Launch: Causeway Public Boat Ramps. Launch Fee: Free. Route: Cross the Tensaw to Delvan Bay to Spanish River to Mobile River to Pumphouse Canal, back to Mobile River, down to and around Choctaw Pass, then back up to the Causeway via the Tensaw River. Distance: 22.5 miles. Average Speed: 2.8 mph. Time: Approx 8 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: 50-50 chance of thunderstorms. Tide and current conditions were minimal.
(1) Above left. The sunrise came while crossing the Tensaw into Delvan Bay. One of the first things noticeable as it got light was all the floating grasses on the surface of the water. If you run into masses of floating grass, with a pedal boat, it can get hung up in the pedal mechanism and cause decreased performance. Guess you could say I was pedaling grass today and was forced to unclog the pedals about a dozen times. (2) Above right. Not long after turning into Spanish River from Grand Bay, there is a convenient place to take a break called the Pontoon Saloon. Didn’t see anyone there, so I stopped to stretch the legs.
(3) Above left. While on the Pontoon Saloon’s dock, I noticed a snake catching a few UV rays along the bank. Not sure what kind it was but it didn’t matter, I give all snakes the right-of-way and leave them alone. (4) Above right. Dragon flies were dense along the edge of the bank. As far as you could see, there was a dragon fly on the top of about every other stalk of dead grass. It was interesting that they were all facing the same direction. What were they all looking at?
(5) Above left. I had only just begun the kayak trip and here I was getting TIRED already. Hehehe. (6) Above right (photomerge). After exiting Spanish River, I headed north for about a mile to the entrance of the Pumphouse Canal to see the status of the log jam. Guess what? It is still there. Looks like I need to work out an alternative launch in order to get to Black Creek.
(7) Above left (photomerge). While heading down Mobile River, one gets a great view of the changing weather. Within five minutes of taking this photo, the two clouds merged together and a thunderstorm quickly developed. Luckily, it was off to the west. (8) Above right. Cochran bridge from a kayaker’s perspective.
(9) Above left. The dredging vessel Geo D. Williams was sucking the life off the bottom of Mobile River to keep it deep enough for the large ships. The dredge material was being pumped through about a mile of steel pipe into a spoils pond on Blakeley Island. The dredge vessel was moved back and forth by a tug boat on the far side (out of view). The steel piping lies on top of the water on pontoons, and there is a pivot joint allowing the dredge vessel to rotate. It was interesting to see the action up close. (10) Above right. Over in the Alabama State Docks area, a ship named Proliv Viktoriya was being painted the old fashioned way. We have all this state of the art ship yard technology available and here is a man painting a huge ship, with cans of paint and a paint roller on a long pole. Yeow!
(11) Above left. On the way back, the residents of Goat Island came over to see the Hobie Outback and they couldn’t stop staring at it. The population of Goat Island has gone from two to about seven goats. Most are white, but there is a black and white goat, and one brown goat. (12) Above right. Have you ever looked closely at a goat? Their eyes are almost in their ears. Are goats are good at hearing what they see, or seeing what they hear? If it rains, the goat’s ears can act as an umbrella to keep their eyes dry. What do you get when you cross an owl and a goat? A hootenanny! Yeah, yeah, that was a baaaaaaaad joke. Today’s kayak trip sure was a hoot, no kidding!