laura paddles delmarva

Circumnavigating 650+ miles of Delmarva's shorelines

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Secret Launch on the Choptank

On Tuesday, July 3, the YMCA’s paddle club was invited to launch from a member’s private property.  I probably shouldn’t disclose the exact location of this launch, but it was on the Choptank, not too far south of the Dover bridge near Easton.  We started out by paddling directly across the river into some hidden marsh creeks.  I was amazed at how easy it was to get disoriented and lost amongst the Phragmites and Spartina grasses.  We didn’t want to get totally lost so every time we had a choice of direction we took a left, and once we turned around, we knew only to make right turns.

Once we had our fill of exploring the marsh creeks we headed up the Choptank about a 1/2 mile and explored the exposed cliffs of an eroded riverbank.  We were able to see distinct layers of soil and various shells – mostly scallop shells!  Apparently at low tide this place is a hot spot for finding arrowheads – too bad we were pretty close to high tide.

We paddled at a pretty leisurely pace, covering just over 3.5 miles in about an hour and a half.  It was crazy hot and humid and there was no sense in overdoing it.  Take a look at our path:

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Pierce Taylor Road – Wisharts Point

To sum this paddle up – hot and boring, until the last few minutes.  I set out on the water early on June 30 because the high temperature for the day was somewhere around 103 degrees!  I was in the water at 7:45 and expected to be finished by 9:15 so I would miss the heat of the day.  There wasn’t much to see on this trip for whatever reason.  A few gulls, a few willets, and one cormorant – certainly nothing to write home about.  I did however hear a Bobwhite at the landing before I hit the water!

I paddled a total of 6 miles in an hour and a half – exactly what I expected.  It was pretty cool to paddle underneath the Wallops Island access bridge.  I had been across it numerous times by car and I never realized how tall it was!

I’ve been kayaking for 6 years now, however, this was the first paddle where I encountered cows!  As I was nearing Wisharts Point I passed a small waterfront farm.  From a distance I thought there was some kind of debris along the shoreline.  As I approached closer, it was a herd of cows!  Clearly the day was heating up as the cows were probably in the water well before 9 a.m. and I was drenched with sweat.  Shortly after pulling my kayak out of the water I headed straight to the beach to cool off and go swimming.