Sunday, February 18, 2007

02/18/2007 – Chocaloochee Bay

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: Counter clockwise around Chocalata (aka Chocaloochee) Bay.
Distance: 9.6 miles.
Average Speed: 2.4 mph.
Time: Approx 4 hrs.
Pace: Very slow.
Weather: Sunny, temperature about 50, very low tide, minimal current, winds out of the northwest 10-15 mph with occasional gusts.

1) Coot, coot, and more coot.

2) Fly coot, fly.

3) I had planned on going up Conway Creek. This is the first time I’ve seen the tide so low that I could not get to the south entrance of Conway Creek. The upper entrance was also land-locked and so was Savage Ditch. I was stuck with doing a loop in Chocalata Bay where the winds were strong out of the northwest and the waters were only 6 to 12 inches deep.

4) I was even able to get out of the kayak and walk on the bottom of Chocalata Bay. The unusually low tide explained why there were no boats at the Causeway boat ramps.

5) A great heron stands about 4 feet tall, towering in stature above most other birds.

6) The waters were so low that some of the marine life taking place under the normally dark waters was quite visible today. These clams looked like they were smiling.

7) A talkative pelican said, “Dude, great day for a paddle, eh? Cool kayak!”

8) My Necky Zoar kayak, from the perspective of a pelican. The white strips are reflector tape shine brightly when a light hits them. A boat can see me a mile away. Anyone who goes out at night should reflectorize their kayak.

9) Since Hurricane Katrina, the goats are gone from Goat Island, which is just to the right in this after sunset photo.

10) Trip Track. Though I was initially disappointed due to shallow waters blocking the planned route, after seeing so many birds and another fine sunset from protected waters, what disappointment?

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