A Family Adventure


Tyson, Emilie & Isaac

Goose Rocks Beach

September 8, 2019
Emilie Phillips updated September 11, 2019

We went kayaking at a new spot in Maine, Goose Rocks Beach in Kennebunkport. It’s just north of Cape Porpoise. In fact, we were planning to go to Cape Porpoise, but we discovered the tides were wrong for the causeway launch. Goose Rocks Beach was a good launch site. It may be too busy to use between Memorial Day and Labor Day based on the town charging for parking.

Tyson discovered that I had left his drysuit at home. Luckily, it was warmer than we had expected. So he decided he would be safe wearing his long underwear, a fleece top, and a soft shell. If he got cold, it wouldn’t be far to shore and he could warm up while walking back the long beach.

John side surfing a wave

We started by surfing waves from tropical depression Dorian. They were a foot high and ten second period or so. Nice, easy predictable waves. We surfed several times throughout the day as we found shore breaks. When we later kayaked out past the barrier rock islets protecting the beach, we found larger swells. The swells might have been only two feet tall, but riding up and down them felt like a gentle roller coaster.

Tyson and John launching from Timber Island

We ate lunch on Timber Island. It is a wildlife refuge which allows hiking. (trails map.) The island appeared surrounded by rocks and breaking waves. We let Tyson and Trudy venture closer. They found a placid route to shore. The cove they picked didn’t have a proper beach, instead it had half-meter to one-meter large rocks — something between cobbles and small boulders. The safest way to land was to hop out in waist deep water and then tow your boat to shore.

An AirCam flew low over us while we ate lunch. Isaac’s wiggly tooth feel out. And we realized the cove wasn’t as protected as we thought when waves crashed over the rocks sheltering the cove.

Isaac doing a balance brace

When we left, we one at a time put in and hastily paddled away from the rocks. Tyson and I came last. Isaac tipped himself over while waiting for us. He did a balance brace to keep himself floating above water. My dad had just taught it to him in the last few weeks. Then Isaac hollered out

“Grandpa, come rescue me!”

Grandpa (my dad) did. By the time Tyson and I got out there, my parents had emptied Isaac’s boat and put him back in. From there, we went south towards Cape Porpoise then turned west once we saw the river channel.

Paddling into the river was the hardest part of the day for Isaac. We had following seas, meaning waves coming from behind. It takes skill to keep a kayak going straight when the stern is getting pushed around. Isaac doesn’t have that skill yet. The waves slewed his boat mercilessly.

Low tide in Batson River. Tahe Greenland on the left, Rebel Naja on the right.

The straight in route to the river led us to exposed sand. Guess we should have paddled around the next little island. Once we hauled our boats across the sand, we found more waves to play in. Then we floated up Batson river. When we ran out of water, we watched crabs for a bit, then we headed back.

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