Sunday, December 17, 2006

12/17/2006 - Orange Beach

Launch: Beach at Gulf State Park at Perdido Pass under the big bridge.
Launch Fee: Free.
Route: Out Perdido Pass to the Gulf of Mexico, then east about 6 miles, out a little ways into the Gulf, and back.
Distance: 15.3 miles round trip.
Average Speed: 3.3 mph.
Time: Approx 5 hrs.
Pace: Leisurely.
Weather: Temps 60s to low 70s, rising tide, wind out of the east 10 mph, waves 1-2 feet, and sunny.

1) Not very crowded eh? This spot is great for launching in protected waters, only about 100 yards from the car.

2) This Condo is my favorite of them all because it looks modern. 

3) However, whoever designed these two Condos had great visions in my opinion.  Notice that all the beaches, on this 70 degree day, are empty – no doubt everyone is out shopping for last minute Christmas gifts.

4) I pedaled about a mile offshore and found the waters there to be occupied by many gulls, pelicans, and loons. This gull didn’t mind my close presence as it was to busy eating something in the waters.

5) This was an interesting buoy off Perdido Pass. It has a horn that seems to make sound based on the rise and fall of the buoy. The more the buoy bounces in the water, the louder the horn.

6) The beaches along Gulf Shores – Orange Beach area are dense with Condominiums. The vast majority of Condos seemed to all look similar -rather box like and basic. 
7) Speaking of eating something in the water, this looks like a risky sport.

8) A great heron stands nearby a fisherman waiting for a handout.

9) Word of caution about Perdido Pass – there are plenty of big boats (this Hooters boat is little) going through this pass that leave big wakes. If you kayak through or around the pass, I would advise wearing a spray skirt if you have a sit in kayak and be prepared for 4 foot waves. This pass is not for the faint of heart because there can be challenging confused waves bouncing off the west seawall, and depending on tides, the current may also be quite challenging for a kayaker.

10) In the middle of winter, after two hard freezes, we still have wild flowers growing.

11) I loaded the kayak on the car with enough time to sit down and enjoy the wonderful sunset.


12) As I was leaving the launch site in the dark, a scuba diver was putting on his gear to go night scuba diving under the Perdido Bridge at about where I launched the kayak from. I will definitely be kayaking from Perdido Pass in the future when the waves in the Gulf are bigger.

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