Finally made it to Kitty Hawk!2
August 29, 2009 by Bethany
As you know, we took a much needed rest in Raleigh for the past three weeks or so. I was wonderful being home and seeing family and friends and taking care of business.
Last Saturday, Mom Cox drove us up to Virginia once again to begin the third leg of our trip. We spent the night with friends in Chesapeake and got up REALLY early the next morning and Mom dropped us off at the same boat launch she picked us up at 3 weeks ago. It was rather hard to say goodbye but we had a renewed positivity about this last leg so we were ready to go as well.
The water was funky around the north end of the Bay-Bridge with the tide, shallow water and ocean swell meeting. We were trying to decide on whether or not we would actually cross since the water was questionable. We decided to go out to the oceanside and see if it was any better before we made our decision. Thankfully, it was a lot better! However it was the first time on the trip that Dan got a little seasick! We made it across the Chesapeake Bay in just under 4 hours, landing at the Cape Henry light feeling fabulous! We called Dave, a friend we met through Dane in Boston, and he was more than willing to have us in his home in Virginia Beach. We paddled through a huge pod of dolphins to the beach by his house and sat through a little summer shower waiting for him and his roommate Mary, to come home from work. The rest of the evening consisted of Showering, talking, eating a good warm meal, and relaxing. A perfect end to a long day.
The next morning we got up early, bit Dave and Mary farewell, and paddled on our way down the Virginia coast. We passed Virginia Beach, a Marine Base, and two state parks before we called it a night around 7:30 pm! We were just 1 mile north of the NC border. We almost made it but decided to stop since we only had about 15 minutes of light left and we needed to set up camp. It was one of our longest paddling days to that point and we were exhausted!
Early the next morning we got up with feverish excitement, knowing that we would cross the VA/NC border this day. Honestly, we have been talking about that since we left Lubec. It’s such an amazing feeling to be able to get from Maine to NC, we cannot even imagine Key West. Its going to be outta this world. Also, crossing the NC line meant that we would soon be arriving on the beach in Kitty Hawk, where Nana and Granbobbie’s trailer is, possibly the most wonderful place on Earth. We had been looking forward to that moment even more…
The paddle from VA to Corolla was a long one. We didn’t get out of our boats for the entire trip. It is almost easier for us to stay in the boats than try to land through the surf multiple times a day. We passed the Corolla Light and landed soon after that, right at the same public beach access that was hosting a firetruck, hose, and burning beach house. Oops. Nana and Granbobbie came to pick us up and we went to the trailer in Kitty Hawk, showered, ate, and watched the King and I before we went to sleep…etc etc etc.
Corolla to Kitty Hawk was the next day. Let me just say… it might have been a mistake to try and cram Cape Charles to Kitty Hawk into 4 days of paddling. That’s a long ways. A REALLY long ways. We didnt get out of our kayaks for over 8 hours. The morning had calm winds with some large ocean swell but smooth paddling but when we were a mere 2 miles from our long time goal of the trailer, near the Kitty Hawk Fishing Pier, the wind picked up and with it, the Waves. Waves were breaking way out and we were stuck with 2 more miles to paddle and no good place to land to avoid big big rollers. At one point we were paddling south along the shore, rather far out for us, a 5-6 foot, overhead wave began cresting to our left… YIKES! We both scrambled to paddle out to sea trying to beat the big “rouge” wave. We made it, relief poured in until we looked and saw we had another to race out… and then another… and then one more. It was beyond my comfort zone to the highest degree. We found a reasonably good place to land judging on the fact that the waves LOOKED smaller. However, it is always a bad sign when you have to land through 20 surfers. I don’t know what was going on with the waves that afternoon other than a tropical storm out to sea 🙂 Dan made it in ok but i messed up my side surf and missed 2 rolls and swam… due to sheer terror. Whatever. We were at the trailer. O wait… no we weren’t… we landed a 1/4 mile down the beach and were facing a 1/4 mile drag. UGH! We were getting there come hell or highwater though… so we marched ourselves and our kayaks all the way down the beach to our access, met Nana, and brought the boats all the way to the front door of the trailer. My body was quite possibly more tried than it has ever been. We made it the the trailer finally… just in time for the storm Danny.
We did nothing yesterday.
Made it on the front page of the Coastland Times!
Hopefully we do nothing today
Thanks for posting your experiences — we’ve loved reading about what you’ve done and are so glad you had a rest period! There are lots of rellies following your progress and we all wish you well. Let us know your planned route through NC. We’re on the “inner banks” and may be off route, but you’re certainly welcome here if you get close to Oriental. Will fetch!252-249-1985. –Anne and Jerome Parker
Hi Dan and Bethany,
We haven’t met, but I am Mia’s mom. Just wanted to let you know how much I like following you on your journey! I admire your guts and tenacity and say a little prayer for you whenever I read your blog.
Wish we could help you out with a place to stay, but if you ever make it to landlocked Missouri, give us a call!