Pony Swim and Penning 2004

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Here comes a pony

In 2004, we decided to go back for the annual Chincoteague pony swim.  This time we didn't need a guide and were on our own.  Actually that's how we like it.

We got to town on Tuesday evening and got the tents all set up.  We couldn't find out what time the swimSunrise would be so assumed we'd need an early start.  We got up and headed for the ramp on East Side Drive.

The place was pretty empty when we got there.  We got the kayaks loaded and kind of loafed around.  The sunrise was spectacular (that tells you how early).

Waiting in the mudWe paddled out to the same sand bar we'd been at in 2003.  This time we got a surprise.  It was low tide and was a mud flat.  When you got out, you went into soft mud past your ankles.  My wife cut her hand on an oyster shell right after we got there.  Not a good way to start a 3 to 4 hour wait for the  ponies.

While waiting, we met a very nice lady and her daughter from Ohio.  The daughter absolutely loved the place.  We also found she had a sense of humor.  She tripped in the mud and had her hands and knees in it.  If my wife hadn't helped her, I don't know if she would have gotten out without help.  I've got a picture of her mud covered but promised I wouldn't show it. 

Pony swim

When the Saltwater Cowboys herded the ponies into the water, it was great for taking pictures.   We were very close and got out of our kayaks to get pictures.  At one point I thought we'd get run over but it was OK.  You can see from the pictures that we were very close.  When it was over, we had to carry the kayaks to get them to the water.

That afternoon we had a nasty storm and got 3" of rain.  Lightning hit a tree in the campground and about scared us to death.  A glass of wine calmed the nerves.

Flooded auctionThe next morning we went to the Chincoteague Fire Department's pony auction.  In places, the water was almost knee deep.  There was more water there than where we watched the pony swim.  The auction was good but not as lively as 2003.  I don't recall how much money was raised.

Friday was back to the water.  We wanted to watch the swim back again.  The folks we met on Wednesday weren't there so we were disappointed.  I wanted to visit with them again.

There was actually water this time since the swim was at high tide.  Much differentHere come the ponies than Wednesday.  The Coast Guard kept moving us back.  We kept moving closer.  I guess they finally gave up and we got out of the way as much as we needed to.  Again the swim was very nice but not as exciting as Wednesday.

The best way to see the swims is by boat.  I wouldn't recommend doing it any other way.  Kayaks are a very good way since you can get so close.

The best way to get to the fairgrounds is to walk.  We parked by the Landmark Crab House and walked up but that will soon be a marina.  None the less, park somewhere and walk up.  The exercise will do you good and its a pleasant walk.