Monday, March 09, 2015

An afternoon paddle to Raccoon Key

paddling in Delegal Creek
Taking advantage of the longer day thanks to daily saving time, favorable tides and warmer weather, I launched my kayak on Sunday afternoon at the Delegal Marina and paddled with the ebbing tide toward the open waters of Green Island and Ossabaw Sounds.  You can click on any of the photos to enlarge them. 



pair of osprey 
 I haven’t gone very far before I notice a pair of osprey building a nest on a navigation marker.  As I paddle closer, one takes off, only to come back a few minutes later with another stick.  When I get too close, they begin chirping, obviously upset with my presence.  I continue paddling, leaving them to build their home. 

nest building
At the mouth of Delegal Creek, I paddle around the east end of Green Island Sound and across the wide mouth of the Vernon River.  This is my first open water paddle since the fall and I am always conscious about how open the water is looking out to the sea and how small my boat appears in relations to the water.  However, I'm not nearly as small as the ducks which bob up and down with two foot waves that break across my bow. With the outgoing tide going against the offshore wind, waves move inland keeping me from paddling straight across the channel which would have allow the waves to dump water (and possibility roll me) if I was parallel to the swells.  Instead, I take the waves at a forty-five degree angle, toward the mud flats on the east end Raccoon Key, my destination. 

Relaxing on a sandy beach
Arriving at the key close to low tide, I pull my boat up on high ground and find a small sandy beach where I drop a mat and enjoy the perfect weather.  It’s warm but not hot and there is enough wind to keep the sand gnats at bay.   I read an essay about exploring a cypress swamp in Florida by John Lane and the look to make a few notes in a journal when I realize I don't have a pen.  Instead, I take a nap behind the white noise of waves and gulls.  Thirty minutes later, I get up and explore part of the key and am amazed at the number of dead horseshoe crabs that appear to have been washed on shore and then abandoned far from water when the tide ebbed.  American oystercatchers and a few other shorebirds run up and down the beach at the edge of the water.
American Oystercatcher



Low tide was a little after five, but I wait till nearly six before paddling back across the sound.  The waves have died and I make good time as I head for the mouth of Delegal Creek.  From there, with the tide running strong, it's an easy paddle back to the marina.  There was only one osprey at the nest, when I float pass it.  By 7:30, I’m at home, hanging my kayak in the garage and hungry for dinner.  

44 comments:

  1. Pens are cheap and can be had almost anywhere (except in your case on an uninhabited island) but still I always back two or three with my journal when traveling. I grow attached to a particular style of pen and I don't want to run out of ink when I need to jot down my thoughts the most!

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    1. Ed, I normally have two or three and thought I had put them in the dry bag where I had my book and journal which I attach to the top of the boat, but somehow I just didn't put them in and was sad not to be able to take a jab at recording the sights and sounds and smells of the place.

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  2. How fun! I bought my husband some shoes like those for kayaking, actually.

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    1. Did you pay top dollar for Keens or buy the knock-offs from Payless (mine are the knock-offs)

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  3. Replies
    1. It was a wonderful day and I can't wait to get back out there again.

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  4. That's a really nice place to spend an afternoon in.

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    1. Yes, it is school close (the marina is a mile from my house) and once you on are an uninhabited island, you seem so far away

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  5. Your pictures are wonderful; that looked like a great day and made me want a kayak.

    If only you had an alligator...

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    1. Gators will venture into saltwater, but not often and I doubt they would go into the big water. You should get a kayak--we'd love to see Aussie photos from the water.

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  6. I am envious of you and your many afternoons on the water. Sounds nice, and I'd love to take pictures!

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    1. Water has a way of centering me. You should try kayaking.

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  7. Great pictures. MY family and I stay down in Hilton Head a lot and I love getting out on Broad Creek.

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    1. That's not far from here, I live in the Savannah City Limits, but on an island southeast of the city.

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  8. nice...we have had some nice afternoons the last couple days being out in the sun...and it would be cool to be out on the water enjoying that as well...def sounds like a nice get out and away...

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    1. I'm sure the spring run-off and the Virginia mountain rivers will soon be calling your name.

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  9. You seem to really be enjoying yourself! I love seeing your pictures.

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  10. You seem to really be enjoying yourself! I love seeing your pictures.

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  11. Mate, that's proper padelling, if you don't mind my "Londonism".:-)

    By the way, I replied to your comment. The series was about Cromwell, as in Thomas, not Cromwell, as in Oliver. The latter is 17th century, the former is 16th century. Thomas Cromwell was a protegé of Cardinal Wolsey who fell into disgrace when Henry VIII went against the Pope over his marriage to Catherine of Aragón.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. Thanks--and I am sorry to have confused the two Cromwells. But for some reason, I never got into the English Reformation--preferred to study the Swiss and Scottish one.

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  12. Thank you, Sage, for your kind comment. I am wondering if there are raccoons at Raccoon Key? How lovely to see ospreys, a bird we very rarely see here in the UK. I live in a county defined by twelve rivers.

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    1. I am sure there are raccoons on the island as they are 'coons on most islands down here.

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  13. What a pleasant time paddling with you, Sage



    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^=



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  14. Oh you are having fun in that warm weather....very nice trip

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  15. I love the shot from your perspective of relaxing on the beach!

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    1. It was a nice place to spend an hour or so!

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  16. What a lovely trip! It's so interesting to me that ospreys build their nests of high up things like that. The last time I was in my home town near Lake Sinclair in Milledgeville, GA, there was an osprey nest on top of an old telephone pole.

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    1. I have seen them on navigation poles before--even have posted photos of ospreys before: http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2012/06/todays-boat-ride-and-some-incredible.html

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  17. I love your photos. It looks and sounds like you had a great time.

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  18. My brother is familiar with Savannah and he says it's very nice!

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    1. Savannah is an interesting place and I have enjoyed getting to know it better--from the "wild side"

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  19. 'chuckle'. That first sentence displays the humanocentrism in spades. It's like saying ' wow look at that window it a great source of light'.
    I don't think I'd have done that paddle on my own. Granted I don't know the waters, but you are but an inlet of the Great Atlantic and 'she' can be a very unpredictable indeedy.
    It was a gorgeous day. I really like that the raptors feel safe enough to nest so near the channel. It indicates an awareness on a city and perhaps regional level of wildlife and it place in the ecosystem, and for our general well being, mentally speaking.

    The thing is I don't know if I'm jealous of you living in sun 330 days of the year. I was, when you moved. But I also wondered if you'd feel embraced in it. You see I think we have landscapes that ease us. I need a mountain in my eye, or the sea, preferably both. I remember living in London where I was vaguely uneasy, unsettled, and it wasn't until I went to south Oxfordshire that I realized I'd not seen a mountain in a year. But you really seem to have entered the life of a beachcomber with a gusto that's bordering on indecent :-). Golfing yet ?. :-D

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  20. looks like a wonderful place to kayak. Amazing to see the ospreys building their nest!

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  21. Such detailed articulation, my friend. What a wondrous way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Immersed in thoughts and nature. Being as one with the great outdoors. A magical read. Thank you.

    I wish to thank you for your kind, thoughtful comment on my site.

    May you have a peaceful, positive weekend.

    Gary

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