An Early Morning Kayak Trip - Friday - July 8, 2011

Nancy and I looked at the weather forecast last night and decided that if we wanted to kayak today, we had to do it early.  We left the house by 6:30am and went to Enterprise Landing not far away.  We were on the water by 7am.

01 - MapMap of our trip. “X” marks our start and finish spot.

Both of us were anticipating a little breeze with the weather front coming our way. However, we had virtually no wind so conditions were perfect!! 
03 - View up IntercoastalWe crossed the Intercoastal Waterway to a creek that connects to the Waccamaw River.

04 - Enterprise LandingLooking back to the Enterprise Boat Landing.

05 - FishermanThis fisherman was trying his luck and enjoying the quiet out on the creek.

06 - NWR signOnce across the Intercoastal, you enter a National Wildlife Refuge.

09 - River ViewsEarly morning light made for some interesting pictures. 09b - River Views

09c - River Views passing boatJust before we reached the Waccamaw River, we were passed by this boat and got to ride its wake:o))09d - River Views passing boat wakeOnce he was out of sight, we never saw another person all morning.  It was so peaceful.

We thought by getting out early, we would see a lot of wildlife.  There were Osprey everywhere and we did get some great views!!

(Click on any photo to enlarge.)
07 - Osprey07a - Osprey

07b - Osprey looking down at usThis guy had his head down and was letting us know he didn’t want us around.  But as we moved on, he calmed down and quieted down.07b2 - Osprey head up

Earlier this year, we had paddled this way and saw several Osprey nests.  Here is one and it was empty;o((08 - Empty Nest

A little further up the river, we came upon this stack of sticks.  08a - start or finish of NestNot sure if it is the remnants of an old nest or the beginning of a new nest.

09a - River ViewsWe paddled a little over 2 miles up the Waccamaw River and then took the loop around and headed back.  On our trip back, we saw this Mother Osprey with 3 chicks in the nest.
07c - Osprey & 3 chicksGetting a little closer…07c2 - Osprey & 3 chicks

We paddled back into this cove to try and get a closer picture of the Osprey chicks. 07c3 - Osprey & 3 chicks cove

However, we couldn’t see them very well because of the tree limbs.  Here are a few shots….
07c4 - Osprey & 3 chicks coveMomma standing guard!!

07c5 - Osprey & 3 chicks coveChick checking us out!!

07c6 - Osprey & 3 chicks mom flightMomma letting us know it was time for us to go!!

09f - River Views Bad weather comingOnce we got back to the river, we could see the bad weather heading our way.  So we picked up the pace and headed towards the landing. But of course there were still sights to be seen along the way.

09g - River Views Cypress KneesWe paddled by these Cypress Knees.

In the distance, we spotted another Osprey and another nest!!07d - Osprey Mom guarding nestCan you see her high in the tree??

07d2 - Osprey Mom guarding nest closeupWe paddled toward the channel market and were able to get a couple closer pictures.

There appears to be 2 chicks in this nest.07d3 - Osprey Mom guarding nest  2 chicks

We took a right, around the island, at the channel marker.  This route will bring us back to the landing from the south.  But before we got there, we still had more to see.
09h - River Views Tree with roots in AirThis tree looks like its roots are in the air ;o))

09i - River Views Tree with big lumpThis tree has a huge bump on its trunk.  Not sure what caused that to happen.  Here is a closer look.09j - River Views Tree with big lump closeup

When we were almost back to the Intercoastal Waterway, we saw this cormorant perched in the tree.
 10 - Cormorant in tree

We paddled closer and expected it to fly away, but it didn’t!!10a - Cormorant in tree little closer

Finally, we were right underneath it.  Close enough that I could have touched it and it did not fly. 10b - Cormorant in tree closest

Once we had passed, it flew a very short distance and landed in the water.  10c - Cormorant in waterI realize now, that it was trying to dry its feathers so it could fly.  Cormorants are not like other water birds that have feathers that shed water.  Their feathers soak up the water and make it very difficult for them to fly until they dry out.

09m - River Views approaching the intercoastalApproaching the Intercoastal Waterway.
09n - River Views Captain my CaptainThe Captain!!

09o - River Views Approaching the landingApproaching the boat landing from the south.  You can see the rain clouds gathering. We got the Sea Eagle deflated and put all the gear in the car when the first of many thunderstorms hit.  GOOD TIMING!!

We have not had rain for so long, that we are now in drought conditions. We got our paddle done, so we will be thrilled to have a rainy day or two!! It was a very peaceful and enjoyable day. 

After this week, Nancy will not be able to kayak or bike until her shoulder heals following surgery.  We’re not sure what to expect from the removal of the titanium rod and screws in her shoulder. Hopefully, she will get some improved range of motion and the pins and needles will stop!!  How long will she be “out of commission?” We know she will be out of work for two weeks. But how long will it be until she’s comfortable using that arm? Knowing Nancy, it won’t be any longer than absolutely necessary!!

Well, we had a great day and the only thing that could have made it better would have been OFFER on the house :o))


  1. Nice was a nice day for water sports!

  2. Incredible pictures of the Ospreys and that Comorant. You certainly know how to pick excellent places to paddle for the best views of nature.

    One of these days we'll have to tie a line to your Sea Eagles stern and follow along on these great adventures in person.

    Paul & Marti

  3. Great post! I loved reading it and seeing the pictures. An early morning quiet few other people kayak is at the top of my list of things to do. Glad you got to go. I know the "beat the rain" thing. We've been doing that for the last 4 or 5 days and will be for the next 4 or 5 as well.

    Have you in my heart with the surgery and the house. Both will work out PERFECTLY I know!

  4. Great pictures of the Osprey and Cormorant. Hope all goes well with Nancy's shoulder surgery.

  5. Hope Nancy's surgery goes well so the two of you can get back out there soon. Great pictures.

  6. Love the close up shot of the cormorant. Hope Nancy's surgery goes well and she's back out paddling in no time!

  7. Shooting birds with a camera is so much fun. I think the Cormorant is just a Diva who likes to pose for the camera. Stay safe.
    Wishing only the best for Nancy.