Sunday, September 25, 2011

Kiptopeke Paddle 9/24/2011

102_4875_2 by jmharper60
102_4875_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Four intrepid Mice ventured to the Eastern Shore on a soggy weekend, hoping to get a good paddle in. After the torrential downpour of late Friday afternoon, it wasn't looking likely; but the rain pretty much held off after that, and gave us a window around lunchtime of Saturday to squeeze in a paddle.

It was probably too soggy for tent camping, but it wasn't too bad for those with a camper. The rain held off long enough for a fire each night, and was light enough for a trip into Cape Charles after the paddle.

Around Raccoon Island

102_4904_2 by jmharper60
102_4904_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

The paddle was the traditional one for Kiptopeke, around Raccoon Island after putting in at the wildlife refuge. Half of the paddle is in the navigation channel between the mainland and the island, and half in the open water between the island and the ocean and outer barrier islands.

We also took a look at Skidmore Island before noticing some advancing showers and heading back to take-out. It drizzled for about half of the paddle and the wind was pretty light- not the best paddling weather, but not bad!


102_4882_2 by jmharper60
102_4882_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Since we were out once again at low tide, we had to avoid the substantial sandbar on the far side of the island. We paddled out far enough that we thought we were going to nearby Smith Island. We remembered a lesson learned on an earlier Kiptopeke trip- If birds are standing, it is probably too shallow to paddle.

Here, Jerry, Laurie and Debbie work east, looking for the end of the sandbar.


102_4877_2 by jmharper60
102_4877_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

A cormorant observes the strange creatures approaching, and debates whether to stay put or fly away.

For those who stuck it out, (and the cormorant didn't) it was a nice paddle around Raccoon Island, and a not so soggy camping weekend.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smithfield Waterways Paddle 9/18/2011

One intrepid mouse went paddling on Sunday at Smithfield, despite the ominous clouds and sprinkly weather. Put in was at Windsor Castle Park.

The wind dictated the direction of the paddle. If you paddle into the wind to start with, the wind will help you back when you get tired. In this case, going against the wind led to the town of Smithfield.

Easy In, Easy Out!

Easy In, Easy Out! by jmharper60
Easy In, Easy Out!, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

It doesn't get any easier than this. Set your boat on the rails, hop in, and slide into the water. One of the nicest facilities you will find for kayaking.

A Cloudy Windy Day

A Cloudy Windy Day by jmharper60
A Cloudy Windy Day, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

A mini-nor'easter was just finishing it's roll through the area. It sprinkled on the way up to Smithfield, it sprinkled on the way back. During the paddle it was just overcast and a steady wind from the east. Turning up a few side creeks gave a break from the hard pull against the wind. Of course, the trip back to take-out was much easier.

On the Pagan River

On the Pagan River by jmharper60
On the Pagan River, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

The Pagan River branches off the James and winds its way up to downtown Smithfield. The river continues up to the meat packing plant. When the wind is blowing right, as it was this day, you can smell the pork products!

Ready to Take Out

Ready to Take Out by jmharper60
Ready to Take Out, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

The view from the water coming back to the dock. Just put the nose of your boat in the middle, and use the rails to pull yourself up on the rollers. Then you can just step out.

A little on the windy side, but dry- a nice paddle!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Bennett's Creek Evening Paddle, 6/28/2011

Ooops! Forgot to post this paddle!

Six mice met at Bennett's Creek Park in Suffolk for an evening paddle up the creek towards the Nansemond River. Evening paddles are generally very relaxed and peaceful. The wind has calmed down, the late-day light is mellower, and it is just great to get out on the water after a day at work.

Refreshment Stop

Refreshment Stop by jmharper60
Refreshment Stop, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

A tradition on our Bennett's Creek paddle is a stop at the Harborside restaurant for a quick beverage. We use the boat ramp next to the restaurant, stow our boats out of the way, and head to the bar!

Evening Put-in

Evening Put-in by jmharper60
Evening Put-in, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

After the refreshment stop, we put in for the final 20 minutes back to take-out. It wasn't as dark as it looks in this picture of Sue, but it was getting there!

Halfway back, it started pouring rain, and we pulled in to the boat ramp soaking wet and laughing.

Loading in the Dark

Loading in the Dark by jmharper60
Loading in the Dark, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

The gang takes a very short break after loading up in the dark at take-out. The rain stopped soon after we pulled in.


Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'd Paddle Down the Street, but It's Too Windy

Mowbray Arch During Irene by jmharper60
Mowbray Arch During Irene, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Close to the peak of Irene, and the tidal surge is moving up Mowbray Arch in Ghent. I'd love to paddle it, but with 40-50 mph winds, I'd wind up in North Carolina!

