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Fall on North Pond

2014 Sunset-Moonrise Lake Paddles
Recap and Photos

(by Ernie Benoit)

WLA Paddles - Summer of 2014
This summer we had four sunset & full moon paddles scheduled. They were to take place on the evenings that we had a full moon in the months of June, July, August and September. Some suggestions were to have the paddles on a weekend so that more people could attend. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I have no control of when the sun, moon, and earth line up to create a full moon, so we had them on the evenings that the moon was full. This year the moon was full on Friday, June 13, Saturday, July 12, Sunday, August 10, and Monday, September 8.

June 13 "Paddle"
On Sunday, June 8, the weather forecast was for rain, but it was supposed to stop before we planned to paddle out onto the lake. I put a note in our announcement that the forecast might have rain and if it was raining we would cancel. Since it wasn't raining when it was time to get to Point Breeze Marina, Nick and Sue Buehler & I got ready to go even though it was overcast and a bit damp. We may not see a sunset or moon rise but we could at least go out for a quiet paddle. We put on our raingear and motored over to Point Breeze Marina in a slight mist.

No one was there except for a young woman who was looking to help someone paddle a canoe. She told us she had never been on the lake before and since no one else had arrived we took her for a short tour of Middle and South Pond.

July 12 Paddle
Saturday, July 12, was a very nice day and lots of people were at the Marina, ready to get out on the lake. It being a Saturday night and warm weather, there were a lot of other boaters out on the lake as well. We ventured out onto the lake and purposely paddled close to shore and did not venture too far out into the main body of Middle Pond as there was quite a bit of traffic from the other boaters. It was a great night for a sunset as there were a few clouds in the west where the sun was to set which makes for a very colorful sunset. The bad news was that there were a lot of clouds in the east which would obscure the rising moon. As I thought, when the sun did set, it was a gorgeous, gorgeous sight. We did not see the moon until very much later and only if you stayed out on the lake longer than most. The moon did make an appearance through the clouds but not until well after sunset. We did have a small situation as we were coming in to the take out. A jet boat full of young people buzzed all of the kayaks and were chased away by our safety boat.

August 10 Paddle
Sunday, August 10, was another nice day and the boat traffic was very low as compared to the July paddle. The weather was just the opposite of the July paddle however. There were very few clouds in the west and just a wisp of clouds in the east. Consequently the sunset was not as beautiful as the one in July but the moon rise was really special. This moon has many names: Sturgeon Moon, Green Corn Moon, Grain Moon and Super Moon. Super Moon because it is the closest the moon will be to the earth this year and will therefore be the largest moon we will see for a while. It was a Super moon and the slight bit of clouds gave it an orange tint as it came over the horizon.

September 8 Paddle
Monday, September 8, was another nice evening for a paddle and a beautiful sunset. We didn't have as many paddlers this time but I am sure those who came out enjoyed both the sunset and moon rise. The lake had very few other boaters out and so we had a serene and calm evening paddle. The sunset was spectacular and the moon was peeking through the clouds as we paddled to shore.

Summary
All in all, we had a lot of fun doing the sunset & full moon paddles this summer and we plan to do it again next summer. We did have quite a few paddlers this summer, some who paddled in from their lakefront and some that came in by land. We had as many as 35 kayaks or canoes, as few as 12, and one wash out. All of the paddles were well received.

Thanks
We have to thank Ray & Jean Travis as well as Nick & Sue Buehler for using their pontoon boats as the safety boat for all our paddles. I am told that the people on the safety boat have more fun than those in the kayaks and canoes. I am looking forward to some more full moon paddles next year.

Other Paddles in the Area
The French River Connection has occasional paddles. For more information and signup see the Upcoming Events at the bottom of The French River Connection Home.

Paddle Killingly is a group in North East Connecticut which meets for regular paddles on lakes and rivers. They begin in Early May and continue through late September. See their website at:
Paddle Killingly Home