laura paddles delmarva

Circumnavigating 650+ miles of Delmarva's shorelines

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Cedar Island to Folly Creek

Continuing from the previous blog post!  Brian and I camped on Cedar Island but instead of returning to Wachapreague with him, I continued up north toward Folly Creek.  Before packing up camp though, I was able to capture some cool sunrise shots — not something I’m usually up early enough to see 🙂


I knew I had ground to cover (or water, whatever) and Brian was only planning on fishing and heading back to Wachapreague.  I didn’t want to keep him waiting forever at the Folly Creek landing so I paddled hard and got a workout (I also wanted to complete this leg before the tide started going out).  The winds were dead calm and the water was like glass which made for a really peaceful paddle.  Sometimes I’m really amazed at how silent the world can be when you’re that far away from civilization.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs I paddled northward, the old Coast Guard station on the north end of Cedar came into sight.  I believe it is pretty much abandoned now but might be owned and used by a sportsmen’s club of some kind now.  I did not paddle to the station though.  I veered off into a creek that led to the west a little bit instead.  This may have been a mistake though.  I had Google Earth on my phone to help me navigate through the marsh creeks, but I STILL got lost!  I had to stop several times and stand up on my kayak to try and see where I was headed — the right way, or up a dead end.  I probably hit about 3 or 4 dead ends and had to back track several times before I was able to find the main channel again.

I finally completed this 9-mile stretch at the Folly Creek landing.  I finished literally minutes before the tide changed and minutes before Brian pulled up in the parking lot.  PERFECT timing to say the least.  Unfortunately, my phone died only 20 minutes or so before I finished so I was not able to record the exact path that I took.  Had I not gotten lost in the marsh, I would have had time to record the whole thing!  Anyway, here’s the path I took up until that point:

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Wachapreague to Cedar Island

P1010943It was Memorial Day weekend and we decided we wanted to get away from the crowds.  Brian and I headed to Wachapreague, VA on Sunday with way more gear than we normally bring for a kayaking trip because this was our first attempt and camping by kayak!

Our goal was to reach Cedar Island before low tide so that we weren’t paddling against the incoming tide.  We reached Cedar in just under 2 hours.  There were a good number of daytrippers on Cedar so we went a little further and explored Dawson Shoals and the north tip of Parramore Island.


Brian had been out this way for work back in March and he was amazed at the geographic changes that had occurred to the islands   in just 2 months.  The southern end of Cedar Island had eroded away and Dawson Shoals had increased in size.  Although I didn’t know what it had looked like before, I am still always intrigued and amazed at the dynamics of barrier islands.  You’ll see in the map that it appears we kayaked straight across land, but that is now water (gives you some idea of the change).

I stopped tracking our path at this point so I could power off my phone to save battery.

We spent maybe 2-3 hours on Parramore; Brian fished and I explored.  We are technically not supposed to be on Parramore Island (it’s regulated by the Nature Conservancy, but Brian sometimes has work out there so I felt entitled) so after the tide started to come in, we headed back to Cedar Island to set up camp.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt took a little strategizing to find the perfect spot.  If we camped right on the beach, we were afraid the tide was going to come in too far.  If we camped too far inland, the bugs were TERRIBLE.  We walked up the beach a little ways, but we didn’t want to go too far north or the people staying at one of the houses (there are 3, I think 2 of them are abandoned) could see us and we weren’t totally sure we were allowed to camp there.  So we sucked it up, put on some bug spray and set up camp above high tide and slightly in the bushes.  However, once we started a fire, the bugs weren’t so bad and it ended up being quite pleasant.

I’ve only camped on a beach once and it was terrible – so windy that our tent stakes were pulled out of the ground and our tent started to blow away.  This was WAY better.  There was no wind and the temperature was perfect.  We couldn’t have asked for better weather.  And the STARS WERE AMAZING!  There were so many stars visible that I couldn’t identify constellations (something I’m pretty good at) because there were so many extra stars from what I’m used to seeing back home.

Next blog post will pick up the next morning!