Friday, April 24, 2009

Gone Paddling: Friday 6:45AM - 8:00PM

On this first day of their 3-day paddling trip, SandyBottom and KiwiBird paddled about 13 hours and covered about 45 miles --from the boat ramp at the Cedar Island ferry-landing, down through the Harlowe Canal, and into the James River near Morehead City, NC.

Path Traveled on Friday

At about 6:45 AM, SandyBottom (SB) and KiwiBird (KB) made an early start from the public boat ramp next to ferry dock on Cedar Island. They headed for the strait between tiny Racoon Island and Piney Island.

Piney Island being a bombing range, perhaps it might just as well have been named "There-Used-to-Be-Racoons-Here Island". In any case, SandyBottom and KiwiBird will stay well away from Piney Island.

SPOT Tracking as of early Friday Morning

Meanwhile, the wind forecast indicated that the first part of their kayak trip around the "NC Challenge 2009" route would give SandyBottom and KiwiBird a nice tailwind in the 6-12 knot range.


Observed winds were rather different: SB reported that there was zero wind during 6:45 AM to 12:30 PM and the water was as smooth as glass. This changed rather suddenly. At about 12:30 when they were on the Neuse River about 12 miles from Clubfoot Creek, they encountered a 10-12 knot headwind that [correction: was absent deeper into ] the ClubfootCreek--HarloweCanal--MillCreek waterway [but present again on entering the James River]. Headwind continued until they stopped for the night on an island in the James River (near Morehead City).

SB reported that the Harlowe waterway was (and I quote) "beautiful". They had traveled through the waterway on Friday afternoon when the water level was "low" but found that it was nonetheless plently deep for sailboats likely to be entering the NC Challenge. She noted that at least parts of that waterway are used by a substantial number of boaters, including shrimp boats in Clubfoot Creek [correction: Mill Creek, not Clubfoot]. SB reported that clearances under the three bridges over the Harlowe Canal appeared to be entirely adequate for the sailboats (and kayaks) likely to be participating in the NC Challenge.

SB had many other interesting comments about the Harlowe waterway and other sections of today's path. I will leave it to her to post a detailed trip report that includes tall hose comments and more.

In brief: On this first day of the trip, SB and KB paddled about 13 hours and covered about 45 miles --from the Cedar Island ferry-landing boat ramp to the James River.

Technical note: the first picture at the top of this report was created using the following URL code:

For clarity, some spaces have been inserted in this listing of the code. All spaces should be removed from this URL code to create the Google Map image.

--DWSB reporting

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