Friday, August 12, 2011

08/12/2011 - Goat Island and Canal Maze

Launch: Fowl River Marina off Cedar Point Road
Launch Cost: $5
Destination: Goat Island and the maze of canals north of it.
Distance: 13 miles (round trip)
Paddle time: 4-1/4 hours
Weather: Mostly Sunny. Hot morning. Heat advisory warning for the afternoon. Storm generated some winds. Rain started the minute I got back to the launch site.
GPS Track: To view or download the GPS track of this trip, Click Here.

Header Image. Why Bother? Because I care!

Headed toward Mobile Bay.

Split sunrise as seen from just north of Goat Island (not the Goat Island near the Battleship).

Marsh Fleabane was in bloom, also known as stinkweed.

The scenery in the maze of canals north of Goat Island ranges from low pine lands like this to salt marshes with no trees.

A heron and a egret watch out for each other.

Saw many black-crowned night herons.

I had just rounded the corner of Goat Island and gotten into Mobile Bay when this photo was taken. Only had 1/4 mile (0.4 km) of open water to paddle to reach the entrance of Fowl River.

Nature threw me an "in your face" reminder that she deserves respect on open waters. With no real warning, in less than 60 seconds the wind went from zero to about 30 mph. (Dauphin Island recorded 44 mph winds related to this line of storms.) Waves were soon slapping the kayak and wind driven spray completely soaked me. I didn't dare stop to take any more photos or to try to put on the spray skirt. I was struggling just to make forward progress and it took a long time to paddle that 1/4 mile. In hindsight, this makes me think, "What would I have done had those winds been 60 miles per hour (96 km)?" Hmmm, I've never given that much thought. I definitely will pay more attention to turbulence clouds (which you can see in both these photos) from now on and will have that spray skirt on BEFORE the squall line hits.

After finally reaching Fowl River, I smelled petroleum and saw petroleum. That is the Dauphin Island Parkway bridge going over Fowl River in the background.

I paddled around trying to find the source of the fuel leak and it appeared to be coming from one of the motors on this vessel. The wonderful people at Fowl River Marina helped me report the fuel leak to the proper authorities. Thanks!

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