12 in 12 Paddle number 5: Delegal Creek

I have been boating on most of these local salt water rivers all of my life, but Delegal Creek is one I have seldom been down.   To enter the creek by a power boat, one must know the channel that leads to this creek very well.   You enter this creek through Steamboat Cut from Green Island Sound.  This area becomes very shallow at low tide and has left many a boater stranded on a mud bar waiting until the incoming tide lets him leave again.  The shortest and most direct way to access this creek is from Skidaway Island, a private, exclusive, gated community that was developed on an island that I used to play on as a child.  My father used to take me over to the island by boat to explore the inside and look for deer (this was way before the bridge was built and long before the Landings community was established).   I even had a picnic lunch date on its southern tip before the development and golf course were completed.

Gerry Cowart, a paddle buddy and fellow 12 Georgia rivers in 2012 participant, invited Mary and me to join him to paddle Delegal creek in conjunction with a Skidaway Island Kayak Club outing.  This paddle was scheduled around a VERY high tide, along with a VERY full moon.  It was going to be a high tide of close to 10 feet, well higher than our average of 6-7 feet.

When we arrived at the Marina, the tide was already very high and most of the marsh grass was covered and it wasn’t high tide yet.  This high tide was going to be enhanced even more by the wind that was blowing straight in from the  east and directly downriver.  The incoming current was running so fast that it was making a wake against the concrete pilings!  This marina really has a nice storage system for the resident’s kayaks.  I was so impressed I took several pictures, hoping, in the future, to possibly recreate at my own house.

Gerry had prearranged for a friend and co-worker of his, Emad, to prepare a Lebanese style dinner for us.  It was DELICIOUS, and as we dined we enjoyed a stiff breeze from the ocean.

Pre-kayak dinner

Close to sunset, we all launched from a very cool custom kayak launch.  Launching from this was akin to coming out of a downhill ski racing gate (well, sort of if you have an imagination).  Everyone launched successfully, but those that entered the water prior to others, either had to paddle into the wind to hold position, or park in what little marsh was left.

Once everyone was ready to paddle we paddled with the current and traveled along the back side of Green Island (see previous post # 4).  The marsh was completely covered by the high tide at this point and we were able to paddle over some very shallow areas that we would not have normally been able to paddle over.  We had a new & several fairly new paddlers with us and they all did great.

Paddling was almost effortless, made easy by the wind and incoming tide.  (I wondered what the return trip would be like, paddling against the wind but with the outgoing tide.)

It seems like no sooner than we started, the sun started to drop and left us with a beautiful sunset (as we had hoped)

As the sun dropped into the west, we turned around and began our paddle back to the marina.  We had a few more moments of sunlight before the full moon was to rise.

As we continued our way home, the moon was rising from the east.  It was going to be a GORGEOUS full moon as predicted (however, my pictures did not do it justice).  The wind, coupled with the slight chop made it difficult to get a great picture.  The return trip was a little more difficult, paddling into the wind, but, on the bright side, we burned off the calories we consumed at dinner.   Again, it was a great paddle, with great people.  Who could ask for more????

Five Rivers!

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