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Tuesday, July 17, 2001

July 16, 2001 Perdido Pass Monday Slackers Paddle

Mike Predmore led this paddle which drew seven paddlers. We met at the east side of Perdido Pass under the bridge. We met at 9:30 a.m. and carried our boats from the parking lot to the water's edge. The put in is natural white sand. A photographer from the Mobile Register was on site to take our pictures for a potential story in the paper. By 10 a.m. we were on the water waiting for the photographer to take pictures looking down from the bridge.

We headed out the Pass which was at or near high water for the day. Jellyfish about 4 inches across drifted by in the Pass. These jellyfish had brown markings radiating from the top center of the bell almost to the edge of the bell where white dots decorated the edge of the bell. A few power boaters were out fishing in the pass, but we experienced little traffic until we were out in the Gulf.
At the entrance to the Pass, the sea state turned interesting with four foot swells and a steady east wind was building current and some small seas. We paddled east for about half a mile then turned south to head for the sea buoy for Perdido Pass. The buoy is a tall one with PP on the radar reflector. As this buoy rides the swell, air moves through a low pitched whistle that sounds something like blowing across
the top of a very large cola bottle. We arrived at the buoy and Mike and Larry Jr. made ready a geocache with a float and anchor. Larry Sr. made the anchor out of lead. A passing fishing yacht gave us some additional wave action to play in while we were there. Some delay with the tangles in the anchor line let us drift west about 3/4 of a mile in a short while. The current showed some strength here. This trip was advertised for medium skilled paddlers for good reason: the sea state and the coastal ocean current added to the difficulty of paddling the distance. Mike took a position fix on the geocache with his GPS receiver.

We paddled upcurrent to the sea buoy. The buoy looked like it was underway due to the current moving by it. We rounded the buoy and headed toward the beach east of the pass. Some of our paddlers wanted to go play in the waves at the shoreline. Three of us were offshore yet and decided not to go in the surf zone, but instead we went more directly toward the Perdido Pass channel markers inside the jetty. Waves were breaking on the east side of the jetty and where the water was deep enough, the waves continued over the jetty into the Pass. We took a break inside at a nice beach half way between the bridge an the end of the jetty. Here we swapped boats and paddled a bit. On the remainder of the trip in towards the bridge, we were in our own boats paddling against the current. Another fishing yacht with the name UNDERTAKER gave us her wake. Sea swell produced some surfable waves in the pass, which helped a little bit to make progress against the current.

At the take out, a Mobile Register reporter, Casandra Andrews, interviewed us about the geocache sport. We took turns talking to her while we racked boats. By 12:35 our boats were loaded and we were discussing lunch options.