Here on the north end of Fall River, we literally live 2000 feet from where the Taunton River empties into Mt Hope Bay. I've been in this area my whole life, and one thing I had never done was take a boat out in this section of the bay. Even all these years of kayaking and canoeing, we never tried to explore the area so close to home. This season I had been thinking quite a bit about taking this spot on. Quite a few stars have to align to make this trip work in the kayak. It had to be warm, it had to have as little wind as possible, ideally when the tide was coming in, and Desmond had to be in a good mood. All those things were on point today, and the plan was set in motion. We are kayaking the Fall River coast today!
We took the 5 minute drive over to the public boat ramp that is just adjacent to Bicentennial Park, right next to Jerry Remy's. The tide was about half way up. We got there at about 11am, and there was no wind at all. This wouldn't be the case for the entire trip, but right now as we slide the boat in the river it was wonderful seeing the flat water with barely a ripple from the wind. As we pulled around aside the boardwalk everyone was looking over, and waving to Desmond. I don't think people kayak here too often, in the middle of the city. I only see kayakers there to watch fireworks on the 4th of July. Today, we were the sight that everyone was looking at as we paddled our way over to Battleship Cove.
This was my hook line for Desmond so he would want to do this trip. I told him we would paddle right up to the battleships so close that he could touch them. It was stunning sitting next to such a huge ship in my little kayak. I've been on the Battleship Massachusetts dozens of times and I was fully aware at how big it is, but when you are in a little tiny boat, with a little tiny boy, it seemed giant. We were both in awe. Ironically, there was a large group of active duty navy on the boat touring at the time we pulls alongside, and they were all waving to Des, and saying hello to him. Great timing on our part. Desmond was having such a good time. We hugged the side of the ship so Des could put his hand on it. It was pretty cool. Then we were off, around the ship and on our way south the Braga Bridge and the beginning of Mt Hope Bay.
Once we got past the bridge the wind started to pick up a little, causing the water to get a little choppier. This was fully expected. I hugged the shore as we explored all the little inlets and docks, tug boats, and sunken barges. This helped to shelter us from the wind as we paddled ahead. My planned end point was going to be King Phillip Marine which is at the very bottom of Kennedy Park, right along the water. Worked out pretty well, because both of us needed a pit stop once we got there. We found a quiet area away from the marina, and hug out for a while for a break.
Just as we were pulling in for our break, I noticed a huge coal ship being pulled up the bay by tug boats. We hung at the cove until the ship was right upon us. I had seen this ship before, and knew the tugs were going to turn the ship right in front of us so it could pull in the power plant just across the river. We had the perfect vantage point for this, and sat in the kayak as it was pushed around by the tugs. It was great fun.
Once it started to pull away, we headed back north going back to the ramp. This time, the tide was nearing its high point, and the waves were really starting to come in. The current was so strong that the waves were literally pushing us in the direction we wanted to go. As long as I kept the boat straight with a steady paddle, the waves were doing most of the work. As we approached the Bridge, the river meeting the bay was causing some crazy waves, which made for some entertaining, but strenuous paddling. Riding the waves gave me some good speed as we passed the State Pier and made our way on the side of the battleship again. The boat was causing the current to hug up on its side, and we were flying as we paddle by it. We pulled in to the cove to shelter ourselves for a bit before finishing the run.
Once we got going again, the waves were really coming down on us. Hugging the coast wouldn't work at this point because the waves were crashing up on the breakwater. We pulled out into the open river, and got in the right direction for the waves to push us further north to the ramp. We pulled in again at the little marina at Pt Gloria, and then made the quick trip around the park back to the ramp. Des loved that we beat a big fishing boat up the river getting to the ramp. My arms were beat from keeping up with those waves. But the view was beautiful. We packed the boat up, and made the delightfully short ride home. What a fun trip to remember!