Pamlico Paddle: Day 1, The Launch

Pamlico-Tar Riverkeeper Jill Howell and Sound Rivers’ Environmental Projects Coordinator Clay Barber got off to a fantastic start this afternoon. After a successful cleanup of the Havens Garden riverside and Runyon Creek (thank you to the many volunteers who showed up to clean up!), lunch at Backwater Jack’s Tiki Bar & Grill, the kayaks were loaded to go.

A crew of kayakers started the paddle with Jill, Clay and First Mate Miller, the adventure pup, from the new, City of Washington and Sound Rivers partnered kayak launch on Runyon Creek. With a nice breeze blowing out of the west, conditions were good for a quick trip downriver to Broad Creek, where they’ll be spending their first night on the five-day, 70-plus-mile paddle from Washington to Swan Quarter.

We’ve got an official launch video and a Facebook Live video from Jill and Clay, once they made landfall at their first destination: the Hindsley camping platform on Broad Creek, the last camping platform on the Tar-Pamlico Water Trail. Check out their adventures from today: they talk kayak choices, the camping platform, the fish kill they encountered immediately, and how Miller found the resident nutria at this night’s accommodations!

The Launch:

Arrival at the Hindsley camping platform:

Clay talks to WITN reporter Maddie Kerth about the purpose of the Pamlico Paddle.

Miller chilled out in the park until his human was ready to load him in their kayak.

Clay packs his kayak in the parking lot of Havens Garden. Launch took place across the road at the Runyon Creek ramp/kayak launch.

Time to load up. Miller and Jill prepare to launch from the Havens Garden kayak launch.

Sound Rivers Executive Director Heather Deck helps Clay carry his kayak onto the launch.

Jill makes last-minute preparations before launching.

Clay takes advantage of the kayak launch he helped put in place with the help of Recreational Trails Program Grant and the City of Washington.

Sound Rivers Executive Director Heather Deck gives Jill and Miller a push into Runyon Creek.