting dark quickly.

The Weymouth Back River connects Great Esker park (in Weymouth MA) and Bare Cove Park (In Hingham, MA) to the ocean. We launched from Abigail Adams Park in Weymouth. It is a fairly new town park that also serves as the parking lot for a yacht club. Not sure how that works, but regardless a nicely sloped rocky beach is about a 50 foot walk from a nice new parking area. There is a walking path around the park and nice benches and landscaping.

The last time we were there we here we didn't really understand the concept of tides. We went out for the afternoon and so did the tide. After going out toward the ocean (through the boat yard, which is a very interesting place to kayak, nice big boats to look at, not too much wake because everything is going slowly....), we came back to a shoreline that had receded about 50 feet. Needless to say, walking through mud and muck that is 'way' up over you knees is something that makes you observant of the tides next time.

We still haven't made it inland from the 'put in' area, Great Ester Park, but next time, when we have more daylight left it is definitely in our plans.. Just need to make sure to get a tide schedule.

Put in Location:

Access from a few places are possible, but we find Abigail Adams park on 3A is a good spot to put it. As you drive along 3A going East it is across from Lowes, there is a jug handle right after that AppleBees that lets you cross over 3A and enter the park's driveway. If you are coming west it is just after the bridge from Hingham to Weymouth (right after the Dodge Dealer).

Link to Map:

Monday, June 13, 2005

Charles River (Newton MA)

When We Went:

Before we purchased kayaks we were looking for a place to rent them to give it a try. Charles River Canoe and Kayak provided us the perfect opportunity. We went a number of times both before and after we bought our Kayaks. Likey during the summer of 2002 and 2003, but it is hard to remember exactly...


CRC&K rents Kayaks and Canoe's by the hour or the day. They include paddles and PFDs, everything you need to give it a try.

They have a large facility in Newton, MA on the Charles River. If you go south from their location you can go all the way to the Dam in downtown Waltham (Moody Street). If you go North from there you can go quite a way as the Charles gets twisty

This part of the Charles is very nice. There are lots of things to look at and more than enough room to tire yourself out going either down river to Waltham or up river toward Wellesley and Newton. Going under the highways (Mass Pike and Route 128) is quite interesting, but loud. Going down river towards the damn at Waltham is the more interesting direction.

There aren't alot of things for people who aren't kayaking to do, save renting a Kayak or Canoe and coming along. This can easily be a 1/2 day trip so pack some water and munchies.

Put In Details:

There are a few parking spots at CRC&K, but the majority of the parking for Charles River Canoe and Kayak is actually in a public lot located across the river. In this same parking lot we've launched our own Kayaks quite easily. There is a staircase that goes up to the Route 30 overpass that has a walkway over to the CRC&K location.

Getting to the intersection of Route 128 (route 95 for those of you who don't count yourselves as locals) and Route 30 is easy from where ever you are in MA. Understanding exactly where to get off both the Mass Pike and Route 128/95 to get to route 30 is interesting.

Link to Map:
The parking lot and Put-in area are at the southern end of Norumbega Road.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Walden Pond (Concord MA)

When we Went:

We went to Walden Pond during the summer of 2003. On Walden Pond, Thoreau, Walden Pond Lives up to the history.


Walden Pond is located in Walden Pond State Reservation. It is an ideal location to go Kakaking if you want to go somewhere for the day or afternoon with others who aren't going to be kayaking, or if you are sharing kayaks. It is a great place to go kayaking, swinning, or to go for a walk/hike on the trails that surround the pond. It also has a nice picnic area.

When we went we were a bit uncomfortable with all the swimmers in the lake. We did enjoy the lake, exploring the shoreline, and the convenience of being so close to Boston.

Here is a Link to the homepage for the Walden Pond State Reservation on the Mass Department of Conservation and Recreation

Put In:

Walden Pond has a great boat ramp area and parking area. It is adjacent to the swimming area at the entrance to the pond area. From what we remember there was an admission fee for using the boat ramp area, but nothing more than 5 dollars or so. There were quite a few friendly Kayakers there.

Trail Map:

Location / Directions:

Walden Pond is located off of Route 2 and Route 126 in Concord MA. If your coming from the East take the exit for Route 2 off of Route 95.

Link to Map: