Rock Gardening: Jamestown, RI

My hat is off to the state of Rhode Island.  While it is the smallest state, it has some very legit rock gardening and sea kayaking spots.  Case in point:  Jamestown.  

Jamestown, RI is an island in the middle of Narragansett Bay.  In fact, it separates the east and west channels of the bay, and the southern tips of the island are these amazing cliff shores that face off against the Atlantic.

I'm a member of the Connecticut Kayakers Association (ConnYak) and saw they were doing a group paddle here.  Which for me was perfect, since I had been looking for a this type of rock gardening trip but was hesitant to do it solo.  There were a total of about 19 kayakers in the group and I was confident that the vast majority could assist me in a rescue should I of had an issue in the rocks.  Fortunately, no such assistance was required that day. 

For Saturday, our group paddle day, the weather was perfect:  sunny with seas about one to two feet.  Now, one to two foot waves don't sound like much, but 1:  I am still a little new to rock gardening in the ocean, and 2:  one to two foot waves still pushes an incredible volume of water that has significant force that causes intense pockets of currents that can still be quite dangerous.

But that is also my fascination with rock gardening in the ocean.  There are waves come in, but then there are swells that intermittently flow in and out, almost like if the sea was breathing.  The push and draw massive amounts of water.  I have been five feet from a rock formation and have been swept right up against with these swells and then drawn right back out to where I started from.  And as the water recedes, these intimate currents are formed from where water is trying to escape back out to the sea. 

If you watch the video just watch the water as the waves come and go.  They create these overfalls and eddies and flows around the rocks that create this dynamic environment in which to maneuver a kayak through. 

Since I drove six hours to do this group paddle and I had a GoPro issue on Saturday, I chose to go out Sunday morning on short solo paddle.  It also gave me an opportunity to fly the drone to capture some aerial footage of this rocky playground; all of which is the footage in the video.

On a final note, my purchase of a plastic play boat was the right call.  While everyone loves composite boats, I felt no internal cringes when my plastic Delphin slid over rocks or bumped up against the cliffs when I missed timed waves and swells. 

Carl SanfordComment