|That's me and I can't seem to get upright...|
It’s going to be a hot day, temperatures nearing triple digits and high humidity making the heat index of around 110. Just to be on the safe side, I pack four water bottles, a full gallon of water along with a sunscreen, insect repellant, lunch, a towel, and a beach tarp in which to retreat during the searing midday sun. A few minutes after nine, I arrived at the Delegal Marina where I met eight other kayakers for the trip to Wassaw Island. Although we were supposed to start at 9:30, most of the others already had their boats in the water when I arrived a few minutes after nine. I stuffed everything in my boat and joined them and soon we were paddling east, out of the marina and toward the mouth of Delegal Creek. It’s not a long trip, five miles one way, but one that has to be carefully planned with the tides and involves some open water much of the Ossabaw Sound is open to the ocean. We paddled out on the falling tide. Leaving the safety of Delegal Creek, we merged with the Vernon River which opened to Green Island Sound, passing Raccoon Key to the south. It was an enjoyable paddle on calm waters. We passed the mouth of Adam’s Creek, then Curtis Creek and Pine Island. You could see a clump of trees in the distance, our destination, but straight ahead was the wide open Atlantic. As I didn’t know any of the paddlers before this morning, I first spent time paddling next to Rudy, who moved to Savannah from New York but is originally from Belgium. We paddle a ways out from land in order to avoid sandbars, but even here in places, the water is shallow enough that I hit bottom with my paddle. In other places it is very deep. As we paddle I get to meet many of the other paddlers: Bob, Dave, Ruth, John and three other guys whose names I forgotten.
|Arriving on Wassaw|
|The dunes by the ocean|
|another "portrait" photo that blogger won't let me turn... |
the forest of Wassaw
|A calm day by the Atlantic Ocean|
We arrive on Wassaw around 10:30 AM, beaching our boats on the safety of the sound side, at a site tucked away behind the inlet. After pulling our boats out of the water, we hike north, along the sound, to a trail that cuts across the island. The interior is heavily wooded, mostly pines with palms and other bushes growing underneath. The soil is sandy. We hike out to the beach. It is two hours from low tide, but the water is already calm. There are only small waves. Most of us swim and cool off, even though the water is warm. Afterwards, we hike on the beach around the inlet and back to our boats. Umbrellas open and I pop up my sun shade and we all retreat from the intense rays as we eat lunch. I make a few notes in my journal and the close my eyes and nap. I don’t sleep very long as soon others are packing up. Rudi suggests we wait till 1:30, to catch the incoming tide, but by 1 PM, we’re on the water, paddling back.
|Preparing to leave Wassaw|
On the way back, the wind is still off the land and is in our faces making the paddling more difficult. When the tide turns and begins to push against the wind, choppy waves form and occasionally break over the bow of my kayak. I am glad I have a spray skirt to shed the water. After forty-five minutes of paddling, we stop near the mouth of Curtis Creek and to rest and explore inland a bit, before paddling back to the marina. Although it is hot, the wind and water keeps us cool. We arrive back at Delegal at 3 PM.