This past Saturday, Natalie and I decided to join the Houston Area Seakayakers in a ten-mile paddle from Smith Point to Double Bayou at Oak Island last Saturday. She arrived at my trailer in time to unload her dog and put her in a crate in the trailer, and eat a pancake breakfast.
|Putting in - this place charges $5.00 a kayak but we could have put in free nearby|
We loaded up my paddles, life jacket, water, hat, and camera - she had a loaner kayak for me already on my car - and set off to the put-in. After not finding the put-in where we thought it was, we had to make a few phone calls and locate our leader. Soon we were unloading the boats, while the rest of the small group - all guys -helped us and hassled us about being late. I asked Natalie, "Do the other women know something we don't and have been smart enough to not try this paddle on a day with heat warnings?" But the weather wasn't very bad and there was a small breeze which should pick up later.
|Paul and terns|
Soon all the kayaks were in the water and we were moving northward with a gentle wind pushing us. We were moving lightly across the little waves and enjoying terns, pelicans, and gulls. We even got to see a juvinile magnificent fritatebird.
|Birds loafing on a shell island|
In only a little over an hour, and four miles of paddling, we spotted a shell island and headed there to stop and eat lunch and cool off. The island was also being used as a resting place for brown pelicans, royal terns, laughing gulls and other birds. I went to get some pictures. When I came back to our side, another paddler had found what he though was a baby bird. It was a least tern and the tamest I've seen. I just stayed where I was and took pictures as it approached me.
|Royal terns and laughing gull - not sure of one tern|
|Cooling off - we all stayed cool by wetting down and drinking lots of liquids|
After lunch, we paddled much slower but all too soon were seeing the buildings of Oak Island and watching motor boats come out of Double Bayou or go back in. Shortly, we were in the bayou, heading to the park where there is a boat launch. We waited our turns to a ramp and quickly took out our boats and unloaded our gear. We gathered the group we could grab to get one last picture. Then the drivers went to get their cars while I stayed with the boats. By the time everyone was back and the boats were loaded, three of us decided to eat supper at a little resturant in Oak Island. Two of us had fried scallop baskets ant the othe had a fish basket. All were delicious and we all started home. Natalie finally leftt here around 7:30 P.M. I got my pictures edited but the Internet was only working spasmodically, so I didn't get them up on my webshots site.
|A few miles from the entrance to Double Bayou|
|Barges in the bayou|
|Four of the six of us|