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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tuesday March 25, 2014. Day 4 in the Delta

Last night we anchored out in Sardine Pass, just a short distance from Five Rivers' dock. The water was smooth and we watched mullet jump and the two osprey at the nest in front of us until dark. The wind shifted as some point and swung us toward the shore until the anchor alarm went off. I motored back to about our original spot, then set another anchor off the stern. That held us in place the rest of the night.
One of two bald eagles that showed us their flight skills along the Tensaw River

This morning we woke about 6:00 and the water and wind were calm, although the forecast is for the wind to pick up during the day, to about 20 knots. We made coffee and hot chocolate, then pulled up to the canoe dock and let Daisy have her morning walk before we idled out of the pass into the river. We were at low tide, and the water was a good 2' shallower than when we came in yesterday, but we didn't have any trouble getting out.

The first birds we saw today were the osprey at the Blakely - Apalachee river split, but as we approached Blakely State Park, the eagles put on a show for us! It's great to see them flying in the early morning sun, as the sun catches the white tail feathers and makes a "flash" every time they turn.

We continued up the Tensaw River and slipped under the railroad swing bridge, then turned West down a narrow pipeline canal which connected to Big Lizard Creek.  Big Lizard Creek winds its way back and forth and connects back to the Mobile River just South of the I-65 bridge (which is affectionately called the "Dolly Parton" bridge).
We saw dozens of herons, flying or standing motionless at the water's edge.

These ducks were so colorful they looked like they'd been painted.
When the ducks flew, you could see the blue of their wings!
Bald Eagle hunkered down in the wind.

Big Lizard Creek is narrow enough that you can watch for wildlife on both banks, and the wind was picking up as we started upstream. We were entertained by a red-tailed hawk, osprey, great blue heron, egrets, cormorants, a beautiful swallow-tailed kite, and eight ducks that looked like they were painted by an artist. (I guess they were!)

By the time we connected back to the Mobile River, the wind had really picked up and the weather forecast was calling for near freezing weather overnight, so we made the decision to load up the boat and head home. We had wanted to take Dani to see the Indian mounds on Mound Island, but that will have to wait until another trip.

Dani drove for awhile and the downstream ride to Dead Lake was fast (about 8 mph) as we were traveling with the wind and the current! When we turned North for our last ride up Dead Lake, I slowed down so we could get one last look at it. None of us wanted the trip to end, but we knew it was the best option. As a final surprise just before we got back to the marina, a flock of what I think were juvenile White Ibis's, gifted us with a few minutes of flying in front of us, perching in a tree till we caught up, then flying ahead again. They were so funny looking. It's like they were reminding us that there is more to see in the Delta!!! I can't wait to get back down here and explore more of one of Alabama's best secrets!

Our farewell committee. A whole flock of these (juvenile White Ibis's ?) made the final trip up Dead Lake with us.

Glenda says:
After our visit at 5 Rivers we anchored out or stayed out on " the hook".  It was a quiet night and I got up a couple of times and if it had not been so chilly I would have stayed up a while just to look at God's heaven.  The stars were twinkling in the black sky, there are no words to give it justice.  We were up and going by 7:00.  We stopped for a few minutes to let Daisy take care of her business.  We drank hot chocolate and instant coffee to warm up.  Then we were off.  We decided to take the more scenic route back to the marina.  We glided up Big Lizard creek, the narrowness of the creek made me feel like we could almost reach out and touch the trees.  It felt like we had gone back in time.  It was hard to believe the interstate was just a couple miles over.  We enjoyed the sights of more eagles, ospreys, herons and more.  Electronics, technology and other forms of entertainment are nothing compared to the sights and sounds out on the water.  But.....I think we need a bigger boat!

Dani says:
I slept good again. I like sleeping on the boat. We saw a swallow-tailed kite today. I kept a checklist of the birds I saw. I got the checklist at the Five Rivers Gift Shop. I had 16 birds checked off!
One of them was a great cormorant. Another was a great blue heron. But the kite was my favorite because of his tail. It was really cool!

This trip was better than Disney World !!

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