Our plan was to paddle to the 24/258 bridge over
Blue Creek. We were unable to get there!
This was due to the low water level in Blue Creek, due to the drought.
There was very little if any flow to the river itself. We will need
substantial rain fall before we can paddle the upper reaches of all our
lovely creeks. Our lack of hurricanes this year has had its downsides
but I guess we can live with it if we do get some very good springs rains.
We saw evidence of cuttings of fallen trees. This allowed us to get to
the point of no water flow. We thank Onslow County for obtaining the
Grant Money to make this possible. We understand this cutting has been
done far upstream and we look forward to paddling it when Mother Nature
gives us the water to do so.
The trip plans called for going up Little Creek and circling around
the lakes of the old water treatment plants of Jacksonville and coming
back to the New River along Maple Street. Low water prevented this
also. But, the alligator weed is gone!. But now we know we have to have
high water to make this paddle. It wasn’t just the alligator weed that
stopped us last time. Winter weather killed the alligator weed! Let’s
hope is stays dead!
We headed home to the Marina Cafe Ramp a whole hour early. Brian Wheat
loaded our trash in his pick-up truck. Thanks Brian! The trash was
surprisingly light. The usual cans and bottles occasionally and plastic
bags. The big items were a trash can, 3 five gallon buckets, a cooler
and one tire. Lance Goodrum loaded the tire on his kayak and then
unloaded it into our canoe We had to pass up another tire just short of
starting out. Could not lift it into our canoe.
We all had a great and most unusual day on our waters. It was
obviously enjoyed by all. Many thousands more could and would enjoy them
if the City of Jacksonville and The County of Onslow and
Camp Lejeune would designate and mark Canoe Trails. They exist. They are
provided my nature. They are there. Let’s make them usable and bring in
tourist dollars in doing so.
This paddle today was initiated by Stewards of the White Oak River
Basin. This Basin exists from Pender County line to the outer banks.
Everyone who has ever paddled with us is automatically a Steward. These
folks today came from The New River Foundation, The Crystal Coast Canoe
and Kayak Club, Coastal Carolina Kayakers and Twin River Rivers Paddle
Club of New Bern.
This pelican, aka Boss Hawg, was perched just outside the marina.
Boss Hawg is wondering what happened to #2. Is this his harem?
The group assembled at the start of the paddle. The one without the beard is Elmer. Dale Weston has his paddle in the vertical. We will keep this in mind for the next group shot!
George and Jennie.
Joanne in front and Tess in back.
Elmer and Jim trashing on the New River.
A juvenile blue heron that was fairly cooperative. He allowed us to approach and we could have gotten closer. He won’t be that friendly when he matures. They usually don’t allow humans to get very close and so they are difficult to photograph.
An eco friendly clothes dryer. Solar powered! Anyone remember those??
Want to go swimmng? Try standing in a canoe! The camera was waiting but they remained dry.
The low water level is visible along the bank. This is in the tidal area. The water level is a function of the
drought and the recent winds.
The group picture is courtesy of Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle and Richmond. It was
taken along the banks of Blue Creek where we stopped for lunch on the
way back. They all spread out and laid down on the grass like it was the
4th of July. They grumbled about having to get up for the group photo.
L/R Elmer Eddy of Swansboro, Joanne Somerday of New Bern, Hugh Passingham of Jacksonville, Dale Weston of Jacksonville, Jim Morris of Morehead City, Julia Miner of Arapahoe, Jim Niedermeyer of Hubert, Jennie Goodrum of New Bern, Jim Dunn of Jacksonville, Bill Murray of Pine Knoll Shores, Lance Goodrum of New Bern, George Speth of Wilmington, Ed Gruca, kneeling, of Emerald Isle and Richmond, Tess Sanders of Jacksonville, and Brian Wheat our New River Keeper of Jacksonville. Our thanks to Dale Weston for helping with all of the names.
As far as we know, no one went swimming on this paddle. This is Lance and Dale.
Elmer and Jim on the home stretch.
We paddle for fun. We pick good weather days before planning a trip. We try to paddle at least once a week.
We pick up all litter as we paddle. We play leap frog from one piece of litter to the next. This keeps our group together. It also leaves the waters clean for others to enjoy.
Please do not litter. Please, everybody, make that your New Year’s Resolution. Can you imagine
America with out litter! Thanks, Elmer
All pictures are courtesy of Ed Gruca of Emerald Isle and Richmond. Thanks Ed.