The dramatic shorelines near Magnolia are only a short diversion from the routes along Cape Ann. Several coves in the vicinity offer water shallow enough to anchor, with protection adequate for a midday stop in most summer weather.
If the crew is looking a little green contemplating lunch underway in the leftover swell rolling along the North Shore, Kettle Island can make a surprisingly effective and welcome wavebreak.
The western side of Kettle Island is easy to approach at any tide. There are no buoys, but there is plenty of open water between Kettle and Great Egg Rock, and all the shores are bold. This is a popular spot for divers; watch carefully for their flags.
Goldsmith (or Coolidge) Point is a spectacular former estate now owned by the Trustees of Reservation. It’s accessible by land, but lacks an obvious dinghy landing. We usually anchor in the cut between Kettle Island and the point, close under the island wherever the water is flattest. The holding is adequate and either shore provides a nice backdrop for lunch.
The entrance to Magnolia Harbor is less inviting, with unmarked 5 and 6 foot spots all the way across. Enter only if the water is flat and you’re sure of the tide.
The harbor itself is actually quite exposed to the ocean, and any surge tends to pile up over the sloping bottom off Gray Beach. Tide and sea state permitting, it can offer a nice lee in a northerly.
The water between Norman’s Woe and his Rock is also navigated by eyeball. Neither of the shoreside ‘markers’ indicated on the chart is obvious enough from the water to be much use.
The anchorage behind Norman’s Woe Rock is the most dramatic and least sheltered of the three. It provides only the suggestion of protection from any outside swell, but in flat water you can work your way as far behind the Rock as depth permits.
Umbrella on the beach, Kettle Island.
Anchored in the cove behind Norman’s Woe Rock, with Hammond Castle in the background.
Not for navigation. Charts are not updated.
Facilities / Fitting Out
No services are accessible by water in Magnolia.