Friday, April 6, 2012

Kayaking in the bayou

April 5-6, Gulf Shores/Orange Beach, Alabama

There were still threats of storms on Thursday the 5th, but most of the severe thunderstorm warnings were north of us.  Nevertheless, we had a quiet day catching up with laundry and hanging out with the dogs in case of thunder. One thing we did take time to do was to check out the Orange Beach Kayak and Canoe Trail that has ten access points in the area.  The plan was to decide on Thursday where we were going to try our our new kayaks for the first time on Friday--with beautiful weather forecast for the Easter weekend. In the process of our "research," we ended up at a place called Tacky Jacks, a local bar on the water in Orange Beach, about five miles from our park. The marina there helped us with a map of the area and tips for finding good kayaking water.  We also stopped to check out the Gulf of Mexico beach only a mile from the state park. The sand is still white like sugar, but softer than Destin. The beaches here are wider and have a wilder feeling--except for the occasional view of a towering beach condo in the background.

Vic waiting for a beer at Tacky Jacks
Friday morning and the sky was a beautiful shade of blue with a high expected of 80 degrees and only light wind.  We made ourselves a picnic lunch and took off for a place called Wolf Bay which gave us access to Longs Bayou, a quiet inlet which sounded like a good place to explore. The little bayou we explored was the blue finger directly above Rt. 180 on the map below. The water here is brackish (alligators do not live in salt water), but supposedly there are alligators the further you go up the bayou.  The local Alabamians don't think twice about their presence--not so for us, but we are willing to learn to coexist with them.

What a wonderful day we had exploring Longs Bayou via Wolf Bay. The only true way to experience it is to watch my amateur videos.

The highlight of the day was finding a few pods of dolphins upriver. It was hard to capture them on film, but I caught a few fins for proof.  It was an exhilarating feeling gliding along with the dolphins as they played along the shore.

This sailboat was just across from where we launched
our kayaks. The crazy part was the boat hailed
 from Portland, Oregon.

We stopped to watch a pontoon captain demonstrate the use
of this long scooping tool to pick up oysters from the
shallow bed of the bayou.

Captain Vic on his kayak named "Bubba"
giving the all okay sign.
We have one more day here before we head to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on Sunday with the intention of arriving in Red Bay, Alabama on Monday where we will be getting warranty work done on our motorhome.  Tomorrow's plan is to kayak to a place called Pirate's Cove and check it out.  This has truly been a Good Friday for us, with all respect to the spiritual aspects of Easter.  Sending blessings to all.

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