Sea Kayaking on the Coast of Georgia

Jun 13, 2012

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend two months leading sea kayak journeys and hanging out on the coast of Georgia! Cumberland Island National Seashore was my home for most of March and April and “what a place” to migrate to from colder climes. While Cumberland is certainly not a secret, most folks don’t know what an amazing paddling destination it truly is! I’ve been coming to Cumberland in springtime for the past nine years and haven’t grown tired of it yet. Rather than tell you about it, check out these photos (all photos credit Alec Bloyd-Peshkin)….

The Coast

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The National Park Service protects this fifteen miles of undeveloped coastline. Three different ecosystems co-exist on this barrier island - saltwater marsh, martime forest, and beach. Thanks for the foresight of many, this National Seashore stands as an example of what the coast of Georgia has looked like for millions of years.

Sea Kayak Surfing

Beginners learn how to break out and “survive” landing these really long boats in the surf zone. Advanced paddlers can make modern sea kayaks cut back on the foam pile, pop-up and get diagonal rides. Cumberland is fully exposed to Atlantic Swell and there's always surf!

Level 6 Knight Jacket

Can I say that this shorty was the ideal piece of kit for this area?!?!? Lovin’ the Knight for warm weather paddling! The Expansion Short, Coastal Shirts and Sea Mantis Tow Bag are sweet as well.

Live Oak & Spanish Moss

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These amazing trees were harvested for tall ships. This old growth Live Oak withstood harvesting and is one of my favorite trees!


[caption id="attachment_6874" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Paddling on the lee side of the island gives exposure to the saltwater marsh and maritime forest ecosystems"][/caption]

The Georgia coast has a 10-foot range on a "spring tide". Planning for 3-4 knot currents over the course of a 5-day journey is a challenging exercise which paddlers must undertake to successfully round the island.


[caption id="attachment_6870" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Ruins of Carnegie mansions show the effect of nature on structures when left to time"][/caption]

The island has been inhabited for the past 3000 years. From Native Americans to the Carnegies, signs of human existence are both haunting and mystical.

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