Set your VCR to record WKRG 5 News (on channel 5) this Wednesday Sept. 25th at 6pm. Jere Hough's County Road 5 should air (highlighting our club). (That is if there are no major problems like a hurricane.)
Gene is having e-mail problems, so he is temporarily unable to send out reminders and such. Please stay tuned to this web page, and I will try to keep you informed until Gene gets sorted out.
Paddle Report: Full Moon Paddle, Buzbee's Fish Camp on Bay Minette Creek, Friday, September 20, 2002
by Gene Boothe
I always worry if I am spelling that word correctly. Anyway, when Bob announces that his paddle is for 6:30, he doesn't mean to be driving up then. That is when the flotilla was taking off. However, I wasn't the last one to arrive. At one time I counted 25 boats. We met the 26th on the way back in.
You get to the fish camp by taking Hwy. 225 north off of 31 in Spanish Fort. Go a little over a mile until you are going downhill toward Bay Minette Creek. The fish camp is to the right immediately prior to crossing the bridge. The husband and wife proprietors live on the site and will meet you to collect the $3.00 boat launch fee. They are long time residents and their company during the launch is part of the enjoyment of the trip. This is a very secure location in which to park your automobile.
Bay Minette Creek is to the north of the launch and is another good paddle. We headed west into the sunset, under the bridge, toward Bay Minette Bay. Carolyn and I were in a tandem (two person) kayak. I temporarily lost interest in the beautiful skyline when my rudder jammed, turning us toward the hornet nest overhanging the creek and Carolyn kept paddling.
Cypress Point is a prominent point of land on the south bank, where the shoreline takes a sharp turn to the left (south). We often see osprey fishing near here. This is where the Confederate defenses of Spanish Fort were breached by the northern troops during the closing days of the war. On our last moonlight paddle here, we took a right at this spot and headed about a half of a mile north into Bay Minette Basin to watch the sunset. This night, Bob led us straight ahead about a mile further into Bay Minette Bay. There was a reed island ahead of us, which we rounded to the right. This took us through a scenic channel among the reeds. If you paddle this on your own, you can go a more direct route left around the island, but this is where the motorboat traffic will be if there is any.
We paddled near the right shore (of reeds) into a striking sunset, highlighted by small rain clouds rimmed in spots with orange. The full moon rose over the tree line behind us.
Bay Minette Bay terminates at a point on the north shore (of reeds) called Cedar Point. There is a channel beyond this point leading south into the Blakeley River. Most of whatever boat traffic there in passes through here. Bob led us right, from this spot, into a little finger of water called Yancey Bay. There were small clumps of trees silhouetted against the sky. The light was plenty bright enough to see the water and outline of the shore, but not to look for flowers. In a short while, we paddled into a cut (think ditch) through the reeds, often used by fishermen to get into Blakeley River about a 1,000 yards away, called Fishermen Cut. The cut maybe averaged ten feet wide. It was striking to suddenly emerge into the wide-open Blakeley. The visibility may have been over a mile on the water, at least we could see across the river and the car lights on the causeway to the south.
All the water on the paddle was flat and calm, although the tide was noticeably flowing north at a fast enough rate to require us keep paddling south to remain in the area. We didn't want to lose track of where the cut through the reeds was, as that was the way back home. We stayed in the area, paddling south then drifting north, bumping in to old friends and meeting new ones in the moonlight. This is always one best parts of the trip, especially when a tray of special snacks somehow emerges from the cockpit of Peggy's kayak. The loud pop that broke the silence was not an after hours duck hunter, but a bottle of Robert Mondavi Chardonnay.
The paddle back was refreshingly uneventful, just screen and beautiful. We met boat number 26 on the west side of the reed island by Cypress Point. We all made it back in. It didn't seem to take any time to load the boats, everyone helped everyone else. This may not come as a surprise to some, but the last rendezvous of the evening was at the Original Oyster House on the causeway. Join us next time. There is always plenty of room.