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  Hog Inlet, Waites Island
  Posted by: Dmax on May-28-14 11:58 PM (EST)
 

The wife and I bought some cheap kayaks from the sporting goods store to see if we would like them. .. We do and have had them out on our lakes a few times already.hopefully we can upgrade next year and sell our FutureBeach trophy and get some touring yaks and some river yaks for the Nolichucky, where we live. ... But that's then and this is now.

We are headed down to north myrtle in a couple of weeks. We are thinking of either bringing our kayaks down, or renting some there.

My question is :
How hard is it to paddle to Waites island?
We won't go out in the open water in ours. They'd probably sink if swamped?
When should we launch from the boat ramp? Low tide, high tide, somewhere in between?
Do we need a map if we head into the marsh areas?

Thanks for your help. As you can tell I'm a newb ...

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  Live close, but haven't paddled it
  Posted by: capefear on May-29-14 9:34 AM (EST)
I live fairly close in Wilmington, NC, but haven't paddled in and out of Hog Inlet, and don't know the nearest launches. You'll have tidal currents, and you will want to pay attention to that. Looking at a chart, I would guess to figure ebb for an hour after ocean low, and flood for an hour after ocean high, but that's just a guess. If you paddle out towards ocean low, you know you won't get left high and dry anywhere. And you'll have a flooding current to help you back. That's a fairly safe bet for first time exploration.

It can get a little confusing twisting through salt marshes, so a chart is a good idea. Take a long meaningful look at landmarks as you leave the launch site, and keep doing so along the way, and you should be fine.

Keep in mind that wind against current kicks up chop fairly easily with fairly minimal fetch. Wind blowing along with current will be flat. When the current changes directions to flow against the wind, those flat conditions can change pretty dramatically for an inexperienced paddler. If you paddle out with the ebb, and back with the flood, as I've suggested, pay special attention to what the wind is doing. An ebb with a strong wind at your back on the way out, flat water and effortless progress, could leave you in over your heads for a paddle back with the flood, but against that strong wind and building chop. So just be mindful and careful. Try to ask some folks who look like they regularly navigate the local waters about the tidal flows vs. ocean high and low tide.
 
 
  Thanks
  Posted by: Dmax on Jun-01-14 5:30 PM (EST)
Thanks for your input!
 
 
  Did it
  Posted by: dmax on Jun-25-14 9:52 AM (EST)
The wife and I did this week. We had a lot of fun for a couple of beginners.
The first day in town we drove up to Cherry Grove to the seafood market. That also gave us time to check out the inlet and boat ramp. We parked the car and I walked up the hot beach (95*) while my wife sat in the ac. After a short walk I reached a lifeguard stand that was faced towards the point. There was two lifeguards there who were able to answer all my questions and put me at ease. We then drove to the boat ramp and saw others out paddling and fishing. This put my wife at ease.
On Fathers Day we decided to do our paddle. It was a hard day for both of us because we lost our daughter a year ago due to Zellwegers, a Peroxsimal disorder. But it was a peacefull day that we both needed. .... When we made it to the boat ramp to put in there was a group who rented some yaks and a guide to take them to the island. I talked with the guide and he said we would have no problem and to just follow them out. Which we did and got there with ease. .. The guided group started crab fishing and we went off on our own way. ... We came back too early from our day so we sat back and waited for high tide. Our entertainment was watching kids trying to swim the inlet to the island. Quite a few barely made it in the strong current. ... We couldn't wait any longer and decided to head out and paddle around the sand bars. That was a lot of fun for us and Alot of back and forths. We ended up dragging our kayaks about 30 yards to get back into the channel to paddle back. Our way back was also Alot of fun and we can't wait for our next trip back down there to do it again.
 
 
  Thanks for the report
  Posted by: booztalkin on Jun-25-14 11:19 AM (EST)
Thanks for posting your results. It might be useful for other's paddling there for the first time. It is within the realm of possibility that might include me! So thanks.

Glad you had fun and got back safely.

~~Chip
 

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