Sunday, July 24, 2011

07/24/2011 - Fish River

South Alabama Paddlers club trip: Nancy led a club paddle today on upper Fish River. The skies were threatening with rain and distant thunder. We were the only two to brave the heat and storms. The heat was lowered by the nearby storms and cloud cover. It never did rain on us making this a very pleasant trip. Thanks Nancy!
Launch: Big Daddy's Restaurant is on the west side of Fish River about 8 miles west of Point Clear, AL.
Although the boat ramp sign says, "Launch Closed," it is my understanding that it is okay for kayakers to launch there. A good way to say thank you to the owner for the privilege would be to eat at Big Daddy's when you get back from your kayak trip. There is live music in the evening on the weekends. After our trip, we replenished the spent calories while listening to live music.
Launch Cost: Free
Destination: Upper Fish River where there is a "No Wake Zone" north of Highway 32 and not many boats. Lower Fish River gets very busy with boat traffic.
Distance: 5 miles (round trip)
Paddle time: 2 hours at a leisurely pace.
Weather: Cloud cover kept the temperature in the 80s. Winds were light. Tide was going out and current was negligible.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

Header Image is a scene typical of upper Fish River - lots of turtles.

1) Big Daddy's launch is in a small cove off Fish River. Once out on Fish River, the shoreline is populated by many houses. North of Hwy 32 the river houses become less dense.

2) Nancy led us through an isolated shortcut where we saw a brilliant red cardinal flower in bloom (Lobelia cardinalis). Cardinal flowers have been put on a "threatened" status in neighboring Florida.

3) There were a few boats that passed us and most were considerate by slowing down.

4) "Drat!" The turtle skedaddled off the log before auto focus could do its thing.

5) Fish River was bustling with activity on the clean waterway. Some shallow areas became noisy party areas for older kids.

6) Several home docks were swarming with young kids having a blast. Surprisingly, the water in Fish River is quite cool compared to waters in Mobile Bay or the Delta.

7) Nancy shows us what a loose paddle grip looks like which is a good thing because you are less likely to suffer wrist strains if you paddle with a loose grip.

8) This is the kayak launch site at Big Daddys. The rains held off until we were in the restaurant. Thumbs up on paddling upper Fish River. The "LAUNCH CLOSED" sign is only for motor boats.

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