Saturday, September 30, 2006

09/30/2006 – Middle Bay Lighthouse

Launch: Mullet Point Park on the Eastern Shore. Launch Cost: Free. Route: Northwest to the Middle Bay Lighthouse and back. Distance: 13.3 miles round trip. Average Speed: 3.1 mph. Time: Approx 4.5 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Sunny and beautiful. Tide going low, current minimal. Initially calm winds picked up out of the south causing 1 foot waves.

(1) Above left. The Middle Bay Lighthouse approaches very slowly when you are only moving at 3 mph. (2) Above right. The Mobile Bay ship channel lies just to the west of the Middle Bay lighthouse. The land on the horizon is about 6 miles away. See the little kayak nearing the base of the Lighthouse?

(3) Above left. David checks out the no trespassing sign on the little platform next to the lighthouse. (4) Above right. Of course, there is no kayak friendly platform at the lighthouse. After you have been sitting down for 2 hours, it sure feels good to stand up.

(5) Above left. Terry gets a close up view of the lighthouse. (6) Above right. In the background behind Terry, a tugboat pushes a barge up the ship channel.

(7) Above left. Tom and Fred take a paddling break. A ship channel marker stands out in the background. (8) Above right. Fred on the left and Tom on the right can now say they’ve been to the Middle Bay Lighthouse. The land in the background is about 6 miles away.

(9) Above left. On the way back, a quick glance over the shoulder yielded sunset images. (10) Above right. Just aas we arrived back at the Mullet Point Park launch site, the sun was setting.

The biggest thrill of this trip came about 30 minutes after we started back to Mullet Point. A passing ship, the cruise ship Holiday I believe, left us an unnoticed present. Without warning, our kayaks gently rose about 3-4 feet on the wake of the passing ship. Then we went down about 3-4 feet, then back up, then down. It was gentle rolling waves, but they moved fast enough it catch us all by surprise and the waves had enough height change that for a minute, some of us were thinking tsunami. This was an enjoyable trip.

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