Thursday, November 5, 2009

Ga Coastal Expedition - A Rivoting Success

Kristin: So, tell us, Nigel, in your opinion, what was the highlight of your trip?

Nigel: Apart from the weather and the great changing scenery on my right side, paddling across the Altamaha delta was a treat. It seemed to lie in the middle, an equal distance from nowhere as real Georgia Coast back country. The delta consists of a very changeable area, strong currents, huge amounts of sand deposits, lots of accretion and great geomorphology.

Kristin: Was that day then your favorite day?

Nigel: My favorite day was the second day. We left Beach Hammock and crossed three sounds. The wind had been steady out of the Northeast for several days already. The boats were fully loaded and the decks were awash as we went surfing past empty beaches under grey skies.

Kristin: Was there any thing in particular about the journey that you found disappointing?

Nigel: No.It was the best trip of the year. We will do it again next year.

Kristin: No? What did you do with my husband? And which island then was your favorite for natural beauty?

Nigel: Seeing the frontside of St. Catherine's was another highlight of the trip. It has a mysterious feel to it.. in addition to being shrouded in fog for half of the day. It seems to be the most unreachable and private of the islands. Nobody really knows what happens there.

Kristin: How about something else more tangible that came as a surprise to you?

Nigel: That would be a shipwreck that we came upon on the beach of Little St. Simon's Island. It was a tug boat and looked like something straight out of a movie, something for Captain Jack Sparrow.

Kristin: Did you come to especially appreciate any pieces of gear?

Nigel: Yes, my boat and my paddle. I paddled the Tiderace Explore S. At 17.6 feet long it was fast and excellent for such a trip. I also stayed dry in the boat every day which came as a real blessing. All the hatches were completely dry also. I used my Greenland paddle, which proved a great choice for such a trip. It allowed me to alter my stance as needed each day, for instance by altering the length and depth of each stroke. This can be very useful as the sea states change and as your fatigue level changes. Lastly I am also glad that I took along my secret weapon, the C-Tug kayak cart. It was very handy for transporting heavy boats to and from the campsites.

Kristin: Lucky you. How come we didn't have one of those on our canoe trip?

Nigel: Funny.

Kristin: What then would you have done differently?

Nigel: Not much, it was a good plan. I wouldn't have carried quite as much water and definitely more milk for tea. I brought 17 liters which lasted until Cumberland. I could have refilled on Sapelo which would have helped to lighten my load. I also would have carried more chocolate. No, more chocolate cookies to be exact. I had those Ginger Snaps. Them Ginger Snaps made me mad! Several times I thought to myself, "These damn Ginger Snaps are driving me crazy!"

Kristin: Guess I better ask for the hardest day as well..?

Nigel: That would have been Day 3...Halloween. After a long second day, the wind kicked around to the West, then South. It was foggy, then hot. At the end, the take out was at Cabretta, which was difficult. There was a group of witches from Atlanta at the campground who did not want us there. It was a tiresome day.

Kristin: All and all it sounds like a fantastic experience paddling and camping along some breathtaking coastline.

Nigel: I'd say so. Yep. A fantastic bit of the coast of the U.S. What's for dinner?

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