Stories from the Satilla Basin

8/21/2012 - Jekyll Creek

Paddle #11 - We put the kayaks in at the public boat ramp & paddled up Jekyll Creek.  The marsh was on our left; the Jekyll Wharf, Historic District, & airport were on our right.  Lonny saw a manatee, and there was a pelican & some seagulls at the wharf, but other than that, we didn’t see much wildlife.  We did see quite a few small planes & helicopters from the airport. We paddled under the Ben Fortson Parkway bridge that takes traffic on & off Jekyll.  It was cloudy, cooler than usual, & the current wasn’t strong.  After the historic district section, there wasn’t much to see. We had to be off of our campsite by noon, so we turned around after 50 minutes / a little over 2 miles.  We paddled 4.46 miles / 1 hour 35 minutes. 

Lonny & Rhonda Martin


8/20/2012 - Saint Simon's Sound

Paddle #10 - We saw dolphins off of the fishing pier on Jekyll & paddled out to watch them.  There were at least 10, & we watched them for several minutes. We could see Saint Simon’s Island just across the sound, & the water was calm, so we paddled towards the light house. We saw a sea turtle! The water was calm until a container ship & a large shrimp boat came close. It was a little choppier but still easy enough to paddle. Our GPS said 1.8 miles/38 minutes when we got as close as we could to the St. Simons lighthouse & shore.  The shoreline was rocky & the water was crashing against the rocks.  We couldn’t see any place close by to dock the boats, so we turned around & headed back towards Jekyll.  The water was as rough going back as it was calm going.  We got caught in a tidal bore.  I got scared.  I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere.  The Jekyll shore didn’t seem to be getting any closer.  There were swells & white caps.  I turned around to look for Lonny & couldn’t even see him.  When I FINALLY made it to a shore, it took him 12 more minutes to get there.  We had tried to paddle towards the fishing pier & ended up on a shore about .2 mile farther away.  We just couldn’t get there. We paddled along the shore line to get back to the fishing pier. In that stretch of beach, we saw almost every kind of shore bird...HUNDREDS of seagulls, herons, egrets, & sandpipers (I think).  The neatest thing we saw was 6 roseate spoonbills perched in a tree. It was starting to rain (again) or we would have parked the boats to watch the birds. Our GPS said 4.15 miles / 1 hour 37 minutes when we got back to the pier.  We pulled the boats to shore, & it started to POUR....just like while we were ON the Suwannee. We seem to be hitting LOTS of rain on this camping/paddling trip.

Lonny & Rhonda Martin  


8/20/2012 - Clam Creek on Jekyll Island

Paddle #9 - We started paddling a little before high tide, & the tide was going with us.  The creek was really up & wide at the beginning.  We were surrounded by marsh.  We saw fish jumping, herons, egrets, barn swallows, and SWARMS of dragonflies. The creek really snaked around, & the farther back we got, the narrower.  It was barely wide enough to paddle.  We paddled through some of the grasses when the turn was too sharp & the path too narrow.  There were THOUSANDS of snails all over the grass as we got farther back in the marsh & midges (little bitty clear looking bugs) got all over us when we hit the grass.  At about 1.9 miles, the creek got too narrow, & we had to back up to turn around. It was a 3.79 mile/1 hour 40 minute paddle. The tide had just stopped coming in when we got finished.  LOVED the birds, HATED the little bugs.   

Lonny & Rhonda Martin


8/19/2012 - Lathem River at Jekyll Island

Paddle #8 - We drove over to the public boat ramp & paddled across the intracoastal waterway/Jekyll Creek to Lathem River.  It was high tide & windy.  The current was a little strong, so we only paddled a little over 1 1/2 miles up.  The farther we went, the stronger the current got.  The marsh was on our left, & we could see Great Egrets standing up in the tall grasses fishing.  The Ben Fortson Parkway was on our right.  It’s easy to get lost in the marsh grasses, so I was glad to have the parkway as a guide.  When we got out of Lathem River, we paddled back Jekyll Creek & into the little waterway behind Summer Waves Water Park.  The clouds were getting darker, & the wind was picking up.  We paddled back to the ramp, & it started raining.  We paddled 4 1/4 miles in just a little under 2 hours.  

Lonny & Rhonda Martin