Saturday, January 03, 2009

01/03/2009 – Bayou Chico, Pensacola

Launch: Pensacola Kayak & Sail
Kayak: Necky
Route: Up both branches of Bayou Chico and back, then out into entrance to Pensacola Bay to play in the boat wakes and back.
Pace: Leisurely.
Weather: Partly Sunny, 65-75 degrees, winds less than 10 mph with occasional gusts

I was at Pensacola Kayak & Sail trying out a Necky Zoar Sport – my first time in Bayou Chico. Bayou Chico is a diverse bayou hosting docking facilities for yachts, nearby crane & tugboat operations, metal recycling facility, a shipyard, and petroleum storage tanks. Not far away are residential homes and an apartment complex. Pollution wise, Bayou Chico reminded me of Bayou La Batre with oil slicks on the surface.

1) The kayak is aiming toward the sandy and carpeted launch site at Pensacola Kayak and Sail.

2) A snow bird bird – you know, one that comes down here for the warmer weather.

3) Just about everywhere I looked, there were a lot of aquatic birds, ducks and other big honkers.

4) The clouds began to look heavy and it did rain later in the evening.

5) One minute the winds were blowing and there were waves on the water, the next minute waters slick off allowing reflections to double the viewing pleasure.

6) Pelicans were quite tame and seldom even acknowledged a kayaker going by.

7) An apartment complex with nice color. Looked like a great place to watch sunsets from but not do any swimming.

8) At a certain distance, it seemed like someone was watching me steadily because they never moved. The never moving person turned out to be a dummy. These people must have small kids or a dog to have fenced in waterfront property.

9) I ventured out into the open waters of Pensacola Bay to play in the boat wakes. Wasn’t wearing a spray skirt and caught a little water in the kayak causing a case of wet butt.

10) Taken at the launch site looking out across Bayou Chico.

I like the excitement of exploring new waterways and today was even more exciting because I was trying out my new Necky Zoar. Sadly, the seal around the front hatch wasn’t sealed properly which allowed water to flow freely into the front hatch storage area but Pensacola Kayak & Sail is getting it fixed. The new kayak color is dark green which I hope will work as a camouflage color so as to get closer to wildlife. The Necky Zoar is 14’ long and 25” wide – a slow kayak but for old folks who like to take photos and appreciate stability, it is perfect! You’ll have to be in some really choppy seas to feel tippy in this kayak.

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