Saturday, April 22, 2006

04/22/2006 – Wards Bayou

Launch: Poticaw Landing, off the Pascagoula River, MS, about 4.5 miles southwest of Vancleave. Launch Cost: $2. Route: Explore Wards Bayou, Squeeze Belly Bayou, Sawlog Slough, Big Bear Bayou, Poticaw Bayou, and Jonican Bayou. Distance: 23.4 miles. Average Speed: 2.3 mph. Time: Approx 10 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: 60-70 degrees, mostly sunny, humid after early morning rain, low tide and minimal current.

(1) Above left. Poticaw Landing has two boat ramps, the right one is rarely used by boats due to the steep drop off, but it works fine for kayaks. (2) Above right. Sunrise on the Pascagoula River. (Click on photos for larger view)

(3) Above left. A warbler made trip after trip to grab moss from the underside of limbs which it took back to its nest. (4) Above right. A cardinal took time out from singing to sit for a photo.

(5) Above left. Note the ripples in front of the kayak, made by startled gar fish. When they jump, I jump. Today was one of those jumpy days where I had to keep taking in deep breaths to relax. If you ever had your kayak moved a few feet by an alligator tail splash, then you’ll understand about jumping due to nearby splashes. (6) Above right. The further up in the streams you go, the nastier the water surface gets.

(7) Above left. Some of the cypress trees on this trip left lasting impressions because of their size. (8) Above right. This cypress tree base was huge and despite it being hollowed out, it was supporting a healthy looking tree above it.

(9) Above left. Yellow crowned night heron acting like it had never seen a kayak. (10) Above right. This couple lives in a houseboat and spends their days relaxing, enjoying the great outdoors.

(11) Above left. A large wildflower which might be Warea. I’ve never seen it in the Mobile area. (12) Above right. My, what big eyes this small hairy Damselfly has.

(13) Above left. Due to past hurricanes, there were a lot of trees laying over in the water. Some creatures are already making their home in the unfortunate trees. (14) Above right. Poticaw Landing has about 30-40 house boats, most well kept.

This was my first trip to Poticaw Landing, which is only about 45 minutes away from Theodore. To put that in perspective, Fairhope is about 45 minutes away from Theodore. The launch site was typical of a small river community. What set the Poticaw area apart from the swamps in the Mobile-Tensaw River delta was the eerie silence. There were no trains to be heard, or interstate traffic, or nearby motorboat speedways to echo noise. Most of the bayous are miles away from the Pascagoula River. I’ll definitely be going back to the Poticaw area because there is plenty to explore from that landing and it is kayaker friendly. The hurricanes did topple an appalling number of trees but the locals have trimmed the limbs here and there, just enough for a small boat to go through and boats have to go real slow to maneuver around all the obstacles. Despite all the downed trees, most of them could not be used to get out on to stretch the legs. That will be the only problem for kayakers in Poticaw – finding a place to get out and stretch the legs because it is a muddy environment. Some bayous are all low swamp land. Other bayous, like Wards, have elevated land on both sides, meaning you’re more likely to see deer and other animals. Today was one of those kayaking days that I did not want to end.


  1. FABULOUS bird pictures, you are the MAN of pictures! I'm telling you, I don't know why you aren't getting paid for these shots. I'm totally impressed!

  2. That was a picture of my meme and papa you took in the bayou. My papa passed away about 3 years ago and all he did was fish. He fish all the time down there. I was looking throughout this site and that picture surprised me. I showed my meme the picture and she loved it. We have had a camp down there on land for a little more than 40 years. We enjoy it every time we go down there. That was a good picture, and thank you for taking it.


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