Thursday, December 31, 2009

12/31/2009 - Mobile River

Launch: Causeway Boat Ramp (just west of Oysterella's restaurant)

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1) How can you not kayak on a calm day in the mid 60s like this? It is the last chance to kayak this year.

2) Several white pelicans were snoozing.

3) A brown pelican enjoying a lazy day on the river.

4) Cute little bow painting.

5) The moonpie that will drop at Riverside Cooper park at midnight.

6) Some sharp looking ships over in Atlantic Marine.

7) The new dock fenders are colorful and leave a nice reflection in the water.

8) Big ship Susana S, just built this year, is headed up the Mobile River. It has 18 cargo tanks with the capacity to hold about 6 million gallons. Wow!

9) Sunset over the USS Alabama.

10) Nice bridge reflection. What a wonderful way to end the year. Happy New Year to everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

12/27/2009 - Mobile River

Launch: Causeway Boat Ramp (just west of Oysterella's restaurant)

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1) Sunrise across Delvan Bay. I always enjoy kayaking this Mobile River Loop.

2) Conditions were perfect for kayaking this morning. Currents were strong as expected due to upstream flooding.

3) Reflections today were marvelous thanks to almost no wind.

4) White pelicans in the industrialized Mobile River.

5) Train bridge at Chickasaw Creek being rotated.

6) Cochrane Africatown USA Bridge.

7) About half a dozen Black-crowned night herons.

8) Trash in Three-Mile Creek (Mobile).

9) It started to rain. Nice thing about a pedal kayak is you can hold an umbrella while continuing the trip. Note the trash along the shoreline in Three Mile Creek.

10) Saw 5 different trains today. This one was at Three Mile Creek.

11) The Glenn Edwards which is the largest trailing suction hopper dredge in the United States was doing its thing in Mobile River.

12) The SAGA Frontier is a Norwegian vessel specializing in transporting Forestry products.

13) The DMT Emerald and the DMT Sapphire seen moored here are some sophisticated deep sea marine vessels. Watch the computer animation movie at the DMT Emerald link to see what the ship does.

14) Moisture laden clouds.

15) The Mobile Skyline.

16) The Littoral Combat Ship Independence (LCS 2) is to be commissioned on January 16, 2010. It will be the first time a Navy ship has been commissioned in Mobile since 1945. I'd really hate to be off shore and see this coming at me. Ignoramus Patty Murray would be stunned to know what Alabamians build.

17) Dredging in Choctaw Pass.

18) The decommissioned USS Shadwell is used for training and is regularly set on fire.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

12/23/2009 - Meaher to Battleship Loop

Launch: Meaher Park Southwest Beach

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1) Launch site beach with RVs in the background and a barely visible kayak on the beach.

2) Headed up the Apalachee River with a couple of Coot leading the way.

3) Doing a loop around the Causeway to the Battleship and back requires some navigation under the concrete jungle.

4) A commotion of coot with the Mobile Skyline in the background. For more info on Coot which are wintering in this area, click here.

5) The kayak is almost as big as the battleship USS Alabama.

6) Another shot of the battleship.

7) On the return trip, a head bobbing up and down caught my eye. A bird was eating a bird.

8) On the return trip, waters on Bay John were a bit choppy. Had to wear the spray skirt. Meaher Park campground is barely visible on the horizon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

12/22/2009 - Justins Bay

Launch: 5-Rivers

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1) Wanted to explore all the nooks and crannies of Sardine Pass and Justins Bay today. This is Sardine Pass.

2) Waters were slick in Justins Bay when I started.

3) Unfortunately, pesky little coot kept disturbing the waters in front of me for most of the paddle today. Coot would fly off a few hundred feet ahead and land, I'd catch them, off they would fly another couple of hundred feet.

4) I was starting to creep up on an Owl and the noisy little pack of coot scared off the owl when they started to fly across the water.

5) There were a couple of patches of weeds I wanted to paddle through but the seeds of the Bur-Marigold served as a deterent. I didn't want to get plastered with itchy seeds that stick through the clothing.

6) Even in the wide open waters of Justin Bay, the coot constantly stay a few hundred feet ahead of me, flying off from time to time and disturbing the once slick waters.

7) The bright colors of many spent shells adorned the waters of upper Justin Bay.

8) After about an hour and a half, I finally got away from the Coot and the waters slicked off again.

9) Because 5-Rivers locks its gates at 5:00 pm, I had to watch the sunset from another location. I waited in anticipation for all the clouds to light up because there was an open slot on the horizon for the sun to shine through. 

10) The colors never materialized. It was still a pretty sunset. Coot can be seen meandering in the waters.