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: