Billingsgate Island from Wellfleet Harbor
This trip is a longer variation of the earlier trip “Great Island from Wellfleet Harbor”. The trip needs to be timed so that you arrive at Billingsgate Island during low tide. Be aware of the forecast wind direction and velocity, because conditions can change during the longer time period of this trip.
Directions to the Launch: From Rt.6 in Wellfleet turn at the traffic light to Wellfleet Center and Harbor. Take Main St. 0.3 m and turn left to E. Commercial St. Follow Commercial St to the town harbor. Turn right onto Kendrick Ave. and turn into the Mayo Beach parking area on the left across from the Bookstore Restaurant. Park at the end of the parking area nearest the town pier; take the path to the beach and launch outside of the roped-off swimming area.
This paddle is about 10 miles to Billingsgate Island and back. After launching, turn right paddling along Mayo Beach avoiding the main channel with power boats. Once out of the inner harbor continue with the beach on your right about 1 mile. Cross the mouth of the Herring River to the eastern tip of Great Island. Keeping Great Island on the right, follow the shoreline. Follow a course that aims for the end of “second island” in the distance which is about 3 miles from the launch spot.
On your left you can see Indian Neck and Lieutenant’s Island across the outer portion of Wellfleet Harbor. At this point you are approaching Great Beach Hill with Jeremy Point Overlook beyond. As you draw abreast of Great Beach Hill, look for a small cove, right, and then a sand spit ahead. Move well offshore to round the spit. Once past the bar, turn right and paddle i nto a large cove fringed with salt marsh.
One mile ahead is “false Jeremy Point”, the current end of Great Island at high tide. Another ½ mile brings you to the “true” Jeremy Point which is only visible at low tide. Beyond that is a channel, usually filled with seals, that separates Billingsgate from Great Island.
Take out at Billingsgate for lunch. Reverse directions to return.