Kayaking to Cumberland Island, Georgia, is really Coastal Georgia kayaking at its finest. Cumberland Island has lengthy been a vacation spot for vacationer in search of pristine seashores and basic maritime forest landscapes; however over the previous 15-years, kayaking to the island has turn into a must-do for paddlers from everywhere in the world. The journey to Cumberland Island, nevertheless, isn’t for newcomers; and even consultants can discover themselves Up The Creek if they do not test the tides.
Tidal currents within the space are substantial and could be a double-edged sword. If you realize what the tides are doing and work with them, tidal currents could make your journey a breeze. Should you do not heed the tides, they may make your journey a nightmare. There may be roughly a 6-foot to 10-foot tidal vary alongside this a part of the Southeast coast; which means that, relying on the time of 12 months and the time of month, Excessive tide may be 6-to-10-feet above Low tide. That interprets into numerous water coming and going by these waterways each six-hours. The result’s tidal currents that may attain 6-kts or extra! For reference, that is a reasonably respectable pace for a racer in a kayak constructed for racing.
So, test the tides earlier than you set off for the island — or earlier than paddling wherever inside 20-miles of the coast. With the tides in your favor, the journey to Cumberland can take wherever from an hour and a half to just a little over 4-hours, relying in your vacation spot. From the boat launch at Crooked River State Park, the journey over to Plum Orchard is roughly 6-miles and the journey to Sea Camp is nearer to 9-miles. For back-country campers in search of the solitude of Brickhill Bluff, the journey is about 12-miles (paddle the 6-miles to Plum Orchard, then 6-more miles up the Brickhill River to your campsite). With a 5-hour window of outgoing tidal currents (you lose a while when touring towards the coast), any of those locations may be simply reached by an skilled kayaker.
To barter native tides in any space, it’s best to contact an area knowledgeable, or not less than choose up a tide chart from an area clothes shop, fishing provide retailer or bait store. Alongside the coast, every part that occurs within the water is affected by tides in a method or one other, so tide charts must be simple to search out. After buying a tide chart, test the tide for the day you intend to paddle after which apply the correction issue on your put-in and take-out. The instances listed on the chart shall be calculated for the outer bar; nevertheless it takes about two-hours for that water to achieve the put-in at Crooked River State Park (the preferred jumping-off level for paddlers heading to Cumberland). When kayaking to Cumberland Island, in different phrases, discover the Excessive Tide on your departure date and add two-hours to that. You will wish to depart shortly after Excessive Tide at Crooked River State Park and journey the falling tide out to the island.
For the return journey, you may be leaving the island after Low Tide and driving the incoming tide, or flood tide, because it fills the estuarine system and pulls water again within the route of Crooked River State Park — the place you may wish to arrive BEFORE the following Excessive Tide. Should you do not make it again to Crooked River earlier than Excessive Tide, the tide will change and the currents will reverse within the river because it empties again out into the Atlantic. Do Not Suppose You Can Paddle Towards This Present! You Can’t. Simply think about the Crooked River as a reversible treadmill that modifications route each 6-hours, and shortly accelerates to speeds which might be unmanageable for paddlers.
Coupled with winds, the tidal currents within the Crooked River can typically create reasonably dramatic floor situations that require superior expertise to barter. Be sure you’re up for a problem and test with native consultants when you’re planning your journey in an effort to keep away from any trip-ruining errors. Paddling to Cumberland Island is definitely worth the effort it takes to do it proper, so test the tides, and ensure you perceive what the tides are doing earlier than you put-in, in an effort to be certain that your journey begins and ends on a great word.