Sunday, November 20, 2005

11/20/2005 – Dauphin Island to Sand Island

Launch: Southeast end of Dauphin Island by the rock jetties. Launch Cost: Free. Route: Pedal and sail around in Pelican Bay – no route. Distance: 9.1 miles. Average Speed: 3.7 mph. Time: Approx 3 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Sunny and warm 65 degrees, winds from the north 5-10 mph, tide very low, minimal current.

(1) Above left. This shrimp boat from Bayou La Batre is called “Papa’s Little William” and it was dragging its nets at 3-4 mph. It was nice to see the shrimp boats back at work. (2) Above right. If you kayak behind a shrimp boat you’ll see plenty of birds and dolphin.

(3) Above left. Dolphins are the main reason why I keep going back to kayak at Dauphin Island. If you want to learn more, check out this dolphin info. Want to see more, check out these dolphin photos. (4) Above right. A few times the winds picked up enough to be able to do a little sailing.

(5) Above left. Kayaking Dauphin Island is also appealing to me because of the white sands and contrasting blue skies. Saw only 3 private boats today and the only person on Sand Island was another kayaker. (6) Above right. Motor boats cannot get around the Dauphin Island pier anymore. This means the gap between Sand Island and Dauphin Island is no longer a boat freeway. That is great for kayakers! With the addition of some steps at the end of this pier, people could walk from Dauphin Island to Sand Island. Will they add steps to the end of the Pier? Time will tell.

(7) Above left. A trip to DI wouldn’t be complete without seeing coastal birds. If this sea gull, who was eagerly eyeing the kayak, had any muscles in its legs, it would be pedaling in a Hobie. (8) Above right. Sea gulls were upset that I disturbed their afternoon siesta on the rock jetties as I returned to the launch site. The gull on the right spewed out a load of excretment which was unexpectedly caught on film. That reminds me of the book, "White Rain" by Gull Dung'it.

(9) Above left. An unusually low tide thanks to winds out of the north, highlight where and where not to launch by the rock jetties. It is best to walk a few hundred feet west to launch, especially if you have a composite kayak. These rocks are usually hidden under water. You can see my Hobie Outback in the distance where there are no rocks. (10) Above right. Conditions, like these 2 inch waves, made it perfect for kayaking. I sure didn’t want to end this kayak trip as it was another barefoot and t-shirt day. Happy Thanksgiving Holiday!

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