Family Vacation on the NC Coast

See Jamie Blog – Family Vacation on the NC Coast http://seejamieblog.com/family-vacation-nc-coast/

Kayaking a blackwater river…

Although I enjoyed everything we did on our trip, I think my favorite was our kayak excursion on our last day. It was a bit of a splurge for us all to go, but we’d never done it and I love a [relatively safe] adventure. The weather was iffy, and I didn’t want to be two miles down a river when a lightning storm came, but it turned out perfect. Even …our never-sit-still child behaved well, which made it much more enjoyable for the one [me] who had her in the kayak. {Mom confession: I may have threatened dire consequences for any wiggling that might cause a kayak to flip into that swampy water.}


Hello, homeschool-on-vacation learning!

We paddled more than two miles into a blackwater swamp-ish creek, and of course, back out again. I learned that the tannic acid (also found in tea: awesome!) that makes the water look black is also mosquito-proof. Seriously, we spent three hours in a swamp and there were literally zero mosquitoes. {I’m in the blue kayak.}

We saw turtles and owls and ibises. We saw gar jumping, but thankfully none jumped into the kayaks with us. {Apparently that’s a thing.} We heard alligators but did not see any, and I was rather surprisingly disappointed about that since I’d been near panic the night before thinking about the possibility of kayaking with alligators.

I cannot rave enough about our guide. If you ever find yourself in the Southport area wanting to kayak, Jeff of Lighthouse Watersports is your guy. It’s obvious he loves what he does. Kathryn said it was clear he was made for that job, and that’s an inspiration in itself. He’s very knowledgeable about the history and ecology of the area, thoroughly answered our questions, volunteered all sorts of interesting information, showed as much respect to the little kids as to the adults, and generally made the whole experience delightful. Oh, and he took these photos for us, too!

So someday, when I live in a cottage near the sea, I want a kayak.