I’d been wanting to make this little trip for quite a while but just hadn’t found the right time. The planets aligned this weekend and Sunday looked to provide an opportunity to pull it off. The plan was to launch at the Hutton Circle launch site (near the Pep Boys auto parts store on Virginia Beach Blvd), paddle north to Lynnhaven Inlet, then turn east through “The Narrows”, and end up at my cousin’s place at the southern end of Linkhorn Creek (just west of 35th Street). Not knowing whether anybody would be home when I finished the trip, I stashed my bike at their house for the return trip to the launch site.
I got permission to park in the Pep Boy’s lot (it cuts about 50 yards off the portage to the launch site) and unloaded my gear. The launch site is located at the end of a paved trail (about 150 yards long) also accessible at the end of Hutton Circle and has a nice little floating dock. I got everything loaded and launched about 11AM.
Heading north to Lynnhaven Inlet, there was a slight headwind but was generally quiet paddling. There was no significant traffic until about 3 miles when it opens up into the wider part of Lynnhaven Bay. One of the problems with this area is the lack of places to land and take a break. There are really only two opportunities – the launch site on the west site of Lynnhaven Inlet (about 5 miles) and the State Park at The Narrows (about 9 miles). If you plan to stop at the Lynnhaven Inlet launch site, it’s better to follow the west side of Lynnhaven Bay to avoid having to paddle across the busier and wider part of the bay. Otherwise, follow the east side which makes the eastward turn a bit easier.
After making the turn toward the east, there’s about 1.5 miles through the Lynnhaven Marinas area. Although there can be quite a bit of motor boat traffic, it’s pretty wide and obviously a no-wake zone. There was an incoming tide plus a tailwide so I picked up an additional 1 to 1.5 mph almost all the way to the State Park where I took a nice break and enjoyed a sandwich, some fruit, and a candy bar. A final 3 miles and I’m at my cousin’s house. I didn’t expect the 5 mile bike ride back to the launch site too be much of a problem but the 95+ degrees was taking it’s toll. Needless to say, I was quite relieved to get back to the truck (thereby completing the circle) and crank up the A/C. I headed back to my cousin’s place, loaded up the kayak and called it a day.
On a side note, this was my first use of the GPS Tracking app on my iPhone providing the real-time GPS tracking shown on the applet to the right.