I started my season in mid June so I missed a good 2 months of prime kayaking weather but I tried to get out every weekend once I strated. I set a goal early in the season to try to kayak the Merrimack river from the Massachusetts border to the sea. I accomplished this except for a 5 mile stretch between the Pawtucket falls and the sewage treatment plant.
I also took a couple kayaking trips along the Concord and Spicket Rivers. A highlight being my trips through the Nevins Bird Sanctuary on the Spicket River. The Great Blue Heron nesting grounds is quite a site. I also took a great trip trip with a group of paddlers from the Merrimack River Watershed Council. Overall I had a lot of fun met some great people and had a pretty successful first season of kayaking.
I am setting some goals for myself for next season as the cold and snow we are getting right now is giving me a bit of cabin fever so it may help to at least think about getting in the water in the spring.
- I need to get a better kayak rack for my car or van. Right now I am using the cheap foam pads and straps which are passable but I get nervous when on the highway so this prevents me from kayaking too far from home. I am thinking one of the racks from Thule or Yakima. Anyone have any suggestions for a good rack system for a Dodge Caravan?
- I need to get some rescue gear . Specifically a bilge pump and paddle float. And of course spend some time practicing how to use them.
- I plan to join the Merrimack River Watershed council and go on a a couple more of their trips. I had a great time on the one I attended so I will definitely try to go on more this season. And of course support the good work they do for the river.
- Explore the Merrimack further north - Looks like there is some nice kayaking through Manchester NH so I hope to get up to that section at some time this year.
- The Shawsheen and Nashua Rivers are other local tributaries of the Merrimack that I am going to try to explore at some point this season.
- Lastly I am going to finally put my kayak in the ocean. My family spends a but of time at the beach in the summer so my kayak is going to come along for one of those trips.