Windy weekend with the tides against us at least half of the trip going and coming, but a good paddle just the same! The tidal range was near the low end so was about 4.5 feet which help to keep the tidal stream a bit more moderate. We stayed at Buck Hall Thursday night, and the no-see-ums and mosquitoes where defiantly staying there too! Went to get the ramp pass only to find the place burned to the ground. Found out at the ramp that the Citgo station does it now, or they can be done on line.
We did have the wind more or less at our back, and had the tide with us the first part of our trip out. The tide was too low to try Ben and Joe’s dim marsh creek short cut so we went across Muddy Bay, since the wind would be against the tide on Romain Harbor we went by way of Mill and Ramhorn creeks to avoid some of the rough stuff. Paddling time took 3:41 to do 11.21 miles for a moving average of about 3.3 mph. The trip out and back was 23.25 miles. We saw numerous birds and pods of dolphins, and even a river otter. We didn’t see any Loggerhead Turtles this trip, but did see a few cannonball jellyfish dead on the beach a favorite food item of the turtles. The water was a bit rough which made it hard to spot a turtle head catching a breath.
We set up camp and put on headnets. The tent was slightly sheltered and shaded by trees, but the bugs were also living there. It was too windy for a fire, but it kept the bugs away on the beach.
Saturday the winds were expect to be 15-20 kt gusting to 25. Latter that morning we got the kayaks ready and the gear on but the tide, against the winds was building some erratic wave action, and the wind and tide was building. We decided to wait for conditions to improve, but they got worse. We ended not paddling, but spending the day getting sandblasted exploring the beach on the island. The shelling wasn’t as good as it can be, but the day was beautiful though blowing hard. Found both Bobcat and coyote tracks in the dunes. Winds finally slacken somewhat near sunset and the tide had turned, with the clouds moving in we got a great sunset. We hoped the wind wouldn’t be as strong on Sunday’s paddle.
Wind was against us somewhat as was the tide right from the start, but the resulting waves were much better behaved. Even though it is farther we took Alligator Creek to Ramhorne and Mill creeks again. This would give us shelter from the wind and the tide would be with us on Mill Creek. We saw 2 gators on guess which creek? We also saw Wood Storks, Blue Heron, Great and Snowy Egrets, American Bittern, Willets, Whimbrel, Lesser Yellowlegs, Sanderlings, Least Terns, Forster’s Terns, Laughing Gull, Blackbacked Gull, female Common Merganser, Clapper Rails, and Marsh Werns.
ramp at McClellanville
snowy egret and oysters in the marsh
ghost crab at sunrise
tide against the wind
Can you spot the gator in the photo below?
a gator blends well with the oysters
marsh wren nest in the Spartina
Purple Martins at the take out