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Full moon paddle lake Drummond

Dismal swamp canal boat launch. Moon rise at 6:51 pm. Stop for dinner or snack at the spillgate. Lights required.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Really enjoyed the paddle and camping. Lake Drummond at night was awesome even without the moon being out, and the lake was so beautiful when we went back out the next morning. Enjoyed the campfire, camping, and good company... Chris, thank you so much for organizing this trip. Thanks also to our "Fire-keepers" Kathy and Matt for a great campfire. Looking forward to the next trip.

    October 21, 2013

  • Matt

    I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Thanks Chris for hosting this meetup.

    October 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The campfire & the people Saturday night made it all worth it. We had a blast & the S'mores were great. Very peaceful out there at night.

    And by the way Charles...I think I *did* see a butt floating on the water on the paddle back, but I left it behind. There was a big crack in it! ;-)

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Lianne

    Other than Katy slashing me with a knife and Russ pouring gasoline over me, I had a great time.

    1 · October 20, 2013

    • Tarcela M.

      I need to do it that way too!! Thanks for the video.

      October 20, 2013

    • charles

      Oh man.... I should have camped.. missed a chic knife fight and Russ' napom bomb.

      October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    great fun, but I never saw any floating butts! Let's hope the moon comes out next time. Although seeing a bear would be a great story I'm glad it was only some bird we woke up as we paddled into the darkness.

    1 · October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Does that mean you missed the raccoon eyes just about at the end? Found the tail after the beautiful round eyes were discovered high in the tree over the water.

      October 20, 2013

    • charles

      Were they on the right? At the top of a tree? I tried to take pictures... at first, I thought it was a paid of owls.

      October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sounds like you all had fun. Hopefully next time it wont be my yoga teacher training weekend and I will be able to make it.

    October 20, 2013

  • charles

    Did anyone by chance find a butt floating in the canal? I paddled mine off, on the way back k last night and haven't seen it since.

    October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      just mine.

      October 20, 2013

    • Sandy

      Who said you guys paddled like girls?

      October 20, 2013

  • Sandy

    great fun

    October 20, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      make sure you come back in the daytime when you can really see the lake.

      October 20, 2013

  • charles

    Didn't see the moon till I was back home unloading though. Had s great time.

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a blast. Great experience. Looking forward to going again

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Finally found the moon at 5:00 this morning. It was caught in the trees in Williamsburg. :) Thank you everyone for the experience. Hoping to catch up with you on another adventure soon.

    1 · October 20, 2013

  • Richard M.

    Family emergency

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    So my wife and I are new to the area and she is very new to kayaking. would this not be a good paddle for a novice or would she be fine?

    October 19, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      It's still water with no waves. The only current MAY be down by the spillway if they're letting water out of Lake Drummond. Otherwise, I think you two will be fine.

      October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm still watching the weather (Weather Underground) & it appears that we'll have a good paddle tonight. The rain is mostly North & West of us moving in a Northeasterly direction, so I'm still not ruling out a possible passing light sprinkle this evening. Weather Underground has the ability to "predict" rain clouds & their movement based on past weather & the current conditions in the area, so the RADAR is showing that we'll be ok. Don't get discouraged if it starts sprinkling, because it won't last for very long & it'll be very light. Plus the trees lining the canal will help block the rain too. It'll be cloudy most of the evening, so we'll be getting a peek at the moonrise. No clear skies tonight.

    But, knowing that...See everyone there!

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    You mentioned the need to carry the boats from the canal to the Lake. How far is this? Do we do this helping each other or should I have something to pull the kayak? Hoping we are still on for tonight though the clouds covered the moon here in Williamsburg. What about down there for tonight?

    October 19, 2013

    • Russ B.

      Short carry. We help each other.

      October 19, 2013

  • Peggy

    I am soooo sorry to miss this. If anyone wants to paddle Sunday let me know.

    October 18, 2013

    • Russ B.

      Sunday morning at Bennetts Creek Park 0730 paddling away Typically 5 or 6 miles. MAPA

      October 18, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I wouldn't mind paddling a little later if the 730am doesn't work out.

      October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    if weather permits. I hope to paddle Sat. I probably won't camp. I hope some others will paddle back. The last full moon paddle was quite bright and you barely needed lights.

    October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Schedule never jelled, maybe next time. Have a good paddle.

    October 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another option if Lake Drummond does not work is Ft Monroe. The campground is now privately owned and you can paddle all around. It is only $15 per tent or you can negotiate less maybe if a few come. Office # is 722-2200. I look forward to the full moon night out there (Sat), no rain, and a large bon fire with smores. You can also tour the area and the case mate museum for free ! Have a great weekend and enjoy !

    October 17, 2013

  • Tom S.

    Weather permitting, I plan to be there.

    October 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Looks like Saturday night will be 30% chance of showers with a high of 71 & low of 53. Some light raingear might not be a bad idea.

      October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    going to try and make it, not paddled at night before so what kind of light do I need?..

