Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Beyond the bow.. . .Trip 46
While we were unloading the boats, we were rejoicing that there was a pleasant breeze, but it must have been limited to the land, because once we were on the water there was no wind whatsoever. There was no respite from the hot sun . . . no clouds, only a hazy sky and no breeze. The water itself was so calm there wasn't even any splash coming back up on us. The only way we could cool ourselves off was to toss the water onto ourselves periodically.
The water was fairly flat and we could barely discern the gentle current crossing our boats toward the shore. It wasn't really work to go against it, but it didn't give us any advantage either. We paddled south for about twenty minutes before we decided to stop for a water break and rest a few minutes. We weren't really tired, but I was getting hot. It felt good to put my feet off the side of the boat and let them dangle in the cool water. After a while we started again, continuing south. We went on until we had paddled about 2 1/2 miles, then we headed back.
I had noticed after we had left the house that I had forgotten my camera. At the beginning of the trip I figured it was just as well. The hazy, cloudless sky didn't provide much incentive to snap a picture, neither did the still water. The birds, however, always amaze me enough to try and capture them on film. I had decided to just not try any pictures until we were on the way back and I saw the remains of an old boat house reflected in the still water, the pelicans perched all around it. I thought it was worth trying to get a shot with my phone. I couldn't even see the screen with the brightness of the sun on the water, so I am surprised it turned as well as it did.
As soon as we headed back we were greeted with the sweetest breeze. It had not been enough against our backs to either push our boats, or cool our bodies, but now with it in our faces, it was delightful. We were going against the current, which the wind had kicked up a little more. The strange thing is, even though our boats were going against the direction of the current, when we paddled, our paddles were going with the current, which may explain why it seemed so much easier that before. We certainly made better time. . .that is until we hit the mud.
It wasn't literal mud, but the water felt like mud. I don't know if it was because we were getting so hot, or if the current was stronger than it looked on the surface, but all of a sudden, the last ten minutes perhaps of the trip, we both had the distinct impression that Mobile Bay had just turned into a huge bowl of jello and we were trying to navigate through it.
I was delighted when we rounded the little beach cove and the put-in was clearly in sight. By now I was very hot. I felt like my face was a red as my kayak and looking in the mirror once we reached shore confirmed that fact. I was ready to be off the water and some place cool.
We had planned to change clothes there at the park and go to lunch at a place we had noticed nearby. I downed a whole glass of ice water in record time as soon as we arrived.
Except for the last few minutes, it was a great trip. We paddled continuously for quite a while, which is good. . .I need the conditioning. We also noticed a new place to put-in which we might try on trip # 47.