Skelton Flowage 9-19-2015

Yesterday I led a group of 10 MOAC members on a five-hour paddle of Skelton Flowage, a lake created by a large dam on the Saco River.

The weather was a picture-perfect late summer day; yes, there are still a couple of days left in summer.

Group photo on Skelton Flowage

Group photo on Skelton Flowage

Group photo showing Ruth Mueller in bow

Group photo showing Ruth Mueller in bow

As usual, I took a group photo shortly after launch. Top aboveĀ is one version, while the shot below includes Ruth Mueller, who paddled bow in my canoe.

Jonathan Keck and Martha Mixon paddling on Skelton Flowage

Jonathan Keck and Martha Mixon paddling on Skelton Flowage

Here’s one of Jonathan Keck and Martha Mixon, taken out in the middle.

Jim Hatch paddles by the island on Skelton Flowage

Jim Hatch paddles by the island on Skelton Flowage

Jim Hatch was a new member. He told us that he’d joined about 20 hours earlier.

[I’ll finish this post later, adding some of the swimming pix plus some from Rajiv.]

Presumpscot River 8-19-15 (after work)

Five MOACers paddled a short stretch of the Presumpscot River last night.

Group shot with Rajiv Shankar in foreground

Group shot with Rajiv Shankar in foreground

We launched in Westbrook at the Lincoln Street put-in, paddled north — upstream against a minimal current — and turned back after 50 minutes and returned to Lincoln Street.

The legendary Dan Kidd, a MOAC canoeing icon for decades

The legendary Dan Kidd, a MOAC canoeing icon for decades

Among the paddlers was the legendary MOAC icon Dan Kidd, whose worldwide canoeing experience is unmatched in club annals. He told me this was his first venture on the Presumpscot. He was impressed by the beauty of the river and its extremely rural setting. And its extreme dearth of piranhas is a big plus.

Rajiv Shankar's selfie, with Scott Andrews in the background

Rajiv Shankar’s selfie, with Scott Andrews in the background

Rajiv Shankar, paddling bow in my canoe, took this selfie.

Near the stone arch that supports the former Maine Central Railroad

Near the stone arch that supports the former Maine Central Railroad

Rajiv also took this pic near the stone arch that supports the defunct Maine Central Railroad. It’s located at the town line that separates Westbrook and Windham. Nicole Bissonnette is in the blue kayak close to the arch; Jennifer Brotsky is closer to the camera. (For those who like pretty pix of real nice kayakers, there’s a closeup of Nicole under the Scarborough Marsh 7-8-15 post.)

Pizza followed at Portland Pie Company’s Westbrook restaurant.

This might be my last MOAC after-work paddle of the season. With the sun setting about 7:35, we’ve lost an hour of evening daylight since this series began in May.

Crystal Lake (Gray) 7-29-15 (after-work)

Here’s one pic of the MOAC after-work paddle on Crystal Lake in Gray.

Nancy Meyer took this group pic with her cellphone

Nancy Meyer took this group pic with her cellphone

I left my camera in the car, but Nancy Meyer took the above group pic with her cellphone. Her presence is represented by the bow of her kayak in the foreground. Thanks, Nancy!

Crystal Lake is very small, and we finished in about an hour. Following our exhausting exercise, four of us headed to Goody’s Pizza in Gray Village.

Goody. Goody. Goody.

Royal River 7-22-15 (after-work)

Two pix from the 7-22-15 Royal River “paddle plus pizza”

Group pic taken near the Grand Trunk RR bridge

Group pic taken near the Grand Trunk RR bridge

This group pic was taken a few yards upstream of the put-in, just above the Grand Trunk RR bridge.

Snapping turtle on Royal River

Snapping turtle on Royal River

Half an hour into our trip, we found a solitary snapping turtle enjoying the good life on a mid-stream mass of brush. Unlike most smaller turtles, he didn’t slide into the water as soon as we approached. Maybe he simply knew he was photogenic.

Scarborough Marsh 7-8-15 (after-work)

Photos from the 7-8-15 after-work paddle in the Scarborough Marsh

I am one of several club members who lead after-work mini-adventures on Maine’s largest salt marsh.

Three of the 13 MOAC paddlers who joined my Scarborough Marsh trip

Three of the 13 MOAC paddlers who joined my Scarborough Marsh trip

We put in at the “clammer’s beach” on Pine Point. There are other places to put in that others prefer.

Closeup of Nicole Bissonnette

Closeup of Nicole Bissonnette

Nicole Bissonnette, pictured above, has been on quite a few of my MOAC paddling adventures.

Jean Murachanian paddles my kayak

Jean Murachanian paddles my kayak

Jean Murachanian is on the board of directors; her assignment is welcoming new members.

Jen Welch on a stand-up paddleboard

Jen Welch on a stand-up paddleboard

Jen Welch was the first paddleboarder to join one of my trips.

Paddles high in the Scarborough Marsh

Paddles high in the Scarborough Marsh

With a strong outgoing current, it was hard to assemble everybody into a picture-perfect line-up for my signature “paddles up” photo. So this will have to do.

Saco River 6-20-15

Photos from the Saco River

MOAC group paddling down the Saco River

MOAC group paddling down the Saco River

Paddles high! My signature shot

Paddles high! My signature shot

The Saco River is another trip that I run at least once every year. The section in this set of pix, from the Route 302 bridge in Fryeburg to the Route 160 bridge in Brownfield, is perfect in June. During July and August it’s way too crowded. Then the crowds go away in September.

Afternoon stop at the Lovewell Pond beach for snacks, sunbathing and swimming

Afternoon stop at the Lovewell Pond beach for snacks, sunbathing and swimming

Another pic on the beach at Lovewell Pond

Another pic on the beach at Lovewell Pond

I usually make two side trips, into Pleasant Pond before lunch, and Lovewell Pond, after lunch. The eastern shore of Lovewell Pond is owned by the state of Maine and there’s a lovely little beach in that section.

Jean Armstrong soaks up some sun on Lovewell Pond beach

Jean Armstrong soaks up some sun on Lovewell Pond beach

Kara Jameson also enjoys sunbathing on the beach at Lovewell Pond

Kara Jameson also enjoys sunbathing on the beach at Lovewell Pond

Jean Armstrong is a long-time member of the club, while Kara Jameson is a relative newbie.

Merrymeeting Bay 6-7-15

Two pix from Merrymeeting Bay

My signature group shot -- paddles raised

My signature group shot — paddles raised

I run this trip once or twice every summer. The timing is crucial to riding the tidal currents in the Cathance River: You want lunchtime on Brick Island to happen during low tide.

People like to photograph the birds

People like to photograph the birds

Both the pix above were taken near Bird Island, a tiny companion to Brick. It’s on the Maine Island Trail.

Gulf Island Pond 5-24-15

One pic from Gulf Island Pond

Group shot on Gulf Island Pond

Group shot on Gulf Island Pond

Gulf Island Pond is a large impoundment (a lake created by a dam) of the Androscoggin River in the Turner-Greene-Lewiston-Auburn area. Due to the direction of the wind that day, we put in in Auburn and paddled from south to north.

Runaround Pond (after-work) 5-21-15

One pic from an after-work paddle on Runaround Pond in Durham

 

Kim Matthews, Leslie Skillin and Cherie Perkins

Kim Matthews, Leslie Skillin and Cherie Perkins

Runaround Pond is a tiny waterbody in Durham. The best time to visit is May. By midsummer, the little pond is choked with aquatic growth.

After paddling the little pond, the four of us headed to Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport.