Friday August 24 – Smith Point Marina to Point Lookout State Park
Day 09 - 14 miles til land ho!
Last night, Whit and Joe went to sleep utterly aware that they had their longest crossing to conquer in the morning – 14 miles! Smith Point Marina to Point Lookout State Park: this is the widest stretch on the Potomac, right at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. I guess it was a good omen that a pelican flew over them this morning.
Imagine this, paddling out into the river, surrounded by water, not being able to see your destination, relying on the navigation of a compass, all the while getting hit by class 3 waves and fierce winds. I hardly could type that without getting chills. Whit and Joe actually lived through it! As you probably have guessed, today was their hardest paddle of the journey.
“Waves got so big that we couldn’t see each other!” Joe reflected after they landed at Point Lookout State Park. “Water hit me and I was shocked. It was saltwater – we made it to the sea!”
You think that was bad? There was a moment when they got out of the shipping lane just in time for two barges to coast by. Doses of adrenaline kept them going and they managed to do the entire 14 miles in just 4.5 hours. Although it was relatively quick, it was a “slow and painful” 4.5 hours. They both tell me that it could have been a lot worse. I’m just glad they both made it safe.
Now at camp, they are eating the last of their food – I wonder if there’s still freeze-dried ice cream left – but they’re ready for a real meal at tomorrow’s St. Catherine’s Island party with Jefferson Islands Club!
“I can’t believe it’s our last day,” Joe said.
Live it up guys! You did an amazing job and engaged so many people with your 9-day paddle on the Potomac. You can catch Whit and Joe later this year when they schedule their Island to Island presentations, describing and reflecting on their trip and encouraging you to empower yourself to go on your own trip!
Be sure to check out the trip’s photo album on our Facebook page.