Kayaking and Snorkeling in Ninigret Salt Pond - 7/14/2012
The outings club took to the water in July for a kayaking and snorkeling excursion at Ninigret Park and beach. Those who joined in for the kayaking portion of the outing launched from the poorly signed boat ramp in Ninigret Park. The launching area, once you find it, offers great access to Ninigret Salt Pond in all directions. Even for those not joining the kayakers, the launch area was worth checking out. It is marshy wetland that, through painstaking effort, has been restored to its natural ecology. Once overrun by invasive, the area now offers a diverse habitat of native plants that acts as prime habitat for migrating sea birds. The effort is part of a larger plan to reclaim more land surrounding the salt pond.
The kayakers traveled west along the northern coastline of the salt pond for some time before crossing the pond to the barrier beach side where they met up with the rest of the outing group that had spent the morning swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling at the salt pond. Though the water was still and clear, the snorkeling was not as good as advertised. That said, some snorkelers spotted a quahog sized clam hiding just beneath the sand. It could only be seen because its lips were ever so slightly opening and closing just above the sand level. Another snorkeler figured out that if you flipped over a rare fist-sized submerged shell, there was almost always a small fish sitting (literally) on the sand beneath it. The fish were always unhappy to be disturbed and would frantically try to get back under or next to their shell. Once the shell was flipped back over the fish would quickly disappear back under it.
Once the kayakers arrived at the beach everyone headed over to the ocean side of the barrier beach and went for a swim in the much more turbulent waters of the Atlantic. The air was hot and the water refreshing.
Eventually, the kayakers and beachgoers parted ways and headed back to their differing parking lots of origin. The day was not over though. The group met up once again on the deck at Ocean Mist on Matunuck Beach where they shared post outing refreshment and stories alike with the sun shining on their faces.
Sierra Club Rhode Island