Friday, November 24, 2006

11/24/2006 – Lower Crab / Conway

Launch: Public boat ramps (triple set) just west of the I-10 crossing on the north side of the Causeway (Highway 90). Launch Cost: Free. Route: Northwest across the Tensaw River to Delvan Bay, then up Lower Crab Creek, back across the Tensaw to Conway Creek, then south down Conway back to the launch point. Distance: 14.8 miles. Average Speed: 3.0 mph. Time: Approx 5 hrs. Pace: Leisurely. Weather: Sunny with temps in the 60s to lower 70s. Low tide and minimal current, winds mostly calm.

(1) Above left. Photomerge taken from Delvan Bay looking north toward the entrance to Lower Crab Creek. As shoppers all across the nation were fighting Black Friday crowds and traffic, I was enjoying a most relaxing kayak trip across slick waters with no boats in sight. (2) Above right. Coot were gathered in shallow waters feeding on vegetation. Today was not a good day for water fowl as the duck hunters were out in force. Coot have to run on the water for 50-100 feet before they get enough speed to get airborn.

(3) Above left. The waters in the Delta have their own form of fall foliage. The cypress are all golden brown. (4) Above right. Alligators like to warm up in the sun after a cold night and some would prefer to soak up the rays rather than move when a kayaker goes by. If you want to see alligators, it is on days like this when you’ll get your closest views.

(5) Above left. As if I wasn’t enjoying such a devine day, nature put a white pelican in my path and we paddled together for about 10 minutes until it decided I was getting too close. (6) Above right. Because the tide was quite low, I was about to turn my kayak into a shallow slough so I could stand up and take a break when I came face to face with an American Bittern – a bird I’ve rarely seen around here. It didn’t move a muscle.

(7) Above left. Another small alligator soaking up the warmth of the sun. (8) Above right. This small alligator was at about eye level on a bank of a small tributary, less than a paddle length away and it never budged. I saw about two dozen alligators today.

(9) Above left. A Kingfisher taking off down the river to wait for me to get closer again so it can take off again. It is an odd bird. (10) Above right. A good kayak day must come to an end and I thoroughly enjoy ending a wonderful kayak trip with a good sunset.

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