Laura’s goal for the day was to sit by the pool and read. While that would suit me for awhile, I was up for a bit more adventure. I changed into paddling gear and went to find one of the rental kayaks available from the inn.
The boat I rented was a Perception Acadia tandem, just like the one we rented in Florida last Christmas. Having paddled one of these solo before, I felt very comfortable with its handling. I headed upriver against the current and outgoing tide so that it would be easier coming back when I was tired.
The river immediately behind Middleton Place is a “no wake” zone for motor boats. That made the tight space a bit more comfortable for paddling. From the river, there is only the barest hint of the elegance of the gardens. One can see a bit of the sweeping green lawn if you’re at the right angle, but that’s about it. Mostly the view is of the salt marsh. Since it was low tide, high mud banks were visible.
Just past Middleton Place I paddled up Heron Creek, leaving the main channel with its swifter current and boat traffic. At low tide the creek was only a few feet wide and barely deep enough for the kayak. It was quite twisty. Wading birds scolded me and stayed just a few yards ahead of me as I paddled. Fiddler crabs scurried out of the way on the mud banks. The high banks themselves were cut with rivulets and miniature water falls as the tide headed out.
Even though it was hot, the skies were overcast, so it wasn’t as bad as it could be. Still, I had seen about as much salt marsh as I wanted. I had tried to paddle to the point where the creek reaches the tree line so there would be a little change in scenery. However, the low tide made that impossible. It was time to head back. I let the tide and the current carry me back to the kayak landing. It was a short paddle, but it was enough for today.