Apr 19th 2008
I originally had a commitment out in Franklin today, but that went away, which is a good thing, because I could not figure out a way to sneak in a trip on the Nottoway or Blackwater river. If I am going to drive all that way I should get something out of it, right. Those original plans fell apart, cool...
So I decided to give Lovitts Landing a try, being as I have had a couple emails in the past few weeks about it, and I have not tried it since someone did the modifications to the ramp and poured some concrete and dumped a load of oyster shells. This ramp was a little tricky in the past, but now it is a little more so. The boards are a bit slippery, so watch your step, also keep in mind that there is a large gap in the boards between the 4x4's. If you decide to launch here just keep in mind that it is a little tricky.
Paddled up to Horn Point to meet some people, and the wind was a little stiff but the forecast had it at 11 and dropping as it shifted to the Southwest, so I was not that worried. The trip up was not that bad, except that the direct course had the wind swell on my quarter, in the place that annoys me, so I had to take a bit of a longer course.
Horn point was full, I guess it was training day for the "Eco-Tours", not a big fan of the tours, they put to many people on small creeks. Had a chance to chat with Danny, and it looks like he has the place whipped into shape. I was wondering if there was a party, and I wasn't invited.
The friends showed up, and we headed out for a loop around the marsh, it was somewhat of a shakedown cruise for them and their new boats. We headed South on the channel along the area the recently burned, and saw a few Egrets taking advantage of the grass being gone. Further down the channel we came across a cottonmouth crossing the channel (the first of 4 for me). Things got a little confused in the marsh, I knew the cut went through, but I usually traversed it East to West, and we had to back track a little bit to get on the right track.
After completing the loop, and making sure they could find their way back to Horn Point, I headed back down the channel, and noticed that the wind had increased, adding to the fun, I also was pretty sure I would be doing the "Victory At Sea" thing for the last 2 miles. I did get delayed by 3 more Cottonmouths in the channel, they all seemed to have a bit of attitude. When I turned to head out of the channel, my suspicions about the conditions were confirmed, nice hefty wind swell, the only good things about it was that it did give one hell of a workout, as well a good sense of how the new boat would handle rough water. I was constantly burying the bow, and had no real issue. One thing though I really did miss having a rudder here and the ability to get the bow a little more to weather, but I'll get over it.
Oh yeah, congrats Jim on Staying Dry... :-)
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