We decided on a day of paddling, the weather wizards mumbled something about possible thunder storms after 1600. So we decided to head out early, and were on the road with both boats loaded on the car by 0830. As we neared Annapolis about 0930 the sky began to leak. Within a couple miles the leaky sky became a downpour. Well, we’d driven most of the way to the launch ramp at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center so I said “What the heck! Let;s see what happens another 10 miles south.”. As we passed through Edgewater, Md. the roads were dry and the sun was shinning.
Once on the water we paddled along the coastline of SERC, not seeing much waterfowl except for a few ducks until we were about to leave the area and go into an area with residential improvements(?), then we spotted a Great Blue Heron and one Osprey sitting high overhead in an old tree. Then we headed along an island that sort of divided the cove we started in from the main body of the West River. Here we encountered a stronger breeze and water that was a little more exciting, but nothing that concerned wither of us. Then out to a smaller island with a small beach, and a few small motorboats. The beach slopes gently so all the small kids from the powerboats were splashing and having a good time.
After consuming our lunch we headed back, retracing our outbound route, short cutting some of the smaller coves we’d explored earlier. We had a slow easy paddle until one of the clouds overhead, the darkest one, started to rumble. We set our course for the most direct way back, allowing for us to be near shore in case we needed to reach land in a hurry. Everything was ok till we were about 500′ from the ramp, then the sky opened up and we got rained on, luckily with no wind or lightening, and by the time we were putting the boats on the car we had to empty about an inch of water out of each.
Just as were about to drive off, two other kayakers were arriving at the ramp throughly rain soaked. We helped them carry their boats up the ramp to a place they could get them onto their trailer – lots easier than trying to get two kayaks on top of an SUV.
We had been watching the sky and expecting a storm, so after lunch we didn’t go on, just not as fast as we should have. We only heard one rumble of thunder and it sounded like it wasn’t close. The moral: Keep a good eye on the sky, plan on being back to ‘home port’ in plenty of time before the weather turns bad. Don’t wait for it bad weather to become nasty weather