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Monday, May 30, 2011

Trip Report: Eagle Creek Res.

On Memorial Day morning I headed out to kayak my local waterway, Eagle Creek Resevoir. This is only 10 minutes from home and has a 9.9hp and 26' LOA limit. So its a perfect lake for paddlers, sailers and fishing from jon boats and cruising on pontoon boats. The lake is about 4 miles long and half mile wide with a couple additional inlets, the longest about half a mile. I can put in at the park marina on the north end for 5$ or at the boat launch ramp for 8$. I chose the ramp today on the southern side. If the pics wont enlarge when clicked on you can view them at

From the ramp I paddled south a quarter mile to "Ricks Cafe Boatyard" The only restaurant on the lake. There are over 100 slips for rent seasonally at the cafe.
From the cafe I paddled across the reservoir to the west, past the dam to the inlet and down the inlet to the Eagle Creek Sailing Club. Roughly a mile.
I enjoy looking at the sailboats and the names on them. The sailing club has weds evening regattas which are enjoyable to watch from the kayak or the cafe deck.Apparently THIS is where the "Fun Police" are stationed.
Personally, I like "Don't Panic" written in inverted letters. I find it somewhat humorous that people have 26' sailboats on a 4 mile long lake with a 10ft clearance bridge which makes only 2.5 miles of the lake usable to saiboats. We gotta work with what we've got here in Indiana.
This is just a shot leaving the sailing club, out the inlet. In I few minutes I would run up to a couple of other Chesapeake Light Craft wood kayaks just entering the inlet ahead. I learned the couple were paddling a "Artic Hawk" and "Shearwater" models of touring kayak. They are much sleeker and longer than my Wood Duck and I was curious if I could keep up with them so I turned around and paddled in their direction for a minute. It seemed I was working a little harder than they were but I was able to keep pace just fine. They didnt seem interested in chatting about kayaks so I turned around and continued on. I would have liked a closer look at their yaks but just asking the models seemed to bother them.
After exciting the inlet I paddled back across the lake about a 45 degree angle toward "Hobie beach" At this point I got passed and stopped by a older guy on a really cool wooden gaff-rigged catboat about 13' long. He had been behind me pulling into the boat ramp park and was interested in my kayak. We talked for a bit about it and about his boat, after a few minutes we went on our way. I wish I would have got a picture of his boat. I continued on toward Hobie beach where for $500/season the park will give you a gate key to beach your catamaran, or dinghy sailboat here. The people appear to hangout, drink and eat more than they sail. They have a small tiki-hut bar they bring out each year, grills, picnic tables and easy up tents. There are always a few people there chilling out for the day.
I then crossed the lake again at about a 45 degree angle working farther north each time I cross. I found this cool little boat tied up infront of a really big house on the lake. It cant be but 12' long or less. It looks like a ton of fun for kids and adults. I just dont know what the brand or model is. It didnt have much of any markings on it. As I paddled down this finger in the lake a little farther there was a second one of these docked there, very cool little boats.

I then paddled across the lake again at a 45 degree angle northward, almost up to the bridge that splits the lake. Finally, I paddled into the headwind along the shore all the way back to the boat ramp. The trip lasted about 2.5 hours and I estimate I paddled 4.5 miles. This will likely be my most regular paddle since its so close to home. Next time out I will do the northern half of the lake.

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