I didn't kayak then...
Posted by: old_user on Jun-05-13 8:43 AM (EST)
...but I used to be stationed in DC (Coast Guard) and Mallows Bay was in our AOR. Now that I am into kayaking, if I ever go back, I want to check this out. The history on this place is very interesting, and I actually put a report together for my CO at the time on the history of the place. The ships were the WWI version of the WWII Liberty Ships, except they were coal powered, leaked like no other, and in order to carry enough coal to cross the ocean, they could hardly carry any cargo. Huge flop. The remains of about 100 of the original 300 or so ships are here. pretty much, durring the Great Depression, they lined them up, stripped them of anything of value, burned them to the water line, and then recovered anything metal they could (even the nails holding them together). The operation was originally done at the Alexandria water front, but they had to move it to Mallows Bay after they almost burned down Alexandria. There is also a 40's or 50's era (IIRC) car ferry at the southern end of Mallows Bay. I would not try to board this vessel as it is nothing more than rust held together by rust, and have heard reports of people getting seriously injured trying to go onboard and look around. I would try to plan it durring the time of year where the water is more on the clear side. The Patomic can be pretty dirty at times. Most of the remains of the ships are about 2-3 feet below the surface, though there are a few that have become islands, with trees growing out of them and all. Not a good place to take an inflateable though.
That was 2 units ago, so I do not remember a whole lot other than that. It definately would be a short paddle. You could maybe stretch it out to 4 or 5 hours if you take lots of pics, explore and take your time, but that's about the max.
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