The second half of the week and weekend including October 19, 2017, I went camping and sea canoeing at Cedar Point camp ground in the Croatan National Forest and Bear Island in Hammocks Beach State Park. With me was my hiking and paddling buddy Annelise.
We camped at Cedar Point for 3 nights and 4 days. On Friday we paddled my tandem canoe from the ramp at the campground through the estuary in Bogue Sound and a couple miles up the White Oak River. After arriving at some beautiful wooden bridges on the Cedar Point Tideland Trail, we took some pictures and paddled back to the campground.
Each morning we made breakfast in camp. After many tries and many cups of below par coffee, I am finally getting good at making camp coffee in an old fashioned percolator over the flame of a gas stove. Then we made a picnic lunch to take with us on the day’s paddle. For each supper we drove to the nearby towns of Swansboro or Cedar Point to find a locals style (non-tourist) restaurant serving fresh seafood right out of the ocean that day.
On Saturday we made a more ambitious trip by driving through Swansboro to Hammocks Beach State Park. There we borrowed a canoe cart from the ranger station to lug our heavily laden boat (I always take a lot of flotation, paddling and self-rescue gear, plus food and water) to the dock. Then we launched into Bogue Inlet and padded through the estuary several miles to Bear Island, one of the Outer Banks. On the island we went ashore at one of the tent camp sites and explored around a little. Then we had a wonderful lunch under a rare shade tree.
From there we paddled back to the mainland, following the same trail. Unfortunately, we were going against a falling tide, which about doubled our paddling effort and made for a long, hard slog to get back to the dock at the ranger station. But it was a good physical work out and a good mental exercise to follow the faint trail through the grass islands and mud flats of the estuary.
This trip was Annelise’s first time paddling any kind of boat. She kept up her end of the deal and paddled the bow like a seasoned sailor! And neither of us suffered a dunking! A good time was had by all.