In this case we did have a paddle, along with two oars, two sails, plenty of provisions, and three hardy sailors.
After opting for a trip up the Connecticut instead of out to points east and south, we coasted through lots of beatiful marsh and along forested shores. Among the animals seen were beaver, fledgling osprey taking their first flight, and fish hunted from above and below, unsure of which element might provide shelter. We found respite from the din and wakes of summer weekend motorboat traffic on the river’s main channel by favoring the backsides of islands and going up creeks. We experimented with sculling over the stern, and found it to be an excellent way to navigate the narrowest winding channels once the urge to sing in Italian was overcome.
Pit stops were made for shady lunches and refreshing dips, an excursion up to Gilette Castle, and to procure ice: ice for gin and tonics which after two days on the water won out over the option of a somewhat underdressed evening of opera at the Goodspeed. The solar hot shower went unused. The more sheltered and windless first night was a bit buggy, both aboard and in a hammock ashore, but full of wildlife, most notably, an occasional loud alarm tail slap of resident beaver surprised by the presence of our slumbering boat. The second night’s sleep was momentarily roused by a quickly passing drizzle, but with a bug-free pleasant breeze throughout, the decision not to deploy the boat tent was in the morning agreed over cold-brewed coffee to have been the right one.
We were so relaxed in our approach to the third day that we only barely made it down to and under the railroad bridge before the mounting flood tide and fading breeze would have made it impossible. But make it we did!
Many thanks to Jeanne and Steve for an incredible sail, and to Steve for the great pics! It was a joy.