This post was originally written on May 3, 2009. If anything I am more in love than ever with being out on the river in my kayak.
There are lot of a reasons why one might think about living along the coast of North Carolina. The clear blue skies that we have for much of the year come to mind first. Then there are the great beaches where we often walk in the evening. One of my favorites is the small town atmosphere that is becoming so rare on the east coast of the United States.
All those are great things which might draw you to the Crystal Coast, but more than likely the chance to be on, in, or near the water is at the top of most people’s list. There are lots of ways to accomplish that, but one of my favorites is kayaking.
We lived in Roanoke, Virginia for years and I often enjoyed kayaking on Carvin’s Cove, but just getting there took almost thirty minutes each way and required a trip on Interstate 81 and an inspection of my kayak before I could even get into the water.
Now I consider myself in kayak nirvana. I take my kayak off the bulkhead, put it on the downward slope heading into Raymond’s Gut, and push myself into the water. In about five minutes of paddling, I am out into the White Oak River. You can see some White Oak kayaking pictures in the pictures towards the end of this Picasa web album.
I never tire of the paddle out our inlet into the river. Almost every trip I see a white, blue, or green heron. I have been treated to an osprey diving into the water and coming up with a fish. I have also had young shrimp jump into my kayak. I have met bottle nosed dolphins out in the river.
When the water gets very high, I paddle in places that I might not normally reach. I enjoy going out and exploring the oyster rocks. I usually have a fishing rod with me so I have been fortunate enough to bring back a flounder for lunch. Fish does not get any fresher than that.
One of the great things about kayaking is that anyone can do it. Even if buying one is out of the question, kayaks are available for rental. Often when we are fishing the area in our skiff we see kayakers from the rental place in Cedar Point out enjoying the water.
If does not take a lot of gear for kayaking. I always have my life jacket, a bottle of water, a piece of line tied to my paddle in case I drop it while fishing, a few extra lures, my fishing rod, a knife, and my phone all in a small waterproof bag which fits between my legs.
I usually wear my straw hat and put on some sun screen if I am out in the heat of the day. There is usually no more preparation than that. I can walk in the door from work and usually be paddling in ten minutes.
Paddling out onto the river is a great way to unwind from the day. Somehow sitting on the water and moving around using your own muscles is about as good a therapy as can be found.
It actually ranks right up there with walking on the beach and losing your thoughts in the surf.
Read more about kayaking on the river at Seduced by the River and Fog.
Read more at Life Along The Crystal Coast.