Thursday, April 07, 2011

Goose Creek Paddle Fest

It was another great weekend at the 2nd annual Goose Creek Paddle Weekend. Every time I go to Hobucken to paddle or sail, I’m reminded how great the people there are, and how welcoming Shawn and Pate’s BoatYard is. Paul posted a nice history of Pate’s Boat Yard that he researched while I was out there last year.

Hobucken is quite a rural community, though the Island hosts a small Coast Guard Station, is located on the NC Intercoastal Waterway, and another small community named Lowland on the North end.  The Island is quite popular among hunters and fishers, but I think kayakers are slowly finding its appeal, and as Steve and Paul have discovered, it’s become a nice convenient spot to start a weekend sail.

This past weekend was the 2nd annual paddle-fest. As usual all was well organized with delicious food, great camping (not a mosquito in sight), and the party (DJ and karaoke) was so much fun. The paddling was even better, and this year a bit challenging and with 20-25 mph winds, even occasionally impossible with 35 mph gusts. But perfect conditions to challenge oneself and see what they are made of. Shawn was motoring around in his pontoon boat playing safety boater and picking up a few of the short boats that had trouble in the winds.  

I’d brought down a new ‘used’ boat to test out, a QCC 600. Which I’m pleased to report is now a new addition to the family, 48 lbs and a little rocket.  The conditions were just perfect to really test it out.

Alan also joined me for the weekend with his new sailboat “Southbound”. See his post here. I’d brought an extra kayak, but with the winds it was all about the sailing for him. See his report here. On Sunday, John (one of the weekend hosts) and I joined him on the sailboat. What an exciting (windy) sail we had.

Thanks everyone, I had a great time.

I’m ready for more sailing, and have found myself looking through some of the well documented trips Steve has done and reported on in his blog "Log of Spartina"  (see right sidebar).  Paul and I will plan a week at the coast either May or June and it just makes sense that we take advantage of the planning Steve’s already done :)

Monday, April 04, 2011


My body was at work today, but my head sure wasn't.  I've just returned from a wonderful weekend of kayaking, camping, and sailing down in Hobucken on Goose Creek Island.  You'll have to wait on pictures and trip report, including pictures of me with my new PFD on, and sitting in my newest kayak :)   And I've still got EC stories to tell.

But this post is about an idea that's been circling in my head all day.  I retire from work Dec 1, 2012, only 20 months from now (yup, I'm counting down).  So of course I need a big plan. 

And now I have it.  I'll just do the March 2013 Everglades Challenge (EC) in my Kruger Dreamcatcher (it's been a bit lonely these days).  I'll just take a short rest, get a ride further south from Key Largo to Key West, then get on the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) and paddle my way back home.  There's the Florida Saltwater Paddling Trail and now the new Georgia Coast Saltwater Paddling Trail I've had my eyes on.  Of course I'll have to paddle all the way to Norfolk Virginia to milepost 0.0 (bet Steve would be there to meet me there when I'm done).

I've actually already paddled the Florida ICW during the 2006 Ultimate Florida Challenge (UFC), but quite a bit of that was in the dark, and my focus was only on paddling forward and getting that 1200 miles done.  I'll see some of it again next March when Alan and I team up for the 2012 UFC, but we'll be sailing it in Class 5 (multi hull) and he's determined that we're going outside. 

This new trip idea, will be slow, smell the roses, enjoy the journey, a vacation.  It's really starting to sound like a great way to start my retirement.  And I've got a bit of time to do the research and look forward to it.  It may only be today's dream but lucky for me, I like to make my dreams come true.