Thursday, June 17, 2010

06/17/2010 - Bayou La Batre (2 of 2)

Launch: Was going to launch free at Bayou La Batre but it was bustling with oil spill related activity so I launched at nearby Bayou Coden. Launch cost had gone up from $3 to $5 thanks to the oil spill profiteering opportunities.
Destination: Bayou Coden, Bayou La Batre and Coffee Island.
Distance: Approx 16 miles.
Paddle time: Approx 6 hours.
Weather: Hot and humid (90s) with nearby thunderstorms.
Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

1) Just south of Bayou La Batre is a some sort of waste water outlet that attracts fish and birds. Booms that have failed have washed ashore. I did walk some of the shoreline and saw no oil or tar balls.

2) BP is good for the economy. I've never seen so many working boats in the Bayou La Batre area. A steady stream of boats were coming in and they definitely did not care about their wakes nor how close they come to kayakers.
The new Looksha 17 Outfitter kayak rode the waves very well but the rear hatch had water in it at the end of the day - no doubt due to the poorly sealed rudder lines. The quality of workmanship on my last two Necky kayaks has been very poor with reference to leaking hatches - this will be the last Necky I ever buy.

3) As usual, it didn't take long to smell petroleum fumes and see petroleum sheen on the water in Bayou La Batre (not related to the Gulf oil spill). Ironically, there are dozens of environmental response boats about a mile away, oblivious to the petroleum pollution already present in Bayou La Batre. Why is BP's money being wasted to protect the most polluted waterway that Alabama does not one cares about? 

4) Guess they are waiting for the oil to coat the shorelines or the next hurricane to hit before bothering to pick up the trash in the Bayou La Batre shorelines - the nastiest place I have ever kayaked. No wonder why there is no tourism here.

5) Bayou La Batre is one staging area for the oil spill crisis equipment. Here are anchors ready to be used with the oil booms. Notice what is used as a surface float - plastic Gatorade bottles held in place with a zip-tie. This has to be a joke, right?

6) Here is where you can expect to eventually find the plastic Gatorade bottles - the shoreline of Bayou La Batre.

7) Despite all the trash and petroleum spills in Bayou La Batre, you can still manage to find pleasant things to look at. Shoreline asters were abundant.

8) A mimosa tree added to the beauty of the shoreline.

9) One minute it was sunny, the next minute the sun disappeared. I looked up and discovered why.

10) Sea roaches are commonly seen scurrying along the waterside docks.

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