Welcome Home, Truman Strike Group – North Landing River – Black Water Creek 20050417

Distance: 11.82

Gorgeous day, spring has finally sprung (no really this time it looks like it’s for real). After almost 3 days of wicked northeast winds, > 35MPH sustained, gusting to 50MPH, it was nice to have an actual nice day, the temp topped out at 64, and the winds died down to about 8 to 10 MPH. One thing about 3 days of strong N.E. winds is that it really drains everything that empties into the Currituck Sound, the water levels were about the lowest I have seen them.

I decided to head out to the North and see what it as like in the ox bow across from the launch site, That turned out to be a bad idea about 3/4’s of the way around, barely had enough water to make it around, but it was cool looking up at the areas I’ve paddled through in the past. Realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to do much on any of the smaller creeks, I headed down to Blackwater Creek. Crossing under Pungo Ferry Bridge, I noticed a new occupant on day marker 42, an Osprey hanging out on her? New nest, drifting got a few pictures of her, everything was fine until the ~40′ power boat come screaming up the river, she was tweaked, so I continued South.

Noticed a pair on the next marker, they were already tweaked, so I just left them to settle down. Made it to Blackwater creek, noticing even more erosion of the banks… Blackwater creek is a nice stretch of water (would be nicer if it had water), but pretty much typical of other creeks on the East side of Blackwater Road. Not far from the bridge, hearing the noise of multiple aircraft, I looked up and saw the returning Oceana-based aircraft of the Truman Strike Group, Fighter squadrons 32, 37 and 105 from a 6-month deployment supporting operations in Iraq.

After crossing under the bridge, the river is much nicer, wooded, a couple of houses, would have liked to go further, but water levels were down…  Another sign the Spring is here, I saw my first Dragon Fly of the year… After making the turn and heading all the way back to the North Landing River, I bumped into so many fish, and in several cases I really bumped into fish, one hit my rudder so hard it shook the entire boat…

Approaching the North Landing River I was watching Osprey on either side of the River, and I was lining up to take some pictures of the activities, when looking down to secure my paddle I saw a little hatchling turtle in the middle of the river, apparently exhausted from trying to swim into the current. So knowing my daughter (the turtle nurse of Virginia Beach, but that’s another story) would never forgive me if I left him there, I circled back, scooped him up with my paddle and set him on my forward hatch. The little guy was exhausted, I figured he would rest warm up and jump off as I paddled back to the car, on the side of the river he was headed for, well, he never jumped, he was actually happy just sitting there the entire 30-minute trip. Needless to say, he is now under the care of my daughter, and will be released to the same general location when it appears he can fend for himself. His name is Black Jack Skelington.

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