Paddle-a-thon for the save the Chesapeake Bay foundation, an event in it's 5th year, was held Aug.4th, 2001. The Atlantic Ocean was calm, with slight swells from the southeast, as 50-some kayaks lined the water's edge. It was the beginning of a 10 mile paddle from rudee inlet, north along the oceanfront, around cape henry, ending at first landing state park in the Chesapeake Bay. There were two categories in this event: racing kayaks, and 'just hope to make it'. I was in the latter group, being that this was my 1st ocean kayaking. It was a wonderful experience. After several miles, we came upon school after school of dolphins. They had no fear of kayakers and would swim within feet of our boats. Some would jump from the water, many would follow behind some kayakers as to be playing 'follow-the-leader'. One of my most 'anxious' moments came when a group of 3 dolphins head straight for my boat, swimming on top of the water. I was afraid that I was going to be a 'plaything' and get rammed. But, a mere 10 feet from my kayak they dived underwater and I watched as they passed under my boat. It was so 'cool'! But after a few more miles, the dolphins had disappeared and we reached cape henry, where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. It was a little 'rough' there and the tide was beginning to run Out. There, the cape henry light houses (new and old) appear. It caused me to think about the countless ships that have passed this point over the centuries, and the fact that this area was were the first english colonist landed after crossing the Atlantic. After a few more miles, paddling against the tide, we reached first landing state park, and the end of our trip. My first ocean kayaking experience left me exhausted but pleased to have had a beautiful day amongst the dolphins, and a reflection of our earliest history. Anyone wishing to paddle this annual event, contact Wildriver Outfitters Inc. Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Virginia Beach, Virginia. Interstate 64 east to int. 264 east. Follow to pacific ave. Turn right. Go to 2nd street and find oceanfront parking.