A Watershed Moment

A Watershed Moment

“Do you need a push?” Jesse Demonbreun-Chapman asks, as my turquoise jelly sandals squeak to gain purchase over wet pebbles. I tow a borrowed kayak into the water and toddle in. It’s my first time kayaking, so Jesse, the Watershed Outreach Coordinator and paddle tour guide for the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, follows protectively a few paces behind me. seeing me safely cast off the bank, he swings into his own kayak and slides through the jade-colored water beside me.

We’re leaving Butterbean Beach on this late spring evening, en route to Pigeon Island. I’m amazed how comfortable I feel in the kayak after just a few tips from Jesse, who demonstrates correct paddle placement, points out the steadying footholds inside the kayak, and reassures me that alligators are generally reclusive. Back on land only a few minutes ago, I was stressing about the sprawling distance to our landmark, feeling a pre-emptive ache in my scrawny arms…

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