Monday, January 19, 2015

A Morning on the Water

During our Saturday Bike Ride, one of the participants mentioned that Sunday morning was supposed to be perfectly calm and it would be a great time to go kayaking.

The refuge here has several kayaks that they make available to staff and volunteers, so Teri and I got up early on Sunday morning, grabbed a pair of kayaks, and headed out. As predicted, the weather was perfect!

The refuge kayaks are "sit-on-top", which is different than the "sit-in" boats we've used before. You are a bit higher above the water and not in a covered cockpit. We found them very comfortable and stable. An advantage of this type of kayak is that they are much easier to get off and on while out in the water. This appeals to fisherman and snorkelers who might use the kayak to get out to a specific spot and then get out to wade or swim.  

The refuge has a private boat ramp where their law enforcement boats are docked. We launched from there.  This Double-crested Cormorant was using a refuge boundary sign as a perch. 
Double-crested Cormorant
We stayed close to the island edge and explored the mangroves. The water here is crystal clear and for the most part quite shallow. Being in a kayak that only drafts about 6" of water is a good thing, as there were a great many shallow areas.
Red Mangroves
Mangrove Roots
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
The mangroves were loaded with Yellow-Crowned Night-Herons. They were pretty tolerant of the kayaks and normally didn't fly off. We also saw plenty of Cormorants, along with a few Belted Kingfishers, Osprey, and Egrets and Herons.

Our most interesting sighting was a small shark that was working the shallow water.  We saw its dorsal fin cutting the surface several times, and occasionally its tail as well. It was probably only 3' - 4' long, but it reminded us that we were not alone in the water!!


1 comment:

  1. I was enjoying that kayak trip... until I saw the shark! Guess I'll stay in TX for a while....