Saturday, April 25, 2009

04/25/2009 - Garrow's Bend

Launch: Causeway near the Triple Boat Ramps.
Route: Down the Tensaw, across to the Mobile River, down Mobile River to Arlington Channel and to Garrow’s Bend and back.
Distance: 21 miles.
Weather: Sunny, 75-85 degrees, winds calm to begin with then picking up to 10-15 mph in the afternoon. Current 1 to 2 mph in some river locations. High tide to tide going out in the afternoon.

Note to kayakers: Maximum ebb flow (tide going out) mixed with strong winds out of the south can cause unfriendly kayaking conditions in the deep river channels. Wave size can double or triple. It can be challenging at times to cross Mobile River south of McDuffie Island and the Tensaw River south of the Battleship. Be CAREFUL!

Header Image

1) Conditions were still foggy after giving it two hours to burn off.

2) Boats that have sunk for whatever reason, are left to rot and pollute the waters making it look like we live in a third world country trash dump.

3) White Pelican.

4) Brown Pelican.

5) Mobile Container Facility Crane. The last of the fog (seen on the horizon) was finally burning off.

6) Mobile Container Facility Dock on Mobile River.

7) Today’s kayak trip was to see if two major construction projects are harming local waters. On Mobile River, the waters were well protected by silt fences, haybales, fabrics, and booms at this dock construction (Austal expansion I think). Didn’t see any sign of erosion into Mobile River. Two thumbs up to the contractor on this site.

8) The Garrows Bend Intermodal Container Transfer Facility project by the Alabama State Port Authority was in pathetic condition. Mountains of red dirt and not a single erosion control method in most places with the exception of a boom out in the water. This photo shows red dirt eroding into the water. What's the issue with dirt going into the water? For more on sediment pollution, click here.

9) More shots of the Garrow’s Bend Container facility project. Here erosion channels can be seen in the red dirt and there is red dirt visible down on the water’s edge in the rock area. Again, no erosion control here.

10) Two short silt fences in the water. What purpose do they serve when sediment can just go around? They probably hired out of town contractors to do the construction work for this big project. Garrow’s Bend has quite a bit of history to it. Click on this for Garrow’s Bend History. It makes me want to turn the clock back.

11) The red dirt made for a nice background reflection for this Ruddy Turnstone.

12) Not sure what kind of bird or duck this was. It was having a bad hair day.

13) Saw a new shrub along the banks I’ve never seen before. This is Huisache or Sweet Acacia. (Acacia farnesiana).

14) I was in Garrow’s Bend several years ago and it didn’t look anything like this. Upper Dog River now has competition for being the trashiest waterway in Mobile.

15) More scenic photos of upper Garrow’s Bend. In my opinion, let them put all the industrial sites they want in the Garrow’s Bend area. Garrow’s bend is just another trashy Mobile waterway not worth kayaking in. The people of Mobile obviously do not care about this area. This looks like more photos from third world countries.

16) Here are a few water pollution facts. 40 percent of America's rivers are too polluted for fishing, swimming, or aquatic life. Each year, plastic waste in water and coastal areas kills up to: 100,000 marine mammals, 1 million sea birds, and countless fish. The facts indicate there are consequences to our actions. No need to worry about Iraq getting a nuclear bomb and blowing us up. We’re well underway in the process of committing suicide by polluting our own precious water resources. That's 40 percent gone already...

17) Garrow’s Bend is home to the Alabama State Docks coal terminal – the largest in the country which handles about 20 million tons of coal a year. This is a photo of the rail car dumper. Another perspective can be seen here.

18) The Mobile Coast Guard is also located in the Garrow’s Bend area. You would think the banks of the waterway around the Coast Guard base would be clean. Wrong…

19) Despite all the heavy industry in the area, birds still are abundant as in this photo from upper Garrow’s Bend.

20) Sea Gulls taking a bath in Mobile River off Little Sand Island.

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