Start: 5:50 AM - Core Creek, NC
Finish: 2:30 PM - Hobucken, NC
Daily dist: 32 miles
Total dist: 3000+ miles
Weather: Partly cloudy with wind from the ESE at 10-15mph
Notes: Calm start and finish with some fun water in between
Well after a day of paddling like today there is no reason to have doubts or regrets for deciding to take the ICW rather than the Outer Banks. Thomas the shrimper had told me that this area is beautiful and he was right. As I paddled early this morning the pine trees along the shore reflected in the flat calm water which was disrupted by only my boat and paddle and an occasional dolphin surfacing for a breath. All the while the sound of owls calling their last hoot of the day could be heard echoing in the distance.
This tranquil calm start to the day was not a clue to what was to come once I left the confines of the narrow river channel I started out in. After about two hours of calm paddling I entered the Neuse River on which a building East wind was blowing against an out going tide. The combined forces working against one another stacked the water up into steep two foot waves. For an hour and a half I bounced across these waves with several washing completely over my deck and soaking me from my head down. I had considered putting my paddling jacket on earlier but unfortunately had decided not to. By the time I reached the far shore of the river I was plenty wet and a bit cold so I landed in order to re-group before starting a ten mile run into the even more open Pamlico Sound. During the break on shore I donned my TecTour paddling jacket and instantly felt warmer and ready to take on whatever was to come. Because I was out of the tidal flow of the Neuse River, the next three hours of open water were not as bad and I made great time toward the sheltered water of Gale Creek near the town of Hobucken.