The Casual Kayaker   -    Location reports of my flatwater kayaking

Waiting Out The Weather

It's the second half of September, and we haven't been out paddling in a month. It's been miserably hot over the summer, but we paddled anyway. Then the drought took it's toll. After finding that great marshy location for birds in the last report, the water level at Jordan Lake began to fall. It was quickly a foot and a half lower than that last trip, leaving my newfound spot high and dry. We hoped for rain, and it came, to everywhere but here. Then hurricane Irene showed up, and we had high hopes we would get some fringe benefits from that... but it didn't happen. At this point the lake level is 3 feet below that last reported trip. Before Irene, we did make one desperate trip to check out how bad the water drop had affected the marshy spots, and the trip was dismal... and that was when the water was only 2 feet below the last report. Then finally we got sporadic rain, usually on the days when we would have had time to go paddling, so we didn't go. But the rain was little more than a spit and a promise, and the lake kept going down, and we didn't get to paddle.

Jordan is now hovering at 3 feet below "full pool", and even though I decided to go paddling anyway and get out and walk the dried up spots to explore for birds, the rain comes when I have the chance to paddle, so I don't go, and it still doesn't rain enough to justify calling it rain. Too overcast and dull for photography anyway. Very discouraging to say the least. So instead I hit the internet and photography forums and paddling forums and researched places elsewhere to go - places where there are lots of birds to photograph from the confines of a tiny boat, and scenery to see. I'm populating my Google earth screen with lots of pins and markers and notes and links to web sites and info in an effort to sort out some good places to visit with my kayak in tow. All the while autumn is creeping up, and soon it'll be time for my Outer Banks photography expeditions to take in the migratory season out there. So many plans, so little time to put them into use, but it keeps me occupied.

"If you're not paddling, you're not getting anywhere."

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When I first began kayaking I found a most helpful blog by Tom Haynie that aided me greatly in finding and choosing new flatwater locations. His blog was infinitely more detailed and useful than anything I found on kayaking forums. I quickly resolved to share my own impressions of locations I've visited, including details I believe to be important and helpful, in hopes of providing practical information to others. I sincerely hope you find something useful and helpful here. (For more location reports visit Tom's blog at

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