Pictures by Joanne Somerday. Thank you again, Joanne. Joanne is from
River Bend and is one of our very first Stewards. Her lilting laughter carries
a long way over the waters when we are paddling. She adds much pleasure
to our trips.
This is Scott Brown of Morehead City and Elmer Eddy of Trenton at our put-in
at the County Club ramp. If you use these facilities which are private, please
identify your selves as being Waterway Stewards and that you are picking up
all trash as you paddle. Or you can pay the fee if you wish to.
Leo Schimdt, one of our new great Stewards with a motor boat, launched
his boat at the Pollocksville ramp. Leo resides in Emerald Isle. That is Dale
Weston from Jacksonville up front. They arrived to meet us even before we,
paddling, reached the Quaker Bridge Road #1121 a distance of about 2 miles.
Leo and Dale continued motoring up strem to almost Trenton. So we feel sure
one can put in there and paddle without obstructions all the wasy to New Bern.
The foliage is becoming prettier and prettier on every trip.
Things like this should de removed bank to bank. They are a hazard to
navigation.It is not hard to imagine what the hazards are as the water rises
and falls as it just did with our prolonged rains and then Nichole on top of all
that. More importantly, there are thoseand of these in all differnt shapes and
sizes. Right now, the trees are still covered with leaves to make matters worse.
Collectively, all this mass slows the natural flow of the river and causes our
floods to rise a foot or higher than is necessary.
This extra foot or so of water causes many a farmers field to become flooded
and damage his crop and also floods many a home and business unnecessarily.
FEMA money should be used immediately to clear our streams and let them
flow naturally. We are still in the Hurricane Season! This will also put a lot of
people to work immediately and save FEMA funds in the future.
We found scastterd trash. The very high flood waters flushed 90% of the trash
downstream into the Neuse River. (A freind told us about his fishing trip out
of the New River Inlet. He said the trash was visible for miles out into the ocean.
With the changing winds and the tides a lot of it will end up on our beaches!)
This is a small statue of a Boy Angel. It was found in the water right at the
shore. It was a wilderness area. It would sink in deep water. The flood must
have left it here.
A closeup of the Boy Angel.
More lovely foliage.
And some more.
It can’t match New England but it is pretty. We have enjoyed a good current.
These leaves are caught on an incoming tide in a very slow moving eddy.
One single reddish colored tree. Must be a acer palmatum rubrum. Notice
the reflection in the water too.
Another one. Observe the reflection of our canoe in the water
Another blown down tree causing a strainer and a slowing down of the exciting
flood waters. There are thousands of existing obstructing things like this all the
way up to the origin of the Trent River up near Kinston.
Now add inumerable more on all of the tributaries and we have a very
signifacant slowing down ot the natural drainage of this entire watershed.
Without all of these partial obstructions in the watershed, the natural open,
free flowing clear channels, bank to bank, could have drained the entire
watershed to much lower levels in the period between the days of prolonged
rains and the arrival of Tropical Storm Nichole.
We believe this would have reduced the flood damages considerably!
This reasoning and logic applies equally to all rivers and streams in our
Some more beautiful foliage.
Thanks again, Joanne.
This was a most unusual trip. The weather report for this area said 20%
chance of rain after 2:00. Intermittent slight sprinkles began off and on at
12:00. We did not darn our rain gear. Then, of course is when the heavy rain
came about half way thru the Air Base area. We had planned to eat our lunch
at the Air Base ramp.
With the heavy rain Joanne had already climbed into Leo’s motor boat and
got under his roof shelter. Joanne secured our canoe to the side of Leo’s
boat and we cruised at about 5 miles per hour down to the Pollocksville ramp.
The rain stopped long before we got there at 2:00 . It was a very warm rain.
We know it was raining along the coast in the morning and that this is probably
why so few showed up. For any of you who did not make this trip you can begnnning
on this Friday and continuing through the following mext five days with excellent
weather. We did pick up all trash until the heavv rains came about halfway trough
the Air Basse property. Good paddling and thanks, Elmer
The following is from Matt Rosso: (dated 2010-10-25)
Just went to Queens Creek and Picked up the inland end Sunday. Beautiful
area and now clean. No trees down where we were, the river is cleared of debris.
Thanks Matt and congratulations. Elmer
This is what I found as I drove down the dirt road to John Taylor’s fishing concession on The Rock Quarry Lakes at Rte 17 in Maysville, NC. This is just before you turn left into to the road to the ramp. The road is completely washed out leaving a deep ravine!
The Lakes were completely filled up and flooded and the water backed up to as high as the eves on the bathroom in The White Oak Family Campground. The water coming down the White Oak River had no place to go so it went into the woods and across the field and the road to the Lakes and dug this ravine in the process. In fact it also dug another larger and deeper one before you get to the concession buildings. It did not get into his buildings.
