Monday, October 08, 2007

Rounding the Cape

In North Carolina we have Cape Fear, Cape Lookout, and Cape Hatteras. Not THE Cape Horn, but, it's an area sometimes referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic, it's not without challenge.

Kevin Black is an excellent sea kayaker. If your a regular at the Barrier Island Kayaks (BIK) Symposium or Sea Kayak Georgia BCU week, you may have met him. He paddles a white NDK Explorer (my personal preference) with red trim, and with fantastic red flame decals. I met Kevin many years ago, he was part of a somewhat regular crowd that hung around Lamar's (BIK), surfing long boats in Bogue Inlet. He lives in the mountains, not sure if it's VA or NC, but tries to get to the coast as often as possible. He's lots of fun, and one of those you feel safe with when paddling in conditions.

A couple months ago, I got an email from Kevin, asking my advice, and about my WaterTribe experiences with regards stealth camping. Kevin was planning a big adventure. What a surprise when I met up with him this Saturday afternoon. I was just returning from a paddling trip to Bear Island with a group of new paddling friends, and Kevin was stopping for the day, in the middle of his solo adventure "Rounding the Cape's".

He told me he'd started in Myrtle Beach a couple weeks ago. He'd paddled the coastline, then came inside onto the Intercoastal at Wilmington, mostly from boredom. And, he said he was a bit tired of Carolina dumping waves. He'd had to sit out weather for 4 days, and had clearly had to repair his paddle, the blade looked to have broken right in half. But he was having a great time and looking forward to continuing.

During the 2006 WaterTribe Ultimate Florida Challenge, most of us challengers had also chosen to paddle up the Intercoastal when paddling up the East Coast of Florida. The inlets can be few and far between, pretty nasty even in ideal weather conditions, and this was a race that wouldn't allow much down time sitting on a beach. But also, there is so much more to see on the Intercoastal with boats, yachts, even ships, and docks and mansions on the waterfront. Often you found yourself in conversation with other boaters asking about your adventure, and offering suggestions for campsites or food stops. Staying inside can be a lot less lonely.

While Kevin and I visited, another paddler named Barrett came up. He and a friend were just finishing their final plans of paddling the Intercoastal from Swansboro to Wilmington. It was just fortuitous for him that Kevin just happened to be camping there that night.

Best of luck Kevin, we'll want a full trip report when your done.

1 comment:

Adam Bolonsky said...

Hi Dawn,
thanks for your mentions of the various Capes down in the mid-Atlantic. I camped at Cape Lookout several winters ago and appreciated much its isolation in winter. The dumping surf was ferocious.

The gannets diving for their feed in their surf pounding on those offshore shoals were a pretty sight.

Stealth camping is in some ways the only way to go in Massachusetts, as we've really only got two islands in the entire state where it's legal to camp.

One, Thachers Island off Rockport, is well worth the permit...