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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Paddling the Ogeechee River Bayou

On Sunday, January 23, 2022, we paid a visit to the Historic Savannah Ogeechee Canal.  Today, Wednesday, January 26, we had warm, sunny weather and decided to cast off into the bayou of the Ogeechee River that links our campground with the canal.  Our goal was to see this environment and take a look at the canal from the water.

Our campground has a boat ramp leading into a bayou of the Ogeechee River: 

A sign at the boat ramp warned of alligators.  We didn't see any, but, on the other hand, we couldn't see under the surface of the black water.  As we launched our kayaks, we took a look at the campground's fishing dock --

-- and then paddled along it --

-- and then past it:

Most of the shoreline of bayou was a grey-brown jumble of leafless cypress and pine, but, just beyond our campground dock, we spotted a bright green-yellow clump of life:

Occasionally, we paddled past a dead tree or limb on which life had staked out a new claim:

We first paddled west along the bayou to its shallow end, where we found more grasses along the bank:

The cypress were everywhere along the banks, including this huge fellow:

Onward we paddled, past more dead stumps with life springing out of them:

We paddled out to the Ogeechee River, where a strong current headed down toward the Atlantic Ocean.  We decided to paddle upriver against the current.  Our work was assisted by the incoming tide.  We wondered how hard the paddling upstream would have been in a falling tide, but decided we would leave that question for another day.

After paddling upstream about a quarter mile, we let ourselves drift downstream, keeping ourselves to the near bank with our paddles, until we reached Lock #6 of the Historic Savannah Ogeechee Canal.  It was overgrown with ferns, but the brick walls were unmistakable.  We had seen them the other day from the trail beyond:

David paddled all the way through the lock, examining the brick walls (and the ferns) --

-- while Kathy stood guard at the mouth of the canal where it emptied into the Ogeechee River:

Having satisfied our curiosity about how the canal looked from the water, we turned our kayaks back up the bayou toward our campground:

It wasn't a long paddle -- under 2 miles and less than 1.5 hours.  We had moved our RV today, so we only had part of the afternoon for the adventure.  But it gave us enough time to explore the bayou and our entrance to the Ogeechee River.  Hopefully, we'll have another chance to explore this water before we leave the area in a week!

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