Bay Minette Creek Pedal Trip SummaryApril 23, 2005. Saturday. Noon-3pm. Sunny, 65-70 degrees, cold front winds from northwest, 15-25mph. Today, because of a small craft advisory, I opted to pedal up the protected waters of Bay Minette Creek. Launch: Buzbee's Landing. Route: Northeast up Bay Minette Creek and back. Distance: 11.7 miles round trip. Average Speed: Leisurely 3.1 mph. Nice fresh crisp air from the north made this a superb day to be on the water. Below is a photo journal of this trip. (You can click/double click on images to view them at a larger size.)
(1) The left photo above shows Buzbee's Landing. A sandy shore makes Buzbee's Landing a favorite kayak launch site. Launch fee is $3. A kayaker was landing as I was taking off. (2) Right photo above shows Bay Minette Creek as it goes off toward the Northeast. The further up you go, the narrower it gets, meaning less wind. At Buzbee's landing, the creek is pretty wide, so, for the first 30 minutes or so, there were some gusty winds.
(3) Left photo above: After about a mile or so, Golden Club (Never Wet) started showing up on both sides of the creek. It is called Never Wet because you can submerge the leaves of the plant and when they come to the surface, there is no sign of them ever having been wet. (4) Right photo above is of a house boat, half on land, half in the water. Windows were broken, so, it doesn't appear to be occupied. Aren't houseboats beautiful? Who is responsible for getting rid of houseboats when they become a hazard?
(5)(6) I was surprised when Mountain Laurel started showing up on the banks (2 photos above). There were impressive stands of this beautiful shrub for the next two miles. It turned an ordinary pedal trip into a memorable pedal trip. There seemed to be two species - one pinkish and the other completely white.
(7) As Bay Minette Creek narrowed, the waters became smoother (left photo above). I love this time of year when the winter colors of gray and brown give way to rich spring greens. (8) A little over 5 miles upstream is the Bromley Road Bridge - a great place to get out and take a break (right photo above). Hurricane Ivan left a big pine tree stretching across the creek leaving just enough room for a kayak to get around.
(9) Left photo above: At the Bromley Road Bridge, an object moving on the water startled me. When I went around the fallen tree, there was a bright shiny LITTLE boat moving swiftly. It was a remote control boat. For a minute, I didn't know what it was. As I rounded the corner, the RC boat owners were surprised by my boat - tit for tat. We avoided a near collision. The operator turned his boat around and then I started chasing it. That little boat had power! (10) Right photo above: I turned around at the Bromley bridge and headed back. About half an hour later, I noticed a large fish dead in the water and pulled it aboard to see what it was. Had never seen a fish like this and had to look it up on the internet after getting home. It was about a 3-4 foot long Spoonbill Catfish (not a true catfish). Spoonbills are usually caught by snagging them and in the photo you can see a hook on its spoonbill. The spoonbill catfish can get up to 7 feet long and weight 200 pounds. Did you know there may be some HUGE fish under the waters you kayak in?
(11) Back at Buzbee's, I decided to make a quick trip out into Bay Minette Basin to brave the stronger winds. Blue Flag (Iris) is blooming all over and Spider Lilies, like in the above photo, are just begining to bloom. I really enjoyed today's kayak trip!