Sunday, January 22, 2006

01/22/2006 – Dauphin Island

Launch: Northeast end of island by the Restrooms next to the Ferry. Launch Cost: Free. Route: Because of the winds, I decided to stay inland and pedal around Dauphin Island Bay because I just didn’t feel like getting soaked today with the choppy waves in the open waters. Distance: 10.0 miles. Average Speed: 3.3 mph. Time: Approx 3 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Mostly cloudy, 95 percent humidity, breezy with winds steady about 15-20 mph. Was fighting a little current on the way back by Pass Drury.

(1) Above left. The beach launch area was a bit crowded today with several fishing boats in various stages of repair lining the beach. For those interested, the white Mobile Bay Ferry is in operation now. (2) Above right. After going northwest about three quarters of a mile, there was a dredge boat in the process of pumping sand on Little Dauphin Island with the goal of closing off Pass Drury – a cut in Little Dauphin Island. The pass was opened up because of previous hurricanes. Enough current rips through there to silt up the boat channel. The dredging was being done by Dredge America out of Kansas City, MO.

(3) Above left. One of many interesting homes. I liked the unique lattice work on this home. (4) Above right. I kept out of the winds by pedaling around Confederate Pass and Indian Bay, both which are off of Dauphin Island Bay. If you want to learn and see more of Dauphin Island, I suggest you check out Mark Ewers’ Dapuhin Island Times link.

(5) Above left. Down near Chugae Point (the north side of the entrance to Dauphin Island), the framework for the boat storage facility is up. The old boat storage building was destroyed by past hurricanes. This new building, with its little beams, looks like hurricane fodder. (6) Above right. To the northeast of the new building lies an old sunken barge. Oyster Catchers, Egrets, and Pelicans were sharing the little bit of barge left above water.

(7) Above left. Last year’s hurricanes ruined the motel that sits next to Indian Bay. It now sits gutted and vacant with all the doors open, with no tresspassing signs posted on the property. (8) Above right. Also in Indian Bay sits a fleet of Auburn University Department of Fisheries & Allied Aquacultures boats. If you are interested in fisheries, Aqua Network Information Center has many power point slide sets, including several from Auburn University for you to peruse.

(9) Above left. There were plenty of birds and ducks for the viewing pleasure on this trip. Here, mallard ducks were congregating around the white goose for protection. (10) Above right. Out beyond the east end of Dauphin Island, there were flocks of ducks that looked like Cormorants that stretched for miles. Soon as one flock would pass, there would be another line following the same path, again, a single line stretching for miles. Wonder where they were all migrating to or from? Dauphin Island is the place to be to watch bird migrations!

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