    October 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      If you have an elastic headband/light..like a hands-free work light, those work pretty good if it's bright enough to see where you're going. If you have one, a white stern light will let others in the group know where you are relative to each other, but not a necessity. It'll be VERY dark out there, so a small flashlight would be a good idea too.

      It appears that the Senate has passed the bill to end the shutdown & raise the debt ceiling, so I BELIEVE...things are looking good for us this weekend.

      1 · October 16, 2013

  • charles

    looks like the Ding Dongs in Washington are going to open the store back up. Looks like the Paddle is on.

    2 · October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm new to the area so this may be a dumb question but could we just do the paddle saturday and then paddle back the same night?

    October 16, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Most of the group is planning to just paddle in for the moonrise, then paddle back out again Saturday night. Only a few of us were planning to camp. The problem is that access to this area is closed unless the government shutdown is resolved before this weekend.

      October 16, 2013

  • charles

    If the government is not back on track by the weekend, I say we go to D.C. and start the "Million Kayaker March"...We will meet at 4:30 on Saturday at the Lincoln Memorial and drop into the Reflecting Pool ...... WHO'S WITH ME? ...

    1 · October 16, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hopefully it is not too late to sign on in case you are still going to paddle for the Lake Drummond trip. I will watch for more news.

    October 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      We're pretty sure that we can't do this because of the gov't shutdown, we'll be charged with a general trespass violation for being on federal land.

      But if the shutdown ends before the weekend arrives, it's a GO! (at least I'll be there! hopefully others will too!)

      1 · October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Well, it appears that the WHOLE Dismal Swamp area is closed, plane crash or not. Both the state park & the wildlife refuge. Here's a news clip I just found. Judge for yourself...

    “The Federal Government will be closed as current funding expired on September 30, 2013. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is very much aware that any lapse in appropriations imposes hardships on those we serve. <B>Due to this event, the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge will be closed to the public.”</B>

    And here's another paragraph from the same article...

    ‘This means all public uses cease completely – even hunts for which people have been issued special permits, like the deer hunt scheduled for this week. <B>It means no birdwatching and no driving to see Lake Drummond. It means that these federally-owned lands and facilities are closed.’</B>

    So....what are we all doing this weekend?? Anywhere else we can try that has primitive camping & can still see the moon rise??

    October 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Can you park at Horn Point and paddle easier from there?

      October 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Donovan...I asked the Parks & Recreation Department today about what we were planning this Saturday, & they tell me that Lake Drummond spillway is operated by the Army Corp of Engineers & that it was closed, we'd be charged with trespassing if we went through there at night. The campground there at the spillway is also closed until further notice, but the Lake has posted hours until sunset.

      But also in the same sentence, he tells me that the Great Dismal Swamp is federal property, & is closed until further notice. I would take that as the WHOLE area is closed.

      He gave me some numbers to contact various entities to get further information, but I think he covered what we needed to know.

      Brooks...I'll be as hopeful as you that if the shutdown ends before the weekend, I'll have all my gear ready! (fingers crossed...but not hopeful. You know how the government operates)

      1 · October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would love to do this have paddled to lake drummond before and the camping sounds fun. Unfortunately this weekend is a no go for me. Maybe another time.

    October 15, 2013

  • charles

    Lake Drummond "IS" open. I called the regional office,[masked], they confirmed that they are a state park, NOT a federal park and they are open.
    Sooooo.... let's get our "Paddle on"

    3 · October 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Also, someone asked previously if we would be arrested if we are caught in there. The officer I just spoke with said it would probably be a summons that would be issued for general trespassing, as long as we were only trespassing and not causing damage. He said the court would then impose a fine, or up to 12 months in jail, depending on the person's behavior and criminal history. I think I'll just hope for this shutdown mess to be resolved before the weekend, and happily kayak at some other site, if it is not resolved by then... : )

      October 15, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I certainly don't want to spoil my perfect record of never going to jail, etc. Thanks for clarifying it before hand as they say ignorance is no excuse or something like that...

      1 · October 15, 2013

  • Russ B.

    Wow Let's plan to have a paddle regardless of 'shutdown'. The best alternate location I know is the Blackwater river. I checked the gauge and ther should be enough water. So for a plan B - we could meet at the Dairy Queen in Windsor, Va at 4:15 - it is about 7 miles to the public ramp.

    1 · October 15, 2013

  • charles

    I think Donovan and I are going to go out there and check it out. Will check back with you.

    October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Chris, are you still planning to paddle through the feeder ditch this afternoon to see if we will be able to get through the portage area?

    October 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does anyone know where I can Rent a kayak for the day? Rates?

    October 14, 2013

    • Russ B.

      Check with wild river outfitters or surf adventure. I think both are in Va Beach

      October 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I found and was able to purchase a 10' 4" Fusion 124 Future Beach kayak. Now I just wonder will I get a chance to use it?

      October 14, 2013

  • Karen

    Hey, y'all, shutdown or not, I have to back out of this paddle. Really sorry to miss this, but I have another commitment.

