Hope this isn’t too long or boring, but I promised @Wormdevil
After a couple of weather postponements, I got a two day window for my second gulf trip, and first overnighter, with my new Prana. It was the back end of a mild cold front, so got a northerly tailwind on Friday and a SE tailwind on Saturday! Miraculous!
This time there are no pics of me paddling, since my better half “doesn’t do camping”
3hr drive to Port O’Connor Friday morning. The put in at the Texas Parks and Wildlife office is the best of the 3 in the town…free, with parking and no fishing boat harassment. Being a cool, grey Friday, the boat traffic was way down on last time, which was nice.
Within 5 minutes of setting off, I heard some “whooshing” noises - dolphins! I saw them throughout the day - at one point I’m sure they were keeping pace about 20 yards away, checking me out, for about 10 minutes. They’re not the easiest things to photograph…
A little under 10 miles out to the Matagorda Wildlife Management Area campground. Interesting place - used to be a State Park, but cost too much (they used to run a ferry out there), so it got downgraded. Lots of semi-abandoned buildings, very post-apocalyptic. But the campsite was top notch. Lush grass surrounded on two sides by the bay, with picnic tables, shelters, fire pits, with wood piles left by kindly campers.
Nobody else there, so after dark I explored some of the buildings. One was obviously used for the annual lottery hunt that TPWD holds on the island, as it was a small shed covered in blood stains. Good thing I’m not of a nervous disposition.
The morning was breezier than I’d expected from the forecast.
I’d planned to go direct across the bay and save a couple of miles. It seemed OK so I went with it, and was treated to some pretty choppy water - OK, by my standards ;-). Winds were about 12-14 mph from beam on my right, maximum reach of 3/4 mile, with occasional little whitecaps and a few sloshes onto the skirt. It was about a 3.5 mile crossing, which took about 80 minutes. It was very comfortable - the boat was a dream, felt very stable and felt great to relax into it and ride the waves. Water temp and air temp were both in the low 70s.
Even more birds around this time - winter migrants are here. My favorite was this Banded Kingfisher, with punk hairstyle.
And finally heading back across the Intercoastal channel, look left and right and hold up for this guy coming through…
Here’s my track from the two days…the detour at the end was to get around some oyster reefs blocking the route (it was close to low tide, which is only about a 1 foot range, but when the water is only inches deep, that’s a lot!)