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First Trip of the Season

    June 19th, George and I set off on the first sea kayaking trip of the 2011 summer season at Pamlico Sea base. This trip was particularly special because it was George's first sea kayaking trip! We had a small tight knit group of 6 which made it really easy for George to learn the ropes.

On the way to Cape Lookout, we stopped at Bird Island. Dustin found this really awesome knife there. If Davy Jones had a pocket knife, this is what it would look like.

Landing at Cape Lookout

George makes an awesome pirate doesn't he?

The aftermath of shoving a square box into a round hole.

On the way to Great Island Camp (AKA Fish Camp 1) Dustin caught a crab, with his bare hands, as he was paddling. Yeah, he's B.A.!

And then at Fish Camp 1, the guys caught even more!

Blue crab for dinner!

    After we reached Long Point Camp, or what we lovingly call Fish Camp 2 on Wednesday, we looked across the sound toward our Thursday destination, only to see a wall of smoke. There were several peat moss and forest fires burning in the area that had completely blocked our view of the land mass we would be heading to in the morning. All we could see was the marsh grass surrounding the ferry landing. Five miles across the sound, through the haze, was our first waypoint for Thursday morning; Cedar Island Point. Four miles beyond it, in Cedar Island Bay, was our final destination; the Cedar Island Ferry landing.

The view looking out onto the sound, only about a mile of visibility.
Typically you can see a land mass across the water.

Time to get out the map and compasses! We took a bearing from our location to our landing point using the map. It was due North. Even if we had no visibility in the morning, we wouldn't get lost.

  Every night the guys built a fire on the beach, which is trickier than building your typical campfire in the woods. It was really cool watching their fire building technique evolve over the course of the week. By Thursday night, they had it down.

   We got up at 4am Thursday morning to cross the sound. We get up this early because the wind isn't as strong this early in the morning, which makes our crossing easier. We put glowsticks on our kayaks so that any shrimping boats in the area can see us. The view of sunrise from the middle of the sound is always different and always magnificent.

The deck of my kayak ready for a pre-dawn paddle. Compass readied in case the smoke moved in as we paddled.

Sunrise that morning was pretty ominous and apocalyptic-looking. I blame the smokey conditions.

One of the scouts in his boat on our sunrise paddle.

Gimme that horizon...

Tim enjoying a well deserved ice cream at the ferry landing, waiting for the boat.

The gang on Ocracoke

Texas Iron Woman Crew 7701

I spent this week with a rockin' all girl Venture Crew from Texas; crew 7701. They did the Iron Woman, which is half a week of cycling and half a week of paddling. Thursday, we paddled to Shackleford Banks for a night on the beach.

Crew 7701 on Ocracoke

Just a mile out of Cedar Island, Pat's tire literally popped.

So I got on Wal-Mart in Morehead city on the phone(thank you Iphone and 3G!!) trying to find a new tire. He had a rental bike with odd sized tires, so he ended up riding with me some of the way back before switching out with another rider.

After a long hard day of cycling 30 miles against a 23knot headwind!

Storms on Wednesday kept us from cycling and kayaking, so we headed to the aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. The jellyfish were mesmerizing.

The pre-kayaking pep talk. Move your body like a belly dancer!

Rebecca and Ivy at our lunch stop on Bird Island

On Brown Island,Chrissy managed to use a scallop shell to catch this tiny fiddler crab, who posed for photos.

Nicole gettin' her protein for the day.

Our kayaks lined up on the sound side of Shackleford for the night

What to do when you forget your bowl? Eat your dinner from a giant shell.

The girls took advantage of the beautiful sunset for some sweet paddling shots.
Can we say Facebook photo!

Banker Ponies! They say that long ago a Spanish galleon wrecked on the shores of Shackleford Banks, and the ponies that live there are the descendants of those marooned horses.

The girls found a sea turtle skull on the beach.

Playing in the waves

Beach art at sunrise

Suck it up and eat a steak!

Put on your big girl panties and deal with it!