Stories from the Ogeechee Basin

November, 2012 - Delegal Creek

My most recent paddle was with Dr. Ryan Boland.  We left Ryan's dock on Delegal Creek and paddled into Ossabaw Sound.  The day was beautiful, bright and sunny but windy!  We paddled to the south end of Wassaw Island through a head wind fighting two to three foot swells and white caps.  When we landed on the beach, at the mouth of the Odingsell River, on the south end Bluffs of Wassaw we had to sit on our boats to eat lunch because the wind literally flipped Ryan's boat across the beach.  We were both paddling 18 ft long fiberglass sea kayaks.

If the trip out was tough the paddle back with wind and tide to our backs was treacherous.  We hugged the shore line for a while to gain some protection from the north east wind but had to constantly be on the lookout for rouge swells.  I finely paddled out from shore and found that surfing the swells was safer but, no less work to stay up right.  Needless to say it was a paddle we won't soon forget.  In all we figure about 5 miles in the Sound and another 3 miles in the Delegal creek.  We were dog tired and both wind and sun drained.  It was GREAT!! 

Gerry Cowart

8/22/2012 - Redbird Creek & Ogeechee River - 12 IN 2012 CHALLENGE COMPLETE!!!!

Paddle #12!!!!!! - We put the kayaks in at the boat ramp on Redbird Creek in the camping area. We had waited until about 1:00, after high tide.  We paddled down the creek & went through a marshy area to get to the Ogeechee.  We paddled towards an island, but couldn’t get to it for the marsh.  We saw herons & egrets in the marsh, but other than that, there wasn’t much to see.  We went back to Redbird Creek & the current was going against us.  The scenery was like Jekyll...the marsh with birds AND dark clouds over head.  We went back to the boat ramp after 4.42 miles / 1hour 50 minutes.  I was really disappointed that we didn’t go up the creek where the creek narrowed.  I think it would have been a much prettier paddle with more wildlife.

We're done!!  Thanks for the challenge!  It was fun. 

Lonny & Rhonda Martin

8/13/2012 - Ogeechee River

Blog by Mary Siceloff and Liz Williams about their 6th and 7th paddles in the 12 in 2012 Challenge... 

2/19/2012 – Julianton River

I paddled by myself. It started out as a gray overcast and drizzling day. Blustering, shifting winds soon cleared gray sky and left huge billowing cumulus clouds racing across the sky.  The sunshine was breaking through in brilliant patches.  Tempter was great in mid 60's but windy. 

I headed out from the Harris Neck Creek around 1:00 pm on the outgoing tide headed for Dallas Bluff Marina on the Julianton River and arrived at Dallas Bluff around 2:00 just before low tide.  Wind had picked up and was from south west.  As I turned home, the wind was at my back and large swells were forming in the Julianton.  Had some good opportunity to surf swells as I headed back to Harris Neck.  Beautiful afternoon warmed up to low 80’s lots of birds out on the wind.  Saw soaring birds, gulls, terns, vultures and red tail hawks. Many water birds as well with Harris neck wild life refuge close by, several species of Ducks and Brown Pelicans.<<...>> <<...>> <<...>>

Gerald David Cowart, AIA, LEED AP

2/12/12 - Canoochee River

 2/9/2012 - Canoochee River

I finished my 3rd river paddle of the 12 in 2012 challenge this past Saturday, Feb 4th - 14 miles on the Canoochee River; very beautiful.

The three of us… Mary Siceloff, Liz Williams, and myself… got a sunrise start around 7:30 am.  We put in at Kings Ferry Landing on the Ogeechee in order to have the rising tide help us paddle up  a little over a mile and then turn into the Canoochee.  The lower part of the Canoochee is also tidal influenced, about a foot of rise.  We launched an hour before high tide on the Ogeechee with the goal of riding the tide as far up the Canoochee as the tide would allow.  After three hours of steady paddling we finely found the Canoochee down stream flow. 

The day was gorgeous.  The early morning bright sun and its low angle fashioned extraordinary reflections on the blackwater.  Likewise, the swamp was full of water from the high tide and devoid of heavy foliage, allowing sunlight to dive deeply into the flooded wooded wetlands allowing us to see deep into the otherwise dark back water. 

We found convenient landing points to stretch our legs and have lunch.  This part of the Canoochee is inside the protected military reserve of Fort Stewart and requires permission to access. 

Our return trip was aided by the outgoing tide and the river flow.  We spent a total of about 7 hours on the river and paddled an estimated 14 or 15 miles all total. 

Our next trip will be further up the Ogeechee in the area of Oliver, Georgia.

- Gerry Cowart

 January 2012 - Ogeechee River

This is a trip report with pics from our trip today on a section of the Ogeechee River.  We put in just south of Millen, GA at a ramp on the Ogeechee River off of Hwy. 25.  This is an area that we have driven past many times and have wondered about.  So, today, we decided to try it out. 
The put in site is very easy, has a good concrete ramp and a parking area right next to the highway.  This is a black water area that is very twisty...there is also great potential for downed trees, etc.  Lots and lots of big cypress trees.  Going up the river it is narrower and the current is pretty strong.  Down from the bridge it is wider and a little quieter. 
We decided to paddle up first.  It was a hard paddle, but we managed a little over a mile.  There were so many twists and turns it was impossible to rest.  Then we came to a very large downed tree that crossed the entire area.  We did not want to portage, so turned around.  The trip back was much quicker and there were a couple of tricky areas.  Probably not a good place for beginners unless they have an experienced person with them. 
Once getting back to the bridge we decided to go down beyond it.  Much quieter and my husband was able to fish a little.  Unfortunately, we only went about a 1/2 mile or so before we came upon another very large tree that had fallen across the entire creek.  So, we just decided to end this adventure. 
This trip is probably best done in the summer (except for the snakes that is!).  We have stopped and talked to boaters in this area before and I know that the river is probably cleared by them so that they can go downstream with regular boat and motors.  We did not see any wildlife, although we did hear an owl.  Even the turtles were making themselves scarce. 
On our way back to Augusta we stopped at Magnolia Springs State Park and did a little hiking around the spring there.  Very pretty place as well. 

Bill and Pat Colbert