Launch: Public boat ramps in Bayou La Batre. Launch Cost: Free. Route: Up and down Bayou La Batre a few times. Distance: 23 miles. Average Speed: 2.7 mph. Time: Approx 9 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: 70-80s, cloudy in the morning to sunny afternoon, one small rain shower, minimal current.
(1) Above left. I spent all day pedaling up and down Bayou La Batre with my decorated kayak and was left with mixed feelings. As usual, the waterway was a trash dump. (2) Above right. To make matters worse, at times it felt like paddling through a gas station because of all the petroleum fumes from oil sheens. I saw people swimming in this water today.
(2) Above left. A morning shower sent me scurrying under a bridge where some swallows pretended to hide in their mud nests built under the bridge. (3) Above right. There were some pretty wild flowers growing along the banks of Bayou La Batre.
(5) Above left. As soon as the sun came out, the boats for the Blessing of the Fleet started congregating. Party Time! (6) Above right. As the party continued on, the Archbishop continued on with the traditional Blessing of the Fleet, this being the 57th year of celebration.
(7) Above left. A group of boaters looks at the ceremonial wreath. (8) Above right. Then comes the boat parade which was rather slim this year. Very few shrimp boats participate anymore. The boat parade seems to be mostly recreational boaters now, along with one pedal kayak.
(9)(10) Above left and right. I feel very blessed for being able to enjoy another beautiful sunset.
(11)(12) Above left and right. A couple more photos of the sunset - Life is good!