Our goal was to paddle from the bridge at St George Island on the bay side to the backside of Little St George Island. We then wanted to hike across the Little St George to the lighthouse for lunch. We estimated the trip at about 13 miles each way. We scouted the area the night before and found a canoe launch site where 11th street reaches the bay. This cut about 2 miles of our trip each way. Later we would be glad we did this.
We expected a rough trip so we loaded the kayaks with plenty of day supplies and emergency over night gear just in case. We started out at 7 am and headed directly to a point 5 miles west called Cedar Point. We then continued on through calm conditions to the cut that separates St George from Little St George. We had about 7 miles behind us at this point so we took a long break for lunch.
We headed out west again for the final 5 miles to the back of Little St George. We took out at the second pier and locked our boats to a small tree. A person on shore told us crime was not a problem but it was too long of a swim for us to take a chance.
We headed 1.5 miles across the island to the lighthouse. We dodged a few snakes and a lot of bugs but made it to the lighthouse for lunch. It was a nice visit and we felt lucky to see the lighthouse which will fall into the ocean before too many more years. It is not an easy walk. We had to wade through thigh deep water for several hundred yards so bring proper footwear.
By now it was 2pm and we decided to head back. We paddled against heavy winds, rain and chop for the first two hours and averaged only 1.25 mph. We had to use all our skills because the bay is shallow and has large steep waves if any winds blow. We took many large waves over the decks. Be prepared! It is not a beginner paddle.
We made it back to the cut for another break and the weather started to clear. We were glad because if the weather didn't get better we would have had to stay the night. We made it back to the car at 7:30pm and we were glad we put in 2 miles west of the bridge. We spent a total of 9 hours in the boats.
Warning! This bay can get rough quick. It is shallow with many oyster reefs that will destroy composite boats. Plan for the worst, be prepared to stay the night and carry all your emergency equipment. It is an advance paddle and I felt like I was at the limits of my abilities. If you go in the summer you will need at least 1.5 gallons of water per person and all your sun protection. It is truly a hard core paddle.
The total distance paddled was 24 miles.
We stayed at the Sportman's Lodge in East Point. It is minimal but clean. You won't beat the price. You can rent a house on the island if you want more room.
It is 5 miles off shore near Appalachicola, Florida. It is about 75 miles east of Panama City and about 50 miles south/west of Tallahassee, Florida.