birchbark oldie     Musquash River

The Musquash is a river a half-hour west of Saint John. Its waters run tidal as it flows under Highway 1, for about 15km down to Black Beach on the seacoast.

So, there are no thrills and spills to be had on the Musquash. On a sunny summer day though, it's a pleasant cruise, as long as you time your launch with the top of the tide. When the tide's high, it is deep with a good seaward push. But when the tide is out, it is barely a foot deep, trickling through oozing mudbanks.

Our trip was sponsored by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. There must have been over 40 craft, canoes, sea kayaks, river running kayaks, and yellow doughnut boats. It was one of the first truly sunny days of what had been a wet and cool spring and summer.

We enjoyed quality sightings of eagles, ospreys, and geese as we paddled down the Marsh. Often, we gammed up with other paddlers, learning fascinating insights about them and where they were from. Oh yeah, and we got to sample many treats from each other's coolers, too.

There were huge shipwrecks along the shores, ocean-going tankers that seemed so out of place in the marsh. Shortly after passing the wrecks, we emerged out onto the open sea, and paddled around a headland to take out on Black Beach. It was actually my first paddle on the ocean, and it felt kinda funny managing both the smaller wind chops as well as the rolling swell of the wide ocean under my boat.

The Council put on a hot-dog and corn boil for all participants, and arranged a shuttle back to our cars on the highway.

Enjoy my slideshow!!

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