Kayaking Morris Creek, Charles City, VA

Temperatures in the 70s, mostly sunny skies, and a slight breeze made it a joy to paddle this pristine creek in a Wildlife Management Area. I was glad to get to know two “Facebook-friends-I’d-not-yet-met,” who were camping at Chickahominy Riverfront Park for the weekend. They were game to go all the way up the creek to the only takeout so I could have a stretch break, which made for a 14-mile round trip. The upper creek is the prettiest part, so they were happy to go the extra miles.

For a shorter trip, consider putting in at 12300 Wilcox Neck Road, Charles City, VA, where there are three parking spots, plus one handicapped spot. It’s a short portage to the top of the creek and about 4 or 5 miles to the Morris Creek Public Boat ramp.

Not too many birds this time: no eagles, but a few heron and egrets, red-winged blackbirds, swallows, and a pair of kingfishers were active. We suspect the large fish in the underwater vegetation that bumped under our kayaks were gar, but didn’t actually see them for identification. The red flowers in bloom are Cardinal Flowers.

SUP Jamestown

Strong current and a little wind made for a bit more challenging paddle board session than anticipated, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Saw an eagle, check.

Up Gray’s Creek, Surry, VA

This very warm, humid, sunny day was saved by a good breeze on Gray’s Creek. We could have enjoyed exploring more side creeks, but the thought of eating excellent seafood influenced our decision to keep it at about 6 miles.

We saw the usual wildlife: an eagle, ospreys, gray herons, green herons, kingfishers, red-winged blackbirds, buzzards, hawks, lots of fish in the shallows (possibly gar?), tadpoles, fiddler crabs, and one turtle’s head popping up.

Two thumbs up for The Surry Seafood Company. Fresh, well prepared, and well served.

SUP on Gray’s Creek, Surry, VA

Wonderful day in a new paddling location for me – Gray’s Creek on the other side of the James River. It’s always fun to ride the ferry on a pretty day, and the put in next to the Surry Seafood Company was scenic. A pair of eagles fishing made us happy – we always like to check that box. We didn’t get to sample the food because at 1:30 the wait was 90 minutes. Will definitely go back, though.

Deep Bottom Boat Ramp to Dutch Gap Conservation Area and Back

It was a very pleasant day on the water with paddling friends from the Virginia Paddlers MeetUp group. The James River south of Richmond, VA in Henrico county was busy with July 4th holiday weekend boat traffic, but the power boaters were respectful of our kayaking group.

This is a pretty area made more enjoyable by unseasonably cool 75 degree temps and 9 mph breezes. I spotted two eagles near the boat ramp returning. Jumping fish, egrets, herons, and ospreys were present. A single engine airplane was putting on a show for us near the I-295 bridge and we saw several commercial jets departing Richmond international airport. The small purple flower above is American Water Willow, which was growing in large masses at river’s edge. Trumpet vine was also blooming.

Ample parking at the boat ramp with bathrooms. No entrance fee.

Afterwards, we drove 4.5 miles west on state route 5 to Varina, VA and enjoyed good Italian food at Portobellos Ristorante. (Good enough to get takeout for dinner later.)

SUP 2 miles, Jamestown Beach

SUP 4 miles, Jamestown Beach

Very windy at 9:00 a.m., too much chop, so I waited until 11:00 to paddle. No track, no photos.

SUP, 3 miles, Sunset at Jamestown Beach

No track, no photos

SUP Dandy Point, Hampton VA to Factory Point

My first outing with the Stand Up Paddle Boarding Tidewater VA (facebook) group. Went about 2 miles. New “improvements” to AllTrails app have made it harder to use, sigh. I didn’t manage to get the whole route recorded.

Nice to meet more people who enjoy SUP and to see some crossover membership from my kayaking groups.

Race around Gordon’s Island, VA

My first kayak race, even though I’ve been paddling for 10 years. Yay, us! We brought up the Middle of the Pack! We averaged 4.7 mph on this 7.1 mile course, which is pretty fast for paddlers who are usually dawdling to see the wildlife and take pictures. It was fun being out there with all sorts of paddle craft. After seeing all of the “Flying Fish,” I’m dreaming of owning a racing stand up paddle board.