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Tybee Island - Kayak Trip / Canoe Trip

Report Type: Day Trip Report
Trip Dates: August 30, 2006
Nearest City: Savannah, GA
Difficulty: Moderate
Submitted by: covingtonpaddler View Profile

Description:

On a partly cloudy (but still beautiful) afternoon near the end of Summer two intermediate paddlers took a very special kayak trip. The "boats" used were an Echo 14ft (I believe a Dagger - my cousins), and my 11ft Perception Mountour(both with skegs).

We parked our truck at Tybee Marina. It's the first right once you cross the Tybee Island Bridge, not hard to find. A COOK said we could park and launch our kayaks from the dock. That was good enought for us - hey WE ASKED.

We started out in Lazaretto Creek at 6:00PM. Make a right out of the marina, you will notice all the "friendly" birds hanging around waiting for a snack. Once you go under the bridge you will see Cockspur Beacon, built in 1857 (a local said BEACON, NOT lighthouse) on your left. Not being expert paddlers we encountered strong (to us anyway) "whipping" currents in this area.

We made our way to the very small island that is home to Cockspur. Paddle around the island untill you find the "shell" landing point. A much easier exit from your boat than trying to get out on the VERY SHARP BARNICLES ( I know this is not the right term). Make your way to the beacon.

I could write a story about this alone, but we are talking paddling right? Just USE CARE going in and up to the beacon. Rustic, no hand rails (except at the top) inside or out, narrow brick steps with some plant growth (slippery). VERY SPECIAL this beacon and it's surroundings.

Back to the water. We headed toward the tip of Tybee Island and the mouth of the Savannah River. The currents, not to bad now. We saw LOTS of dolphins, looked, but never saw any sharks. My cousin said this is often a good place to see sharks, but not today. We saw several large ships both coming and exiting the Savannah.

Then I had an idea: Lets get up close to TWO lighthouses today. We had already seen Cockspur, now lets see Tybee Lighthouse. Turn right(we actually went "out" a little, thru the surf - cool) at the "tip" of Tybee Island the lighthouse is just down the beach on right. Return trip - turn around, go left at end of Tybee Island, paddle straight back and go under the bridge (it took us about 30 min to get from the tip of Tybee to the bridge). From the bridge only 5 min. to the marina. Total trip time - two very special hours.

We ate(and had a few adult beverages)at the marina in a place called "Deweys Dock Side". Great food, great local flavor. Most tourists won't see this local place, they will be missing out.

Sorry for any type O's in this report. It is my first one! You will hear from the Covington Paddler again soon. My next adventure is going to be a complete loop around Tybee Island.

Accommodations:

Plenty of places to stay on Tybee and 10 miles away in Savannah, GA.
Restrooms at the Marina (not sure if they were for the public, but we slipped in with no problem).

Fees:

None that we were aware of, except for a small fee to go up in the Tybee Island Ligthouse.
No fee's for Cockspur Beacon.

Directions:

US 80 South to Tybee Island; just across Tybee Island bridge turn right. You will see the marina, resturant, etc. Get permission to park, we had no problem with this.

Resources:

Sea Kayak Georgia (on Tybee) is GREAT with advice and gear (and guide services) VERY NICE PEOPLE.
Another, North Shore Kayak is at the marina (it was closed when we went - owner out of town we were told); don't know much about them.


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