New England Boating TV just wrapped up its 2-day shoot on the Bass River on Cape Cod, and it went off without a hitch, thanks in large part to Dewitt Davenport and his family, who graciously shuttled the crew up and down the river to multiple sites in their 24′ Topaz, and even took us fishing in their beautiful Viking 55. The weather couldn’t have been better, and we came away with a good sense of the river and all that it offers recreational boaters.
The Bass River separates the towns of Dennis and Yarmouth, and flows for 11 miles from Mill Pond in the north to Nantucket Sound at its mouth. It is tidal for its entire length, and the current can really rip in and out—something to keep in mind when boating and paddling here.
The river is also shallow in spots and riddled with sandbars, so pay attention to the channel markers and take it slow (most of the river is a no-wake zone anyway). The lower river has no less than 4 public launch ramps, the largest and best being the town ramp at the mouth of the river, on the Yarmouth shore. This is a 2-lane ramp with lots of parking, tie-up floats and immediate access to the lower river and the Sound. Even very large boats can launch here on all tides. Daily fee is $8.
For transient slips, contact the town marina at Packet Landing, the Bass River Marina (in Dennis, just north of the Rte 28 bridge), or Ship Shops, on the Yarmouth side. Bass River Marina is also where you’ll find the Summer Shanty, a laidback dock-and-dine option with an outdoor porch and patio. Tie-up is free at the marina for restaurant patrons.
The Bass River is an outstanding paddling destination, as long as you time the tides and watch the wind forecast. You can rent kayaks or launch your own at the lovely park next to the Rte. 28 bridge, on the Dennis side. Bass River Kayaks can set you up with a rental and all you need for a short paddle or a full day on the river. If you want to bring your own kayak, you can launch it here and park for free, then head north to explore the quiet upper reaches of the river or paddle south toward the mouth, where you’ll find some beautiful, well-protected beaches.
Here are a few photos of the river. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to visit his great Cape Cod boating destination! (Please continue by clicking below for our Photo Library)
Oh, and don’t forget to watch the Bass River episode of New England Boating TV on NESN, July 15 at 7:00 p.m.
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