Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eagle's Island

The Geezer and I paddled around Eagle's Island from downtown today. I've been wanting to do this trip for a bit. Today the island is marsh and dredge spoil, but has seen periods as rice plantation, shipping center, and shipyard. The tides were right and weather perfect. Underway a little after 10:30 from the foot of Castle St. We rode the last of the falling tide to the southern tip of the island and hung a right into the Brunswick River. After WWII the Brunswick River housed hundreds of Liberty Ships built in the Wilmington Navy Yard during the war. They were mothballed and sat there for over a decade until scrapped sometime in the '60's (I think). There are still wooden crossbeams planted in the ground that ran power to the ships, now used mostly as perches for osprey and heron. We had a nice lunch break at the lovely Belville Park, and then continued to make our way around. We rounded the north end of the island some time later into the Cape Fear for the final leg back towards town. During the trip we saw a few red-tailed hawk, great egret, great blue heron, a snowy egret, laughing gulls, a couple of tern, killdeer, brown pelican, osprey, cormorant, and a probable juvenile bald eagle. We covered 13 miles in a little over 4 hours (at a pretty leisurely pace). It was a great paddle and a gorgeous day to be on the water. I missed a little surf for it (surf usually trumps paddling), but I had a really good time, so that's OK. I hope you did something interesting today. Cheers.

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