Sunday, March 05, 2006

03/05/2006 – Dauphin Island

Launch: Southeast end of the island by the rock jetties. Launch Cost: Free. Route: South to the southern end of Sand Island (or as some people call it, Pelican Island), then along the north side of the island to the pier, then east along the south side of Dauphin Island back to the launch point. Distance: 9.6 miles. Average Speed: 3.0 mph. Time: Approx 3 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Forecast said cloudy, but today it was bright and sunny all day, low humidity, winds calm, waves less than a foot, current normal, and temp was 60-65 degrees. This was a nice kayaking day for open waters!

(1) Above left. After leaving from the rock jetties just south of Fort Gaines, it took about 45 minutes to cross Pelican Bay to get to the south end of Sand Island. Then it is time to go shell hunting and take a few photos. (2) Above right. This is one of the few remaining mounds of green grass on the south end of Sand Island.

(3) Above left. The sandpiper is about to eat a worm or something. (4) Above right. I’m on Sand Island, my kayak can be seen on the white strip of sand, and barely visible in the horizon is Dauphin Island’s white water tower. The lighter looking patches are fresh sand pushed out from some creature’s tiny underwater home. Maybe it is those underwater creatures that sandpipers go digging for.

(5) Above left. Sand Island and Dauphin Island are so close now that courageous people are swimming across like these two teens. There are still no steps to get to Sand Island from the pier. (6) Above right. A couple walks hand in hand on this absolutely beautiful day. The condo site keep growing higher and higher. It looks like a boom in population for Dauphin Island in the near future. You can find interesting news concerning Dauphin Island at Dauphin Island Times, such as the problems associated with finding a 5 ton chunk of history under your island vacation home.

(7) Above left. This photo was taken on Dauphin Island and shows several trees that have fallen victim to past storms. (8) Above right. Back near the rock jetties, sea gulls coat the rocks with fresh fish food which attract fish, which in turn bring the fishermen into the area. Hmmm.

(9) Above left. My favorite bird to watch, a brown pelican, has taken a position of rest on the rocks away from the people on the beaches. Oh no, here comes a kayaker! (10) Above right. Yo Pelican, what’s with the long face? This kayaker won’t bother you. Smile for the camera. Darn, you forget to comb your hair. Too bad, I’m going to show your photo anyway.

(11) Above left. Many people kneel down on Sundays. Had you passed by Sand Island today, you may have seen me kneeling down. Why? I still have the curiosity of a kid. Have you ever wondered if a fly has a bladder? The beach fly in this photo looks like it is behaving like a dog. I learn something new every day. (12) Above right. Have you ever been in traffic and wished you had a vehicle like the black truck above? Fortunately, this is an optical oddity. The cannon is in the background on Fort Gaines. Dauphin Island is a great place to kayak.

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