Those are John Taylor’s concession buildings in the back ground with the larger ravine in the middle. I took eight more pictures but they did not take.
That is John Taylor fishing at his favorite spot. He caught a string of very large shell crackers yesterday. He said the people
who own the land will fill in the roads and get him back in business right away.
On my way home from our trip Wednesday I stopped at the Quarry Lakes office. Fortunately the local quarry headman was there and also is the headman of Martin-Marietta in Raleigh. I asked them if we could use an access on their premises to clean up the trash on the lake shores. They said we could but asked us to wait until they stopped pumping water out of the huge new lake in which they are now working.They will let us know when they stop pumping.
John drove me down to the ramp and everything looked ok there. Looking across the lake you could see the mud line on the trees about 8 feet above the existing lake level.
We have got to find a way to stop the water from building up like this. Apparently the exit from the lakes is too narrow and clogged up with debris of all kinds.
John and I were saying our goodbyes when two Maysville policemen drove up. I took advantage of this meeting to tell them about the canal along Maple Street. This canal is the largest single source of trash in the White Oak River. The canal empties into a creek which in turn empties into Lake #2. They will talk to the Mayor to see what can be done about it. Elmer
It was a gorgeous day on the water. We hope this map and pictures
by Ed Gruca will help you to enjoy some of the pleasures of paddling
the White Oak River with us.
The plan was to paddle the western shore on this trip. as you can see
by the second arrow we cut off the very first horseshoe bend through
Here we all are at Scott Grafton’s new docking facilities at the Stella Bridge
Ed willl have to tell us where this was taken. I do not rcognize it.
Another shot at the same location
Scott Brown in the rear and Elmer Eddy in front. in open water. It must be a mile
Heading for the western shore.
This is a triple or double retaining wail being buil in White Oak Landing.
We had a brief but enjoyable consversasion with them.
Stopping for lunch at a sandy beach below Mill Holland Creek.
A patch of spartina grass. We understand it is good in salads.
The participants today were Scott Brown and Jim Morris from Morehead City,
Joanne Somerday from River Bend on the Trent, Harry Patterson from Jacksonville,
Bill Murray from Pine Knoll Shores, Ed Gruca from Emerald Isle and Elmer Eddy
We were sheltered from a west wind by the western shore for most of the trip.
A pretty strong wind developed about a mile out of Swansboro. I guess that’s
why Ed did not take any more pictures.
We will have some more from Joanne later. It was a most enjoyable day on the water.
The following is submitted by Ed Gruca our Photographer for Waterway Stewards.
Great work Ed. The map is excellent.
We put in at Shell Rock Landing at 8:30 AM and encountered three deer hunters across the Waterway
at the entrance to the creek leading to Bear Inlet.
They had two nice buck they bagged on the island East of the creek.
Blue spot on the map marks the spot where we found the hunters.
It was difficult getting a good shot facing the early morning sun.
It was busy at the Inlet for the weekend and the beautiful weather.
The ferry was busy also.
Here are the hunters again in the afternoo with #3 for the day.
It is amazing that these tiny islands have this many deer with no fresh water.
This house goes on forever. It has a five car garage.
They have no problem getting out to the Gulfstream with three 300’s
Trenton to Quaker Neck Country Club on Quaker Bridge Road
This is about 8 miles. We launched at 10.00 and reached Quaker Neck Country Club
a little after 2:00. Pretty good time considering all the trash we picked up.
High water levels due to tropical storm Nicole that resulted in 12 to 20 inches across
The above gauge is on Quinpapin Chapel Rd off Rte 41 between Rte 58 and
Comfort. It is at the bridge on the north east shoulder. The water is still very
high.There was very little wind and wherever the water was absolutely calm
the reflections of the trees in the water were absolutely gorgeous.
This is our put in at Trenton Wildlife ramp On Landfil Road.. The river is high
with good flow. Water level is down about ten feet from the crest of the recent
flood. The water covered the road in the distance past the black car. In fact,
at the high point it was up to Rte 41 on Landfill Road. NCDOT moved all their
The trees were just beginning to change to show their fall colors.
The reflections were disturbed by Harry Patterson from Jacksonville.
We had excellent full sunshine with temperature in the low 80s.
Smooth open paddling so far.
Great camoflage! The blue eyes gave it away! We also saw one deer and
another time we heard a whole herd splashing through the high water.
Here are the blue eyes.
This is what we call a “strainer”. It is caused by trees falling into the river.
A buzzard looking us over!
Scott and I were in the first boat and the reflections here excellent before
we rippled the water.
