Misery Islands

Yesterday I kayaked to Misery Islands! Twelve miles roundtrip!

Accompanied by Dawn Paul and Marilyn McCroy, we set out early to explore Great Misery and Little Misery. For those who don't know, Misery Islands are a pair of islands off the coast of Beverly, MA, in Salem Sound. In the 1910s and 1920s, there was a resort with cottages built on Great Misery. But a brush fire destroyed the buildings, leaving many stone structures and foundations is tact.

When I heard the story of the islands, Great Misery in the shadow of Little Misery, it became a metaphor for my divorce. Eventually it became the title poem of my second book, Misery Islands (CavanKerry Press 2014). But I had written the poem without ever stepping foot there. So I felt like I needed to go before the book was published. And, I thought it would be cool to get photos of the structure for a possible book cover.

Now, I have been famously quoted as saying, "I hate nature." I really have no problem with nature, it's the mosquitoes, ticks, poison ivy/oak/sumac that freaks me out. And kayaking? The truth is that I really like kayaking. But haven't been in one in about 10 years. I can't imagine living inland. There's something calming about living so close to the water. And in New England, to paraphrase Dawn, the water is so cold that kayaking is one of the best ways to experience the ocean. 

The islands are now property of The Trustees of Reservations. Much of the island is wild. Lots of meadows with daisies and beach roses. They cut large paths so people can explore or spend the day at the beach. Quite frankly, I was surprised how many families with boats were there. But you can see out to the Atlantic for miles from all sorts of vantage points. And thankfully, I managed to avoid all the poison ivy along the trails. Ugh. 

I took more than 100 photos yesterday; wish I could post them all. The structures are amazing. Could not have asked for a better day or better company for my first trip to Misery.

Enjoy these photos!

Marilyn and Dawn at Lynch Park


Samir Barai said…
Very Beautiful pic....

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