Launch: Southeast end of Dauphin Island by the rock jetties. Launch Cost: Free. Route: Southeast about 3.5 miles across the Mobile Bay to Fort Morgan, break, then southwest about 4 miles back across Mobile to Sand Island, break, then along the north side of Sand Island, then east along the south side of Dauphin Island back to the launch site. Distance: 17.3 miles. Average Speed: 3.3 mph. Time: Approx 6 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Sunny and warm, minimal wind and current. Type kayak: Pedal. I like using a stable pedal kayak in open waters. The 34” wide Hobie Outback is quite stable.
(1) Above left. An early morning launch meant getting to enjoy watching the sunrise from the middle of Mobile Bay. (2) Above right. You can see Dauphin Island in the background from this break spot on Fort Morgan Beach.
(3) Above left. These are spiderwort flowers growing in the sand on Fort Morgan beach. (4) Above right. Crossing the ship channel twice gives you double opportunity to catch sighting of huge ships. Beware! Big ships can move surprisingly fast.
(5) Above left. While shell hunting on Sand Island, a couple of ultra-light pilots flew in from the St. Elmo airport and landed. I got to learn quite a bit about the relatively safe planes. (6) Above right. Check out all the high-tech toys. While the thought of flying is luring, I think cruising on the water is more fun.
(7) Above left. As usual, after the Blessing of the Fleet, you can look forward to seeing one or more shrimp boats in Pelican Bay. (8) Above right. A lot of black skimmer birds can now be seen along the beaches of Sand Island.
(9) Above left. This is the shell game. Which shell is the hermit crab hiding under? (10) Above right. It may be difficult to see in this photo, but there is green growth coming out of the middle branch on the dead looking shrub on the left. I’m thinking that if Dauphin Island wants to improve its ability to withstand storms, there needs to be some major planting of trees along the beaches to replace those trees that have succumb to past storms.