Sunday, October 02, 2011

10/02/2011 - Big Creek Lake

Launch: Howells Ferry Road launch site.
Launch Cost: $5 Destination: Big Creek Lake aka Converse Reservoir for a training paddle with Maggie and Richard.
Distance: 16 miles (round trip)
Pedal time: 4-1/2 hours
Weather: Cool morning starting at 50 degrees and rising to about 62. Wind started calm and started picking up out of the northeast to 10-15 mph. No tide influence. No Current. Waves went from calm to a 1 foot chop.

Header image - photo of water lilies in Big Creek Lake.

The waters were warm and the air cool which generated some surface fog at sunrise.

Surface fog at sunrise.

Maggie leaves the launch site in her surf ski. I couldn't keep up with her 6+ mph speed and when stumps started appearing in the water, I turned around because I didn't want to damage the pedal drive on a submerged stump.

Rich got a late start and headed north to meet Maggie. I continued heading south toward the dam in the wider and deeper waters.

Big Creek Lake dam.

Winds started picking up by the time I got to the dam. On the way back north, the chop out of the northeast was hitting the kayak at about 45 degrees which generated hull splash. I got a wet butt (sit-on-top kayak) but that's okay because the water was warm.

On the way back, a sandy shoreline looked inviting to take a break. I scared a deer that was laying down - well, we scared each other. Deer tracks can be seen in the sand.

Wildflowers were abundant in the low pinelands. The purple flowers are blazing-stars.

Speaking of blazing stars, here is a closer view of one with a bumble bee.

Red basil or Scarlet Calamint (Calamintha coccinea or in older books, Satureja calamintha) growing next to the water's edge was a pleasure to see.

Out of the wind in some of the smaller side inlets were pockets of water lilies (Nymphaea odorata). Waters were clear enough to see turtles and fish going by. Didn't see many herons.

Closer photo of a water lily.

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