Tuesday, June 19, 2012

South Inlet, part one

This is the second location we paddled over Memorial Day weekend.  It's one of our favorite "short" paddles since it's easy to get to, the carry is short, and the put-in is a gradual sandy bank.  Since we've been here often, I didn't take a shot of the put-in this time, but I'll look for it in photos from previous paddles.

The photo below is once we're on the water and heading upstream.

South Inlet is the inlet for Raquette Lake.  It has a current, but usually it's not noticeable when paddling, until you reach the rocky area marking the end of the paddle.  Since this connects with big, beautiful (and popular) Raquette Lake, with its many camps, homes, people and motorboats, you may have to share the water with some smaller gas guzzling and smelly watercraft.  But, it's pretty easy to avoid these by coming early in the morning, weekdays, or before/after summertime when everyone is on vacation.  We usually see at least one canoe or kayak here, but only on a summer weekend did we see lots of paddlers.

I found a photo of the put-in from 2010.  As you can see, there is a bit of a hill down to the water and there are some tree roots, but it is not steep and we have no trouble navigating with the kayaks down to the water.  We do, however, take them one at a time since the path is narrow.

Here is another view of the put-in, also from our 2010 paddle, this time from the water.

Here is Dick, paddling upstream, with Brody squinting in the sun since I hadn't yet put his Doggles on him.  Our wide, stable Wilderness Systems Pungo 120's are perfect for the addition of our dog to the cargo!  He has plenty of room to sit.  Sometimes he faces me, but usually he's facing in the direction we're going.  He wants to see what's around the next bend as much as we do!

Here he is, later in our paddle, trying to catch a nap.

As we paddle upstream, there are marshy areas and no good place to beach your kayak until the end of the upstream portion of the paddle.  But there's plenty to see from your kayak, including a few beaver lodges.

As you can see by the photo below, it was a gorgeous day for a paddle.  Sorry about the tilt.  Hopefully the next time we kayak, I'll remember to double check the horizon-- Brody in my kayak makes me sometimes sit a little to one side or the other, as is evident in this photo.

We have seen kingfishers flitting among the trees along this waterway, but didn't on this trip.  We almost always see great blue herons here, but not one was fishing the day we paddled.  The other constant in the wildlife sightings on South Inlet is the black duck.  We saw these ducks and felt better since we were beginning to wonder where all the birds/waterfowl had gone. 

It's interesting that we've never seen a common loon on this waterway.  My guess is that there is not a suitable place for their nest which has to be very close to the water.  Common loons don't travel well on land, being much better swimmers than waddlers, with their legs being set so far back on their bodies.**Please see South Inlet, part two for a correction. I've marked the spot in the blog with these same red asterisks.**

Here is Brody with an eye on the black ducks beside and behind me.  He seemed very interested in them but I watched him close since when we were on Francis Lake, he thought maybe he'd lunge at them like he does our cats.  Thankfully, I still have pretty good reflexes and was able to grab him before he went in the water.  This trip, he was curious about them, but seemed less inclined to take a swim with them!

Well, I've been having some issues with the photo uploader, so I'll end this half of the description of our paddle on the South Inlet of Raquette Lake.  Please join me for part two which should be posted by the end of the week.

Thanks for reading, and happy kayaking!

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