Sunday, September 04, 2011

09/04/2011 - Dog River

Launch: Home
Destination: Mobile Bay to play in the waves.
Distance: 13 miles (round trip)
Paddle time: 3-3/4 hours
Weather: Temp about 78 degrees, Winds 0-20 mph out of the east and southeast. Mostly cloudy. Falling tide. Current 0.5 mph. Water temp about 80 degrees. The waters were warm yesterday when I experimented to find out how fast I could paddle a kayak with hands only. (What if I lost my paddle? The result was the ability to maintain 2.5 - 2.7 mph by hand paddling only). Today the waters felt cold. It appears this tropical storm rain convection machine lowered water temperatures about 2 degrees.

Header image is a photo of the wildflower Sweetscent (Pluchea odorata). All the rain has made these pink wildflowers green with happiness.

Went to hook up an extension cord and was greeting by a fishing spider. Note the shadows - the sun was shining when I launched.

More magnificant frigatebirds soaring above the river. One dove down and snatched a fish out of the water right in front of me. Didn't realize they were so big. Frigatebirds are more fun to watch than pelicans.

Not long after I rubbed on a coat of sun screen clouds appeared.

The owners of the SuzieQ are going to be surprised when they see their lift failed and their boat has minor damage. This is the only storm damage I saw.

Out near the widest (1/2 mile wide) part of Dog River near Halls Mill Creek, a squall line appeared on the horizon. The lesson here is it does not take long for wind to churn up the waves. It can from slick water to 1 foot waves in about 60 seconds. 

Waves that splashed into the side of the kayak quickly became wind blown spray aimed at the face. This squall had some of that horizontal rain in it, including slap spray. Gnarly!

Headed down Dog River to the entrance of Mobile Bay expecting to see some big waves only to find almost slick waters. I had to venture out into Mobile Bay about a half mile before finding any waves and they were not very conducive to surfing on. I did managed to surf a few good waves though. One steep wave (none of the waves were over 3 foot tall) drove the nose of the kayak deep into the water almost flipping it end over end. Luckily I leaned out of it and went sideways. Even though Hobie isn't designed to surf waves, it is still fun to try.

A boat with 3 people and 3 dogs near Dog River bridge. Saw several boats out today as conditions were calmer and with less rain than than yesterday.

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