I went to a kayaking seminar up in Stonington CT. The idea
was to paddle in all the tide races near there. They have 2 that are normally used. Sugar Reef, and
some other nearby reefs that run on the ebb, and Wikapesa passage that runs on
On 10/28 we went to Sugar Reef for a tide race paddle, but
it was a bust because it was VERY windy, but the wind was going with current,
and effectively flattened it to nothing.
We could see where it would normally be running at about
1:00PM, and stayed for about an hour, but it never really turned on and the waves were barely 1
foot peak to trough.
Using the Currenct predictions for Napatree point we get a
max ebb at 14:40 of 3.1 knots, so this should have made the race run, but the
wind was going in exactly the same direction, and knocked off.
We got on the reef around 2:00PM. Spreading out to the West from Sugar Reef, we
also tried some other spots that are part of the same reef system, Horeshoe
Reef?? But there were no good waves anywhere.
The weather the next day was even worse, more wind from the
Northwest around 20Kts. The plan was to paddle out to a place called Wikapessa
pass just off the Eastern tip of the Fischer’s Island. The current was
flooding. This spot only runs on the flood, so it would have been Wind against
The instructors tried to split the people into 3 groups, but
the participants didn’t really pay attention and were soon spread out all over
the harbor, about 20 people total. I got way out in front figuring the leader
would take us to the best spot, but he went a bit down current along the
southern side of Fischer’s Island. I think his plan was to work along the shore
out of the current back up to the spot, but the people were so spread out they
got concerned, and took most of the group back to the CT shore.
|Yes it WAS windy|
One of the groups from the far back went on to the pass, and
had a good hour or so of surfing, because their instructor noticed the current
was less further East, and had them paddle over that way. Nobody else knew that was happening, and I had to stick with my group.
The slog back along the coast was miserable since it stayed
really windy, with the wind shifting off to the Northeast, and then pretty heavy
rain. We stopped for lunch right outside of the harbor, which was really
unpleasant in the cold rain. I didn’t have a chart and wasn’t paying attention
or I would have requested we simply go back to the bar. It was only a 30 minute
paddle from lunch back to the dock.
On the third day the wind was even greater, and I took the
less aggressive choice of the two trips back to Napatree Point. It was so cold
and the wind so strong that I though getting back to Wikapesa not have been possible,
but this was a mistake, since that group went out, surfed, and came back before
we got back from a boring slog along the beach.
I didn’t have any pogies or gloves, but was able to borrow a
set of gloves from a friend on the last day.
The entire region was pummeled by SNOW Saturday and Sunday,
but in our little sliver of CT it was just rain. We saw the snow on the drive
back on Sunday night.
Truth: Ice is slippery.