Sunday, July 18, 2010

07/18/2010 - Dauphin Island

Launch: Desoto Park (Dauphin Island, AL)
Launch Cost: Free
Destination: Katrina Pass
Distance: 17-18 miles (round trip)
Pedal time: 4 1/2 hours
Weather: Hot and Humid. Winds out of the south 5-10.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

Header Image

1) This was my first trip to Dauphin Island since the oil spill. Was worried they might not allow kayaking in the area. No problem launching at Desoto Park. Note the startling new look of the beach on the north side of Dauphin Island.

2) Life goes on during this oil spill crisis - here parents are swimming with their kid near an oil boom.

3) There are several canals on the interior of Dauphin Island to paddle, sheltered from the wind, which seem to be unaffected by the oil fiasco.

4) A front end loader is pulling out a National Guard Humvee stuck in the sand. The natural beach has been replaced with lined units that will absorb any oil that might reach the north side of the island. The units are made by Hesco Bastion and the wall, miles long, extends all the way to Katrina Pass.

5) Tourists - if you are thinking about coming to Dauphin Island to take a walk along the beautiful north beach, you might want to go elsewhere.

6) Hurricane Katrina washed out 1.5 miles of Dauphin Island in 2005, leaving it split into two pieces. Five years later, Dauphin Island will get it back free of charge, thanks to the kind $15,000,000 donation from BP. Rocks are being off loaded from a barge to a pile on the beach.

7) The rocks on the beach get put on a big dump truck which backs very carefully down a narrow ramp of previously dumped rocks, where it dumps more rocks on the edge of the water.

8) I kayaked about a half mile out into Katrina Pass where another pile of rocks are, looked back and took this photo. Eventually the rock piles will connect together.

9) The pile of rocks offered some protection from the wind and waves.

10) There is some beach area open at the west end of the island where you can land your kayak and get out. Inner island pools are marked with row after row of tire tracks. The dark color is not oil.

11) For the birds, it is business as usual.

12) On the way back to Desoto Park, the smell of petroleum filled the air. Not sure if it was related to boats working the oil spill or whether it came from the Gulf. Either way, it was a nauseating odor.

13) Tar Ball poo or Sea Gull poo? Some people are dealing with nasty booms to help keep the Island free of crude. A big "THANK YOU" to them for all they do.

14) No security at this rig. Anyone in a boat can pull up and do what ever they want. Guess the oil companies save money by not hiring security personnel to protect their sensitive and dangerous infrastructure meaning more profits. Let us not forget that oil wells were the target of terrorists in Kuwait back in 1991.

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