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Chapmans’ Point

June 21, 2011

June 15, Pat’s Marina at Chapmans Point (16 miles from Whitehall)

In the morning, I had to make a choice between spending another day in Whitehall, on account of the north wind that was forecasted, or try moving forward. Since the early morning wind was from the south, my decision was to leave in the hopes that I would travel a meaningful distance before the wind turned.

Along the Lake, the banks were totally inundated; the water spilled well into the woods on each side of the lake. In the first miles, the lake is a narrow canal with a lot of turns, so the little southern wind I got was able to enter the canopy but there was a half a mile of current going my way.

Just as the river widened the wind turned. The wind was pushing the water towards the south so I had a current running against me now. It may sound odd that a lake would have current but it’s not unusual for an elongated lake. The Lake is not affected by a tidal phenomenon, rather is the wind that drives the water to either end of the lake. Since the lake a 100 miles long and very narrow, the large scale water displacements create a significant current; a similar phenomenon was observable in the inner banks when I was crossing the very long channel leading to Alligator River. All this to say that since the wind was coming from the north my speed was dramatically reduced by the cumulative effects of the current and the wind: I was barely reaching 1.5 miles per hour.

Fighting the wind and current is twice the work for half the rewards, so when I got to my first camping coordinate, I called it a day. It was very fortuitous that I stopped at Chapmans’ Point Marina. Pat, the owner of the marina charged me a pittance to set my tent and lent me her Scion to go to the restaurant some 10 miles away. The marina is really pretty with two buildings from the early 19 century standing on the water’s edge. The docks start right at the door of each of those buildings and it’s quite a sight. I would have stayed there a few days if the winds had not been so darn favorable for the next two days.

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