Dauphin Island AL circumnavigation

-- Last Updated: Jul-05-12 7:46 PM EST --

Last month I paddled around Dauphin Island in a clockwise circumnavigation in my 20yr old Dagger Revelation. It was an unforgettable but also unnerving experience. In restrospect, I was foolish to do this with a strong easterly wind that made the water aroung Ft Gaines VERY nasty and then experienced swells of 10-12 feet about a mile off shore in the GULF. The swells were occasionally breaking on their tops which was VERY unnerving to say the least. The canoe performed great with a heavy 6ft long 4x4 waterlogged piece of lumber providing ballast. I could slide it towards the bow or stern to keep the canoe properly trimmed under the many different conditions I encountered. Since it was just a 6 hour daytrip, I had little gear and absolutely needed the ballast or would have surely foundered. The surf was rough with 5-6 foot breakers and I surfed one most of the way to the beach but before I could exit and secure the boat another big wave knocked me and my boat down. It was an experience I will never forget.