Launch: Fairhope Yacht Club. Route: South along the Eastern Shore to the Fairhope Pier. Members of the Mobile Bay Canoe and Kayak Club were helping swimmers in the waters of Mobile Bay during the swimming portion of the Grand Man Triathlon. After the event, I went south to the Grand Hotel and back to FYC. Distance: 21.5 miles. Average Speed: 3.0 mph. Time: Approx 7.5 hrs. Pace: Slow except for a few early morning wind sprints to catch waves. Weather: Cloudy with light sprinkles and distant thunder in the morning. It cleared off by mid morning, and then clouded up again in the afternoon. Warning! There is an XXX Photo Below. You have been warned.
(1) Above left. A few kayaks sit lined up along the beach. The beginning of the Grand Man Triathlon race, hosted by the Mobile Bay Watch http://www.mobilebaywatch.org/ organization, was still twenty five minutes away. Mobile Bay Watch is helping to protect the beauty, health and heritage of the Mobile Bay area. Please consider supporting them. (2) Above right. Steve rests in his kayak, waiting for the first wave of swimmers in the triathlon to take to the waters. http://www.thegrandman.com/triathlon.html
(3) Above left. The swimmers receive their instructions and I believe there was also a moment of silence for Larry McDuff who was recently killed by a hit and run driver while riding his bicycle. (4) Above right. Roland, Brint, and Harriet keep an eye on swimmers while they make the turn to head back into shore. Harriet organized the kayaker participation for this event and she did a fantastic job.
(5) Above left. Mobile Bay Canoe and Kayak club members, despite the poor weather, provided swimmers with a bow to hold on to if they needed to catch their breath. Here, the last two swimmers had a Grand escort back to the beach in the slightly choppy conditions in the Bay. (6) Above right. George, in his white wooden kayak, passes by one of the swimmer course markers as the horizon darkens with the hint of an approaching storm. The rain squall was brief. The winds kicked up a few nice waves to surf with the kayak, but they quickly abated.
(7) Above left. After the races, I headed down to the Grand Hotel (http://www.marriottgrand.com/) enjoying the sun that finally appeared after the front passed. There was a lot of construction activity going on to repair or replace damaged docks on the trip south. I thought the pilings had to be driven in by a crane with a pile driver. Wrong, here, pilings are being sunk six feet into the sand with the aid of a water hose connected to a long PVC pipe, and a compressor. The forced water blows a hole in the sand allowing the pile to sink. (8) Above right. As promised, here is your XXX photo. Who knows where this XXX photo was taken (approx GPS coordinates)? Five points to the first person who answers correctly.
(9) Above left. Crew aboard the Kaotic seemed perplexed as they passed by me. Apparently, they had never seen a Hobie Outback before. There wasn’t much wind for a boat to sail today. (10) Above right. Heading back to the Fairhope Yacht Club http://www.fairhopeyachtclub.com/ I passed by some small sailboats and because there was little wind, I pedaled circles around them. Here, this young fellow gazes at the Hobie like he has never seen one before. What a splendid day.