Sunday, May 23, 2010

05/23/2010 - Mobile Bay Double Crosser

Launch: McNally Park
Destination: Across Mobile Bay to Fairhope and back.
Weather: Ideal conditions.
To see or download the track of this trip, Click Here.
Caution: I would not advise undertaking this trip unless you have plenty of open water experience and are capable of 20+ mile kayak trips. It is 10.4 miles crossing (one way) from McNally Park to Fairhope Pier.

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1) Water temperatures are good, tides were good, forecast was good and I felt like burning some calories while listening to Sunday morning Jazz.

2) On the water at sunrise. Nice!

3) Had to slow down for a barge in the ship channel on the way over to Fairhope. Interesting name for the tugboat.

4) Got to see another ship on the way back as it was heading up the ship channel toward Mobile (the city skyline barely visible on the horizon).

5) The slick waters on the bay made for a wonderful mesmerizing trip over to Fairhope as the clouds were flowingly distorted on the water's surface.

6) On the way back across the bay the winds were 0 mph. Open water kayaking conditions just do not get any better than this.

7) Cute little family of geese by the Fairhope Pier. Oil booms can be seen in the background. There were no booms near the Fairhope beach.

8) A seagull up close.

9) The trip conditions were so nice that I decided to drop down on the return crossing and loop around Gaillard Island. It meant more mileage, but when you are in kayaking nirvana, life is better than good. Birds galore as usual around Gaillard Island.

10) Brown and white pelicans, terns, herons, ibis, ruddy turnstones, egrets, gulls, and more can be seen around Gaillard Island. It is a birder's paradise.

11) On the south side of Gaillard Island crews were putting out oil booms. Someone on this lead boat hollered at me so I headed over. He said the boom was solid all the way to the southwest corner with no way to get around it because it was tied off to the shore.

12) I asked if I could just paddle over it and he no problem, so to the right I went. It was easy to paddle over the oil boom.

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