Thursday, June 18, 2009

Night Mission on the Cape Fear

On a recent evening walk along the riverfront near our house I observed how lovely and smooth the water looked at the end of the day once the wind calmed and the air cooled off. I thought it would be great to do some sunset paddling, especially since the put-in is so close to where I live. I mentioned it to the Geezer and he said that he'd been wanting to do that for a long time and had just never gotten around to it. So we hatched a plan to look for the right night, and last night worked.

I got off work at 6, rode my bike home, and loaded my gear on the car for the 6 block drive to the launch (I know, driving 6 blocks is a little ridiculous, but it's too much to carry that far solo and I don't have a paddle cart). We were on the water a little after 7. Tide was about two hours into falling and the breeze was light out of the S. We paddled against the current about 3 miles up river to an old rice marsh and explored that a bit. The tide was ripping out of there, so the paddle out of the marsh was fun because we were really hauling ass. The grass in there is really high, almost double the height of cordgrass at the beach. At one point there was a loud noise, like something crashing through the marsh right next to us. I thought that a gator would come flying out at me at any second, but it ended up being birds lifting out of the grass. It's amazing how much noise little creatures can make (ever thought there was a bear running through the woods only to discover it was just a squirrel?). As we got out of the marsh and back into the river for the return trip, the last light was just disappearing, and we were soon in complete dark. It was really nice and the lights twinkled and the air was cool. There was almost no boat traffic. When we got back towards town we paddled along the edge of the riverwalk. Wilmington is a pretty town from the water. It was funny to watch people react to us. Due to current we were moving pretty fast, so to them it must have seemed like these two people in boats just appeared from nowhere, silently gliding by, and then disappeared back into gloom.

We got off the water around 9:30. We covered around 8 miles. It was a really good time and I'm looking forward to doing it again soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment