My body was wanting to sleep in this morning, but I convinced it to reluctantly get up when the bell sounded indicating that breakfast was on the table. Lots of good natured chatter in the dining hall then we headed over to the common room for our final gathering. We started it off with sharing then Brother Tim gave us a solid lecture on being who we are meant to be. Afterwards everyone drifted off to their cars to return home and resume their daily lives but with maybe a little more compassion and mindfulness, at least for a few days. I went up to my private camping zone and wrote a post, made a sandwich then slowly closed up shop. I didn’t want to arrive at the Charlestown Breachway too early.
The drive over was easy. Mostly country lanes then easy surface streets through Misquamicut, Westerly and into Charlestown, quaint little beach towns just across the Rhode Island state line. The camping at the breachway is basic, a large dirt lot divided into small parking spaces. Nothing fancy to look at but it is right on the beach to the front and on the right, it fronts the channel that was cut out to allow the boats in Ninigret Pond to access the sea.
I had reserved one on the end at the beach side so I only have a neighbor on one side. People are pretty mellow. I got leveled up and talked to the campers next to me, a young couple from Connecticut on their maiden voyage in an older Minnie Winnie that they had picked up for a song. They were stoked on RVing and he was excited to show me some modifications he had done to the old girl. They were on their way out so I gave them space to pack up and saw them off. I sat out front on the mat under the awning and a Russian guy stopped by to bend my ear for a while, and bend it he did. Mark had some strong opinions on politics and wasn’t shy about expressing them. We chatted for a while then I generated enough energy to go for a paddle in the “pond”.
A pond in New England can refer to anything from a pool sized puddle in a back field to an estuary half the size of Chesapeake Bay. Ninigret is a miles long series of estuaries and bays that runs just inside the southern Rhode Island shore line. The water is crystal clear to about five feet deep. I moved along the shoreline following a sand bar through the channel and out into the main bay. I stuck close to the sand bar watching the horseshoe crabs mate to avoid the occasional power boat that would motor by. I spent about an hour exploring around then returned to the small launching area on the inlet. I paddled towards the narrow zone that goes out between the jetties until the current got too strong and I wasn’t sure I could battle my way back. I paddled back up, put the board away then took my chair over to the beach and watched the tiny waves break on the sand.
I could see the sun going down outside my window, so I walked over to the channel and sat on a large rock watching the sun sink below the shrubbery behind the estuary. Shades of orange and yellow faded to pinks and purples that backlighted the opposite sky. A tranquil end to a weekend of contemplation. Lots of campsites are empty and I have several open spaces next to me. The campers were respectful and the chilly temperatures were conducive for good sleeping.