Cape Cod 2003

Friday, August 29
We got an early start and it was still morning when we arrived at Chatham on Cape Cod. Our kayaking books gave us a choice of several locations to put in. We opted not to choose the one that warned us to lock all our valuables securely away and instead chose one that resulted in a longer paddle to reach the open waters. We were fortunate to get a parking spot right next to the launch site.

We put in and paddled along the salt marsh. Joan remarked at how clear the water was; I remarked how at how warm it was each time I splashed myself. The birding along the marsh was slow–we saw a Great Blue Heron flying by and several Double-crested Cormorants. Joan noticed a duck in a little cove; it was a female Red-breasted Merganser. We watched a little while and the male joined her. As we proceeded onward, we saw some Ruddy Turnstones and Sanderlings and a few Least Sandpipers.

The Sea Lavender and our home for a few daysWe headed out into the open waters of Chatham Roads. Now the current was against us, the wind picked up some, and we encountered some turbulence from power boats. All this made for choppy waters and some waves coming over the boat. I found this to be quite exhilarating. I followed Joan's suggestion and we put on our spray skirts. We noticed a large number of birds on a sandbar that was some distance away and paddled to it. Most of the birds on it were Great Black-backed Gulls, but there were also some Herring Gulls and a few small shorebirds. Those turned out to be Sanderlings. Joan noticed a large raft of birds on the other side of the sandbar. Her initial thought was scoters, but it turned out to be a flock of hundreds of Common Eiders and one American Scoter. That one scoter did stand out with its bright orange bill. We landed on the sandbar and studied the eiders for a while. Some of them sort of stood up and surfed onto the sandbar. Quite interesting and a lot of fun to see. On our paddle back we came across a pair of Surf Scoters.

We drove on to Wellfleet where we registered at Paine's Campground and pitched our tent. We were going to rough it on this trip! Well not that rough; we had a foam mattress to put our sleeping bags on; cell phone to call home; and we were going to eat all our meals out.

The Lobster Hutt Restaurant in Wellfleet CenterWe drove into Wellfleet Center and looked around for a little while. Then it was dinner time. What better place to eat than the Lobster Hut. Joan had a fried oyster dinner; I settled for fish and chips. It was very delicate and I could have had more.

Sunset in ChathamAfter dinner, we took a walk through the salt marsh in the area. Beautiful! Scruffy oak, lichen covered pines on the path. Tall grass waving in the wind in the marsh. And Sea Lavender. An attractive sunset was the perfect end of the day and we turned in rather early.

Off to Provincetown

See Images From My 2005 Cape Cod Whale Watch
and My 2006 Cape Cod Whale Watch

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