Launch Cost: Free.
Route: North through Savage Ditch, north on Conway to upper cut to Big Bateau Bay, then to Red Maple Slough, back up through Little Bateau, then north into Mudhole Creek. Then back to launch site via Conway Creek.
Distance: 17.7 miles round trip.
Average Speed: 3.3 mph.
Time: Approx 5.5 hrs.
Weather: Sunny, temperature 65-70 degrees, winds were mostly out of the south 0-5 mph. Tide was high and rising; no noticeable current.
|1) The two seagulls that were watching the kayak parade back in February, were still on the same branch.|
|3) Then I heard the dreaded sound of an airboat – in the narrow Savage Ditch… However, airboat operator Geoff Woodliff was the most courteous operator I’ve ever seen as you can see by the big wake he was leaving with his engine was off. Geoff handed me his business card and stressed, “If you are ever in need of help, I’m just a phone call away. Do not hesitate to call!” Good public relations. Hey, if you are in need of immediate help near the Causeway, do you want to be transferred several times through 911 operators, or would you rather talk to someone who can be there in mere minutes. Plug this number in your cell phone: 251-370-7089 for airboat help.|
(2013 Update): This ditch was once deep enough to use the pedal boat in. The airboat traffic has caused so much erosion that it is doubtful a kayak can even get through during low tide.
|4) Today, it didn’t matter where I was, Savage Ditch, Conway Creek, Maple Slough, Mudhole Creek – there were large alligators out sunning – and I mean large.|
|5) I think these are Blue-winged Teal ducks.|
|6) The red in the red maple trees was more pronounced today than it was two weeks ago making for a beautiful trip.|
|7) On the way back, clouds graciously blocked the sun lessening the glare on the water.|
|8) It was a rather bland sunset this afternoon, but, every sunset I experience above ground is more beautiful than the last one.|
|9) What an exhilarating and relaxing paddle this was. The abundant wildlife and the beauty this area offers is remarkable this time of year. I thank the leaders who have the vision of keeping the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta Forever Wild though land purchases.|
|10) Trip Track. Red arrows indicate path of trip.|
“The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: We are all in the same boat.” -Jacques Cousteau