Sunday, September 13, 2009

Conway Creek - July 25, 2009

FRANCES: We decided for this trip to head back to Chacaloochee Bay. This time we were going to go straight across and look for Conway Creek. When we put in, the water was a little cool, but we were soon distracted by a brilliant red sun throwing rubies on the water. I tried the camera-between-the-knees-trick again to capture some video and then we headed on a more north-northeastern path. On our way we had to go through some of the same marshy are we had been in last week and this time my goal was to look at the current of the water to try and keep us in as deep water as possible.

It is really ironic, when we first started kayaking, I didn't think much of the depth of the water. We were mainly going in little creeks and I never imagined they could be too deep. Then we learned quite unexpectedly that they could indeed be deep enough to be over our heads. Then we started kayaking on Blakeley River, the first river we kayaked on, which we knew had to be very deep , but again, I just didn't think about it much.
It wasn't until we went out on Dog River that the depth of the water first scared me. Not only the depth, but the width of the River. It just seemed like such a big body of water, especially for our little kayaks. But we had been out in the bay before, why being on this river felt this way to me I can't explain. After a couple trips I began to feel much more at ease. Now here I was, antsy because there wasn't enough water! I think I had alligators and their nesting spots in the back of my head. I had meant to read up on just where alligators make their nests (now I am quite versed on that subject!), and when they nest, but I hadn't yet. I had also meant to make a map for the day, and hadn't. I don't like going into an unknown area of the delta without a map. But as Glen said when we paddled out, "We know we have to keep those tall buildings on our right (speaking of the RSA tower) coming back in." The landmarks were certainly easy to see. As we paddled along I noticed areas in the marshy grass underneath us that were bare. The water was so clear you could see shells in these hallowed out areas. And plenty of crabs, too. As we paddled on, my mind began to devise that these areas were where the alligators would nest (didn't I think they would need air?) The more I paddled, the more I convinced myself that we were crossing through a whole bay of alligator nests. The more I saw the areas, the more concerned I became that we were in danger until finally I talked Glen into turning around. The sad thing is, we were probably almost at the mouth of Conway Creek when we turned around. (We went back two days later after I did the appropriate reading on alligators!)

We found our way back to the center of the bay and then paddled north for awhile. At one point we pulled our kayaks close and just floated while we chatted and enjoyed the current of the water.

On the way back to the put-in I saw lots of dragonflies landing on the reeds. Every time I would stop paddling to take a picture of them, I would crash into the reeds. Glen, more fearful of gators in the reeds than the water (and accurately so) would yell at me to get out of the reeds. I didn't get a shot of the dragonflies until after we pulled our boats in. I promptly came home and studied up on alligators and their mating and nesting habits!

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