Circumnavigating Gordon Island

8 paddlers from the Virginia Paddling meet-up group enjoyed a hot day on Gordon Creek. We saw powerboats on the Chickahominy River, a few other paddlers, some heron, geese, and ducks. We were disappointed by no eagle, otter, or turtle sightings, but it was midday and hot, so we were not at all surprised by the lack of critters stirring about.

Sarah’s Creek and Gloucester Point

Fun paddle on Sunday with the Virginia Paddlers kayak group. We put in at Gloucester point, went up and down Sarah’s Creek, then out around the point to the bay. The river was like glass on the way out, and then the wind kicked up, giving is some wave action to ride back to the bridge.

Paddleboarding at Hatteras, NC

We camped at Frisco Campground (NPS) on Hatteras Island. The ocean side was too rough and cold for paddle-boarding, but we enjoyed driving on the beach and flying kites. Luckily, the water in shallower Currituck Sound was much warmer, so we didn’t really need our wetsuits and had fun on our SUPs. We saw some small skates and big turtles swimming below and around us.

Update on 8/19/19: I later learned that the very vocal bird that kept us awake all night was a Whippoorwill. Take earplugs, or this is what you’ll hear all night long – they are relentless:

Diascund Creek Out and Back

This is one of my favorite Williamsburg-area paddles. Putting in at Liberty Baptist Church on Route 60 in Lanexa, VA has to be timed with the tides and respect to water levels. At best you’ll have about 1 foot of water at the launch, but the creek is so beautiful, it’s well worth doing the research.

We put in around 1:15 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 and were back at the launch site by 4:00 p.m. The route is generally south – north, but it meanders a bit, so GPS is very helpful and I for one won’t do this creek without it. The creek meanders and the directionally challenged (like me) may end up paddling in circles without it.

The route includes paddling under a train trestle and an old pipeline. In Spring, the scenery is a nice blend of cypress swamp, dogwoods, mountain laurel, wide open creek, homes and private docks. We saw several large blooms of Wisteria this trip. From June to September this creek is well known for its stunning patches of American Lotuses. I plan on another trip this summer to see them.

Wildlife we saw this trip included turtles, ducks, geese, osprey, woodpeckers, a dragonfly, and lots of jumping fish.

Cherry Blossoms from the Potomac

The Virginia Paddling Meetup launched from Gravelly Point, Arlington, VA at 10:00 a.m. on April 7, 2019. The famous cherry blossoms were just past their peak, because spring came early and made us scramble to adjust our plans. They were still gorgeous and the warm air temperature made for a fun paddling day. Water temperature was still only 52 degrees, so we were dressed for possible immersion. Thankfully, there were no mishaps.

We paddled up the Potomac, enjoying watching all of the people on shore who were taking group shots and selfies with the cherry trees. We stopped for lunch and a stretch break on Roosevelt island, where we saw the bluebells. Animal sightings included ducks, geese, cormorants, and turtles.

Coming around Roosevelt Island we had excellent views of both the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. We were off the water by 2:00 and headed back for what was a 2.5 – 3 hour drive for most of us. Well worth the drive to see our nation’s capitol in its springtime glory!

Rens Road Boat Ramp to Poquoson River

After work paddle with Hampton Roads Kayakers meet up group. 4 paddlers dressed for cold water (51 degrees) on this breezy 59-degree evening to enjoy watching the sunset. Saw a few herons and egrets, plus some very large Canadian Geese.

New Year’s Day Paddle

The Virginia Paddlers group launched from the James City County Marina at 10:30 on a cloudy, but unseasonably warm day, with temperatures in the mid-60s. Cold water temps required “dressing for the dunk,” of course. We enjoyed our lunch break at Black’s Point beach, then headed for the “hole in the wall” to return us to Back River, then paddled up Powhatan Creek to the marina.

Lesson learned: circumnavigate the island counterclockwise to go with the current and outgoing tide next time!