Hope that everyone comes through Irene OK.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Lake Meade Paddle- 7/9/2011

102_4703_2 by jmharper60
102_4703_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

SEVENTEEN mice met at Sue's place out in Suffolk, and headed over to Lake Meade for a paddle, to be followed by a cookout. It was a long line of cars that made the two-mile trip.

Thanks to Sue for suggesting the put-in, and for hosting a great cookout afterwards. Lots of great food and fun with friends!

In a Line

102_4724_2 by jmharper60
102_4724_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

The thought of some good food was motivation enough for these Mice to hightail it back for takeout. This group hit their rhythm, and held this line together for about five minutes.

A Beautiful Day on the Water

102_4720_2 by jmharper60
102_4720_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Fresh water that is. It is nice to get out on some fresh water every once in a while. Lake Meade is a reservoir for the Portsmouth water supply.

Paddle the Bob Way

102_4712 by jmharper60
102_4712, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Bob knows how to kick back and enjoy a paddle, doesn't he? And yet, he often charged ahead of the group and had to stop and wait. What's your secret, Bob?

Group Shot

DSCF0110_2 by jmharper60
DSCF0110_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

It was a legendary feat of organization- or just an accident. Whatever the explanation, sixteen Moguls got together, and were all in a line, AND pointed in the same direction. A reason to celebrate, don't you think?

That's More Like It!

DSCF0112_2 by jmharper60
DSCF0112_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Now there's some enthusiasm!


Morning on the Lafayette River

Nine early rising Moguls met at John's house Sunday morning, July 31st. Meet time was 8:30, as recommended by John. We were rewarded with a quiet river- few powerboats, no lawnmowers, and some good nature sightings.

Jim and his Long Boat

Jim and his Long Boat by jmharper60
Jim and his Long Boat, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

You never know what boat Jim will bring, but this seventeen footer is one of his favorites. It is a touring boat- longer and narrower than most of our boats, with no rudder. It goes straight better, but is a little more challenging to turn. Jim makes it look easy, though.

Looking for Eagles

Looking for Eagles by jmharper60
Looking for Eagles, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

John reported seeing eagles and eaglets a little earlier in the summer, and took us to the viewing spot. Alas, there were no eagles to see, but their nest was still in one of the trees. Here, John points out the nest location to Chris.

Very Relaxed

Very Relaxed by jmharper60
Very Relaxed, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

John shows how to relax on the water in style. Note the PFD under his feet!

Sunday Fun

Sunday Fun by jmharper60
Sunday Fun, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Bob takes advantage of a lull in the action to smile for the camera.

The morning paddle was a new idea for us, and a good one. We got out on the river before the powerboats, and had a quiet, peaceful paddle.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Nanney's Creek Paddle- 6/26/2011

102_4653_2 by jmharper60
102_4653_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Six Moguls made it out to the end of Mill Landing Road in Virginia Beach for the Nanney's Creek paddle. It was a beautiful day for a great paddle.

Put in is at a rustic Fish and Wildlife service boat ramp with plenty of parking. There is about 100 yards of open water on Back Bay before reaching the mouth of the creek.

Sandy and Peggy are enjoying a brief pause in the paddling.

To the Other Side

102_4671_2 by jmharper60
102_4671_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

This is our third year paddling Nanney's Creek. Each year, we paddled to the bridge and turned around. This year, Peggy pushed the envelope- wanting to see the other side. Here she is seen making the return trip after the other paddlers declined to make the trip.

Made it!

102_4674_2 by jmharper60
102_4674_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Peggy emerges unscathed from her adventure under the bridge. She benefitted from a larger cockpit opening that allowed her to get lower in her boat

On the Way Back

102_4655_2 by jmharper60
102_4655_2, a photo by jmharper60 on Flickr.

Jeanine and Deb smile on their way back down the creek to take out.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

West Neck Creek Paddle

Originally uploaded by jmharper60
On September 26th, 2010, four able mice paddled the West Neck Creek in mid-soutern Virginia beach. We put in at the West Neck Marina, and paddled north. It was a cloudy day, with rain in the forecast. The clouds served to keep the heat away, making for a very comfortable day on the water.

Uniquely Karl

Originally uploaded by jmharper60
Karl has joined us for almost every paddle the last couple of years, in his green tandem boat. He has adapted it for solo use by moving the back seat forward some. There is still plenty of room for him to stretch his legs, and keep the beer cool!

Three Faces

Originally uploaded by jmharper60
Laurie, Horst and Karl make their way up the creek.

The West Neck Creek that we paddled has three faces. Near the marina, it is wide, with lots of side creeks. After about a mile, it narrows down some and meanders. It still feels like a natural watercourse. Finally, at Indian River Road, the creek turns into a straight channel, man made.

Take Out

Originally uploaded by jmharper60
Horst stretches out, Karl pulls his boat, and Laurie looks for our fourth paddler at the West Neck Marina.

In the end, the rain held off long enough for us to paddle six-and-a-half miles, and get home and put away. Another great paddle!