|By Hank McComas
I launched the boat from the boat ramp at Martinak State Park at 8:30. The tidal height was one foot down from full flood with a 1/2 knot ebbing current. The wind was blowing strongly up the river, but wit little fetch on the narrow river there was little wave action.
Sliding along the canal out from the park and turning southwest and downstream on the Choptank river, the water became and stayed quite shallow. The paddle blades dipped into the slimy dark grey mud of the river bottom. The wave effects of a near-zero clearance sucked at the kayak until I headed straight toward the center of the river and gained more water depth. The channel in the river is quite deep, but just south of the Martinak canal, the shallow water extends quite far out into the river. There are channel markers for the boats requiring more than kayak depth.
I continued up the twists and looping turns of Tuckahoe Creek until about 2:30. Although I had not reached my distance objective - I wanted to get as far as Hillsborro - I had reached my time limit to return to the camp. I turned around and retraced my route back to the Martinak ramp arriving at 5:30. I then proceeded up the creek along the edge of the Matinak park for about a mile. I returned to the park ramp and loaded my boat back onto the car at 6:30. I was very tired and just barely able to load my boat onto the roof rack It bears a scar for my poor effort. . After a brief clean up and a stop for some food, I drove to Shad Landing State Park on the Pocomoke arriving at 9:30 PM to end a long but satisfying day. (Note: There were no places for relief stops on this trip. I used my trusty bottle.)
For a trip report on the upper Choptank, click here.
For more general information see Choptank and Tuckahoe River Guide