Safety on large open lakes and rivers

Good Morning, I am with a small group of paddlers, “both kayak and canoe”, who over the past four years have been paddling from the Catawba River in York County South Carolina heading to the coast of Charleston, SC. We have been doing this in one or two day legs at a time.

We are not expert paddlers, but we do enjoy canoeing and kayaking.

On our next leg we would like to go all the way to Charleston to bring an end to this adventure. But we will have to go across Lake Moultrie and down the Cooper river. On our leg across lake Marion we got lucky and have good weather. Our concerns now are in addition to rough waters is navigating without getting lost. Also are there any restrictions or things we need to know about paddling into the Charleston harbor, if we make it that far.

Our alternate route is to take the Santee River to the ocean, we actually had to do paddle a six hour leg in the Santee last year because Moultrie and Cooper were so rough.

Out trip is planned for the third week in Sept. We will be camped at Blacks Landing at the beginning of Lake Moultrie, this is where we plan to start off.

Any information of advice, even a recommendation not to go, will be appreciated.

One more thing I am thinking about getting a GPS for $200 or less, “hopefully”, any recommendations on a good GPS for open water would also be appreciated.

Thank You,

Jerry Locke

2241 Rodman Rd.

Chester, SC 29706

(803) 789-5740

gps and other

– Last Updated: Aug-24-06 4:36 PM EST –

For a gps under 200, I got a Magellan eXplorist 210 under 170$. I believe they are now 149$. The default map they come with does show waterways, which suprised me and one of the reasons I obught that particular model. It also has 22 mb built in compared to 8 mb in other models.

You might want to invest in reflective tape for your boats. Its important to be careful around powerboats im sure you know, so the reflective tape should make you more visible. There are also all kinds of signaling lights which could make a huge differance if someone got separated from the group.

Also, me and soem friends are doing a similar trip here in GA, trying to cover the entire Altamaha river. So far w've gone from HW US 1 (Baxley, GA) to HW US 301 (Jesup, GA). We are going to try next summer to go from Atlanta to the ocean in a single monthlong trip.

If you watch kayaks in the water
from a distance with just a little chop on the water, all you see is blade flash. After seeing this, I painted my carbon blades white with appliance enamel and the tips blaze yellow.I also put reflective tape along the edges of the deck.

gps are awesome
if you get the built in charts that is great. If you don’t make sure to get charts of the area you’re going to be in. I use 2 gps’ without chart capability. I plug in coordinates of my “go-to” points using lat-lon from the charts. I recommend charts as well as they provide greater detail of the area compared to the gps disks and 4" screens.(or smaller)

Did the whole trip. He should have a report in the trip report section. If not shoot me an E-Mail and I can give you his E-mail, or forward yours to him.


Denver NC