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This was an exploratory trip for me, so I paddled up the east side of the island and about 2.3 miles to a river that runs into the island. Even at low tide I was able to paddle almost the total 2 ½ miles (the final ¼ miles was mud but I could see a boat house).
This section of my paddle was the most scenic as I saw several rosette spoonbills and great egrets, along with other wading birds. This river is labeled as river with no name. Upon paddling back out of the river I proceeded north along Cumberland Island National Seashore. It is a typical sand beach sea shore so I proceed on.
As I was exporing and not seeing much more then sea shore, I noticed some spits of land sitting in the middle of the river so I paddled to one. They were actually vast piles (hundreds of millions) of sea shell that ran for about ¼ mile by a couple hundred feet and were up to four feet in height. Other then several power boats and a few Ospreys I could see nothing of interest so I decided to head back.
Some day I will learn to read the tides. Using my GPS I did a go-to my put in at Fort Cinch which was straight across open water. The water was calm but I did not realize the tide was not cooperating, plus a strong wind had decided to blow in the wrong direction. My GPS showed that I had about four miles to paddle which is a short distance in open water. Unfortunately I found that as soon as I stopped paddling to take a drink my kayak would almost immediately be going 3 mph backwards.
The next 2 ½ hours were the hardest paddling that I have encountered. The fastest I could move forward was 2 mph which was the equilivant of paddling 5 mph. But the killer was there was no place I could stop and take a break. Actually I could have paddled over to the shore, but I guess I am too stuborn. I finally made it back to my put-in and just collapsed on a park bench for a while. As always I tell myself that I need the exercise so it was a great paddle.
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