I have an SCDNR permit for up to 8 people to camp on Otter Island over night (Dec 7-8).
This trip has some open water paddling and with water temperatures in the high 50’s getting dunked would not be pleasant. The trip rating is between a II and a III
You should feel comfortable:
• Paddling 6 miles in a day.
• Performing a wet exit.
• Performing an assisted deep-water rescue.
• Maintaining a heading for short distances without the use of a rudder.
• Turning a kayak using forward and reverse sweep strokes.
You should be able to:
• Perform the skills listed above.
• Paddle 10 miles in a day.
• Paddle in 10- to 15-knot winds and 2- to 3-foot waves
Contact me if you have questions.
You will need your own kayak, paddle (bring a spare if you have one), PFD and spray skirt. Your kayak needs to be 14 feet or longer (shorter boats work fine on creeks but are too slow for this trip). We will have UHF radio, first aid kit and emergency shelters.
This Sierra Club trip is an overnight kayak camping trip to a primitive area. Drive time to and from the put-in /take out (Bennett’s Point-Mosquito Creek) is about one hour each way. The one-way transit (on the water) time is about 2.5 hours. We will camp on the south end of Otter Island past the mouth of the Ashepoo River but not on the front beach. We will walk the beaches and try once again to locate the remains of a Confederate Fort that commanded the St Helena Sound channel during the Civil War. This time we can probably bushwhack (gently) right to the fort. If not, the setting is spectacular just being there will be grand.
There will be waxing crescent moon and if clear the stars should be spectacular. The Geminid meteor shower peak will not peak til the13-14th
You will need Lunch and Supper for Saturday, Breakfast and lunch Sunday. You should consider carrying some extra food and water just in case we have to delay return due to weather. If there is interest we can plan to prepare a group supper Sat night. I am thinking of a sort of shrimp stew (frogmore; we bought shrimp two years ago and they made a lovely supplement to everyone’s supper). We can buy shrimp right at the put in dock. Group meals require planning. If enough express interest we will advance this planning further. When you reply please state your preference for a group supper.
Speaking of what goes in, leads to a discussion of what comes out. Urine should be left below the tide line. I will have individual “poo” bags for participants and I’ll show you how to use them.
You should bring enough water to drink, cook and clean. There is NO fresh water on Otter Island.
Do not wear or even bring any cotton clothing. Wool and/or synthetics are de rigueur. Plan to bring paddling clothes and a complete second set of clothes for hiking and hanging out. Low temperatures will likely be in the 50s but could range to the 40s. It will not likely freeze but you never know for certain. You will need at least a 40 F sleeping bag and shelter (a self supporting tent with mosquito netting; bring your long plastic tent stakes- regular metal stakes do not hold well in sand.
Pack all your gear in proper dry-bags or at least sturdy trash bags. Many small bags are preferable to one or two large bags. You should practice packing you entire kit PRIOR to Dec 7. If possible paddle you loaded kayak a bit to get used to the performance when loaded.
Bring cameras, binoculars, insect repellant (it almost never freezes on Otter; ergo the mosquitoes and no-see-ums get chilly and sort of lethargic but are always around) and sunscreen.
Plan to wear your PFD zipped and have a spray skirt on at all times while on the water. You should dress to be just a little chilly while standing around. Once on the water the effort of paddling will warm you up. Plan to have a wind-breaker or other garment handy to put on when we stop for lunch and immediately when we arrive on Otter.