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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29th 2014 - Westover Plantation to Fort Pocahontas

We woke up this morning at 6:30 ready for our day. After a breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon, Thaddeus, the groundskeeper of Westover Plantation, was kind enough to give us a tour. The plantation house was built in the 1700’s by William Byrd II, and the tour gave us a glimpse into the past. We looked into the house’s foyer, library, and dining room, where the Fisher family’s cat, Gypsy, came to greet us. After seeing the inside of the historic house, we went to the back of the property where we found horses and chickens.  Sadly, and to Kirk’s dismay, he had to watch from afar as the team interacted with the horses due to his allergy to them.     

The team in front of the historic and majestic Westover Plantation
The library inside of Westover
We canoed 6 miles from our campsite at Westover to our halfway point at Fort Powhatan for lunch. The group enjoyed tortillas with deli meats, cheese, and a variety of toppings. We discussed conservation and preservation after lunch and the whole team took some time to journal our opinions. Right before leaving, Nas and Kirk found the skeleton of a huge long-nosed gar, while the rest of us were watching a fight between two savage ants and a victimized inchworm. We then began our journey to our final destination of the day.
Cole climbing the fortifications at Fort Powhatan

After 6 more miles of paddling we arrived at our campsite for the night, Fort Pocahontas. Eric from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, showed us how to collect data from fish the more humane way by electrofishing. Nas rode in the electrofishing boat while the rest of us watched from the dock. The only fish that came up in their stunned state, were Blue Catfish, an invasive species to the James River. Those in the boat caught some of the catfish in a net and brought them back to shore for the rest of the team to observe. 
Kyle and Kirk on the dock at Fort Pocahotas before Electrofishing
The struggle is real. Chris and Alice trying to wrangle a massive catfish.
Getting up close and personal
After the electrofishing, some of the team set up camp while Nas and Chris cooked our delicious dinner of rotini with peas and parmesan cheese.  After an “inTENTS” rap battle between the three tents, we decided to call it a night and get some rest for the next eventful day.

- Reporters, Alice and Kirk

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