Saturday, June 7, 2014

Kayaking the Altamaha River: Day 13

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Kayaking the Altamaha River

Description: On the group’s eighth full day on St. Simons Island, we drove to Darien, Georgia to kayak sixteen miles on the Altamaha River. Kayaking sixteen miles on the Altamaha in six hours in one day was a greater distance than the group’s first kayaking trip on Little Tybee Island where we kayaked fourteen miles in three days. Kayaking the Altamaha River was a calm and peaceful trip excluding the last half mile or so. For the first fifteen and a half miles, the group flowed with the river and the outgoing tide but for the last half mile, the group faced a strong headwind. The headwind forced the group to use their strength and kayak the final stretch. We saw many different stretches of the river. We saw the tight and narrow swampy area, the wide large open area, and a narrow, man-made channel called Rifles Cut. Rifles Cut got that name because of how straight the channel is.

Reflection: What I learned while kayaking on the Altamaha River was that my first kayaking experience during the May semester prepared for my second kayaking experience. While the Altamaha kayaking trip was a greater distance in a shorter amount of time, the trip was easier because I had great practice days before when kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean. Kayaking uses a person’s arms, upper and lower back, and abdominal muscles to paddle and get the kayak to move. While kayaking, one needs a lot of endurance, stamina, and strength and I discovered that I had more of all three after kayaking the Altamaha River. Just before we departed, I felt like I was not going to be able to stick with the group and push myself all the way through, but I did and I am extremely proud of myself for doing so.

Analysis: While kayaking the Altamaha River, the group got to see many of the features the river provides for the locals and natives surrounding the Altamaha. The group saw how the Altamaha provides recreation, food, and water for its residents. Recreation was seen by all the boats on the river either fishing or just relaxing or kayaking like we were. Food was seen because the river is full of fish for the locals to catch and eat. Water was seen because the Altamaha River provides water for the locals to drink after it has been purified. The Altamaha River is key to its surrounding inhabitants because the river is a gateway to the Ocean as well as a place where businesses can thrive for the community. Overall, the Altamaha River is key for the locals and natives surrounding and depending on the resources and features it provides them.

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