Return to Lake Marion/Blount's Landing 2018

In 2017, I went on a camping trip/kayak trip in South Carolina on Lake Marion at a campground called Blount's Landing. The trip was so enjoyable that I returned again the next year. Blount's Landing was packed on my first visit because of the solar eclipse passing over. This time it was slightly later in the season and we were the only campers aside from the full time residents there. We got a great waterfront campsite.
We arrived at Blount's Landing in the evening, camped overnight, and then began the fun. Breakfast the next morning was had at a nearby restaurant called Bell's Family Restaurant connected to a marina in Eutawville. 

 I ordered the shrimp and grits. I've had some really fancy shrimp & grits in the past, but here, the meal was stripped down to the basics. Grits topped with shrimp, bacon, and brown gravy. 
After breakfast, we returned to Blount's Landing and began the exploration of the lake. Last time, I used an inflatable kayak. It worked wonders for the price, but wasn't fast and was affected by wind pretty badly which hurts on open water. This time, I brought along an old Grumman canoe which was a bit more efficient.
Lake Marion is a reservoir, caused by a dam on the east side of the lake. When created, it flooded an existing town called Ferguson. I kayaked out to some of the remaining structures above water level on my last visit to Lake Marion. On this paddle, I passed the occasional clump of cypress trees sticking out in the middle of the lake on what used to be a hill. 

There was also the occasional dead tree sticking out above the water. I was told the story that before flooding the area, all of the trees were anchored into the ground with steel cables. As time went on, the metal cables corroded away, and these trees will occasionally get loose and start floating around on the lake surface.

We came across several of these floating trees on the paddle. It is strange seeing a huge tree trunk bobbing at the water's surface.

We stopped on Church Island. Before exploring the island more, it was time for lunch.

Next, we ventured over to the cemetery on Church Island. This semi-abandoned cemetery is another leftover from before Lake Marion was created. 

After leaving Church Island, it was time to do some more paddling to various tiny, unnamed islands in the lake.

On one of these islands, we encountered a strange, clear blob floating in the shallow water. Turned out this was a colony of creatures called a bryozoan. Apparently they filter feed the water as they float around and are similar to coral. Never knew these existed...

Soon, we reached the east end of the lake near the dam. We took a pit stop at a place called Harry's Fish Camp. This was located adjacent to a canal leading to Lake Moultrie, but exploring that would have to be another trip.
Eventually, we made it back to Blount's Landing late in the afternoon. 

After taking a break, we took the canoe out for one more adventure and explored much of the nearby canals located nearby at dusk. Here's a timelapse of that paddle:

And with that, this adventure on Lake Marion was pretty much finished. Camped overnight and drove home the next morning.