Launch Cost: Free
Destination: I have been kayaking for ten years and have never been to the west end of Dauphin Island. Today is the day and the plan was to do an 11 mile crossing from Bayou La Batre. It is an easy trek - just follow the channel markers down to #10 and then you'll see where to go from there. There is always a marker in view that you can aim for which is good because you have to paddle for about two hours before the island is visible on the horizon. Check out the marine markers that go from Bayou La Batre to near the tip of Dauphin Island (west end) - click here.
Distance: 25.6 miles (round trip)
Pedal time: 6-1/4 hours
Weather: 70-85 degrees. Winds out of the southwest 5-10. Current minimal, tide low at start. Water temp about 78 degrees. Seas 1-2 at the start and eventually slicking off.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.
|1) Sunrise on Portersville Bay.|
|2) Phung must be someone special to someone.|
|3) Saw over a half dozen waterspouts in the early stage of forming - none ever fully developed. I was fighting a little wind and chop when I began the crossing.|
|4) By the time I reached Dauphin Island the winds had died down and the waters smoothed out. Do you know what the two red diamonds mean and the letter "P"? Marine markers can be helpful in offshore kayak navigation. For a good online marine chart map which shows this Petit Bois Pass Light "P", Click Here.|
|5) I thought the west end of Dauphin Island had trees but it had none.|
|6) Looking back toward Bayou La Batre. Waters here had a nice green hue to it. Didn't see very many birds which was surprising.|
|7) The top horseshoe crab had a small hermit crab crawling on the edge of it.|
|8) Stingrays were abundant. Here three of them glide under the nose of the kayak. It is awesome to kayak the shallow waters of barrier islands.|
|9) Some dolphin capers made this trip a little more memorable. This one jumped completely out of the water right in front of me.|
|10) On the return trip there was no wind and it was so hot sweat poured from me! The forecast called for no wind in the morning and lots of wind in the afternoon - turned out to be the exact opposite. Good thing I carried plenty of fluid.|
|11) There are no oil spill clean-up crews working the West side of Dauphin Island. Still, it took about ten minutes to find any tar ball masses.|
|12) In another timed period of 10 minutes I picked up over a hundred plastic bottle caps. The problem of tar balls is minuscule compared to the ginormous plastic pollution problem. BP was responsible for its oil spill so why aren't the plastic bottle manufacturers or public responsible for getting the plastic cleaned up? We need a plastic bottle deposit bill NOW. We need tougher litter pollution laws. |
|13) It has been about eight months since I kayaked in Bayou La Trash - no change - it is still as trashy as ever.|
|14) Those pink and yellow pom-pon like items on the right side of the photo look like they came from old oil booms.|