    October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The Dismal Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge, the picnic and camping area is maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers, and it is all officially shut down. I went out to the Canal Trail and down to the launch site this weekend just to see what kind of signs they have up, and they do have signs posted that the Dismal Swamp is closed, the tram is closed, and Lake Drummond is closed. I don't know if they have barriers set up at the portage site or not, but that would be the likely spot. So, unless this childish shutdown mess gets resolved by Friday, we'll need to either pick a different site, or do a "WWII veterans' style" storming of the barricades. Personally, I'm so tired of all this foolishness that I'm about ready to storm the barricades, but that probably wouldn't look too good for anyone's career.

    October 14, 2013

    • charles

      Let's storm the castle.....

      1 · October 14, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'm with you!... : ) What part of "the National Parks are owned by the American people and belong to the American people" have they forgotten?...

      October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking forward to it!

    October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    someone said that it may be closed due to the Gov. shutdown. Would love to go if possible

    October 13, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      As far as I'm aware, the Dismal swamp is a State park, not federal land & isn't affected by the government shutdown. I've looked at the swamp's own website & it pretty much says the same thing. Now, the trail is closed until Tuesday morning at 8 am because of the recent plane crash.

      I hope that helps.

      1 · October 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are canoes welcome on this trip?

    October 13, 2013

  • charles

    I'm coming. I won't be able to camp though. Sound like a good time. This will be my trip in 2 years.

    October 13, 2013

    • charles

      First trip in 2 years.

      October 13, 2013

  • Karen

    Sorry, I wanted to camp, but have to be somewhere early the next morning. Still planning to paddle, though.

    1 · October 11, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      If i don't spend the night we can paddle back together and may be some others that aren't camping out.

      October 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    It sounds like we have an overnight group then! Count me in! I don't have a LOT of space inside & on my kayak though (11 foot), only enough room for a sleeping bag, a tent, a blow-up mattress (I hate sleeping on the ground) some snacks & water & other small items. I'll be cramped, but it'll be worth it just to camp out. Oh, I'll bring along a blowtorch too, guaranteed to get that fire started!

    And Bev, I have a hotdog/marshmallow rod to toast those 'mallows on. I'll bring that too!

    1 · October 11, 2013

  • Russ B.

    We should have some room in the tandem for some firewood.

    October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have some firewood to bring, but not a huge amount, so if anyone else can bring some, too, that would be good. Also, I guess I should explain that I like apples with my marshmallows instead of chocolate... I'll bring apples, graham crackers, & marshmallows, but if others want traditional S'mores, just bring some chocolate... : )

    October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I am planning to do the overnight. Don't skimp on the firewood, Bev I'm a heavy burner! If you have plenty, I'll leave space to load some in my kayak.

    October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm planning to camp. I'll carry some firewood & some apples to go along with the marshmallows

    October 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    If several people camp overnight there, I just may join this trip. I need to get out on the water again before it gets too cold.

    I've been to the Dismal Swamp before on a bike ride (another group) but never paddled the canal or seen Lake Drummond.

    Let's make it a camping night so we can see the full moon over an open fire (who'll bring the marshmallows!??)

    Anyone? My RSVP depends on the responses.

    October 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    oh ok then thats a no go for me then ty for the reply. i thought i had read that this was an easy trip.

    October 4, 2013

    • Lou T.

      We put in as a group on the old dismal swamp Rt 17 (see map). The paddle to the "cut" is a half-mile or so up the canal. The cut is a narrow channel up to the spill-way (a small damn) - this is about 4.5 miles total.
      We then (wo)man handle the "yaks" into the park, probably take a break, and then dump them into the access channel to Lake Drummond proper. We take a short paddle into the Lake to watch the full moon which is a real money view (worth the price). Since it will be getting on to dark, I will bet that there will be no exploring of Lake Drummond.
      ....and then back.

      There is a mechanical porting device that will take your boat from canal to lake and back, but it has never worked the few times that I have made this trip.
      The trip is very laid back, and is a good time for paddling and conversation or just listening to the quiet.

      You need a PDF, a light - a waterproof flashlight will do and insect repellent (just in case). You can leave the sun block at home.
      = LOU =

      October 6, 2013

    • Lou T.

      Sorry to be so "talky" but I realized that I had not answered your question.
      TIME: WE meet at 4:30:
      estimate two hours to the spillway - two hours to look at the moon rise - two hours back.
      It sounds like a few people are thinking about camping, but most folks will be making a round trip.
      ALSO: The map looks a little off. So, google a map of Ballahack Road in Chesapeake and look for where it ends at the Dismal Swamp canal. That is where the launch site is.

      = LOU =

      October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    i am new to kayaking is this trip ok for beginners?

    October 4, 2013

    • Russ B.

      Yes if fit. Flat water to transfer. If windy you may want to avoid the lake side.

      October 4, 2013

  • Tarcela M.

    I won't be camping, but I'd love to see the full moon from the Lake.

    September 27, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is there any interest in making this an overnight camping trip, & returning on Sunday?

    September 25, 2013

  • Peggy

    thinking about it - anyone have an extra kayake suitable for a guy 6ft 5, who is a novice kayaker??? I have my little critter at 9ft 7 - but i'm suspect it might be a bit little, hard to handle..

    September 25, 2013

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