This is at a little park in a subdivision at the end of Paul Road off of Spann
We ate lunch here on an octagonal picnic table. That is JIm Morris of Morehead City
on the left, Ed Gruca of Richmond and Emerald Isle next. Ed set the camera up and
ran up and got in the picture. Scott Brown of Morehad City in the rear, Elmer Eddy
from Trenton, next right and Harry Paterson from Jacksonville next right rear with
with George Spelth from Wilmington in front.
Getting back oe the water.
A blown down tree. There were a great many of them. With the leaves still on
they further obstruct the flow of water in the river. The total affect of all of
these probably raises the water level by a foot or more. All of these fallen
trees should be removed bank to bank.
Coming up for air.
Scott’s turn to get down.
This fellow is best left alone.He is swimming across the river.
This one hitched a ride in Jim’s canoe and stayed up front for most of the trip!
Prettiest snake we ever saw!
This is Jim Morris with his pickup truck loaded with the five bags we
picked up today. This trash was hung up in “strainers” cause by blown
down trees in the river. Jim voluntarily goes the extra mile and takes
all the trash home with him. He then recycles what qualifies and goes to
the dump with the rest. He had a broken rake and a gas can in addition
to the bags. Gret work, JIm! Ed Gruca took home with him an 8 foot
step ladder that looked brand new.
It was agreat day on the water today and especially nice to be
able to paddle almost with out obstructions. This will not last long.
As the water level drops more and more obstructions will appear. All
of these need to be removed ASAP. We hope a grant will make this
We also hope the grant will be written so money will be assigned to
remove each new blown down tree immediately so the river (road)
will be useable again. Elmer
These are Ed Gruca’s pictures of this trip. Ed is our official photographer. This trip
was made for several reasons.
It was our usual fun trip because we love to paddle and we always pick up all traxh
we encounter as we paddle. We picked up two bags of the usual trash on this trip.
We also wanted to see what the high waters did from all the recent rains finishing off
with the Tropical Storm Nichole. We estimate the water rose as high as 8 feet in places.
Also we wanted to see what all this very hig water did to the existing alligatorweed in
this creek which is one of our favorites. We believe tons and tons of it went down to salt
water where it dies.
This first picture is of a waterlogged carpet. It has been at this ramp for over a year now.
We surmise a contractor unladed the carpet here. It was in the water when we first found it.
The under layment we found further down stream. We have not seen it again.
The Base Rangers have picked up our orange trash bags here but they cannot lift this carpet.
A group of Marines from the 319th came by and they picked it up and moved it up to here
which was dry land then.
By copy of this posting we are asking John Hamilton of Environmental affairs to please
do what ever is necessary to get this out of here.
Underway and going downstream. With high water like this we can see off into the woods.
Bright green a-weed growng and doubling its mass every three weeks or less.
It probably was brought downstream by the high water. It does not look llike
it has ever been sprayed.
More of the same? This may be routed in the ground. If it is it will have to be sprayed.
A bunch of a-weed dead at the rear of the canoe.
A palmetto and a bunch of a-weed probably routed in the ground..
More a-weed green and growing.
This is our lunch stop. That arrow points to floating trash hung up on branches. Must be
five feet above present water level. Present level completely covers what was rooted in
the ground here and sprayed. There is more rooted in the ground in the ditch behind me
that needs to be sprayed.
Ed took this picture for the Spanish Moss.
Ed in the background, spainish moss to the right and dead alligatorweed in fromt.
Dead a-weed hung up high’
HUMPING OVER AN UNDERWATER LOG.
lOST IN A SWAMP.
A BATCH OF GREEN ALLIGATORWEED.
MORE A-WEED some partially killed.
If these “strainers” were not here this a-weed would have gone down with the rest
More dead a-weed Hung up on stuff that should be removed
There are some green leaves on some of this.
What a mess! Look how high the water got to get it up there.
Some dead, some dying and some green.
Godzilla, the alligator’s hang out.
This is the former Atlantic Coast Railway. This a-weed did not go down stream
with the rest of of it because it is hung up on old pilings that were cut off at
water level. This is illegal and they should be removed now.
ANOTHER VIEW OF SAME.
WE JUST MADE IT UNER THE BRIDGE!
This is green growing a-weed I picked up of the floor of the small upstream bridge
where we put-in. The underwater stems are over 5 feet long.
We can get rid of this alligatorweed if we all work togther and also work with
with nature and take full advantage of the high water river flows, and the winter
kill of all above water and clear the river and all tributaries of “strainers”.
This will also require spraying on a greatly reduced volume of what alligatorweed
is routed in the ground and what we cannot reach to float away. Elmer