Thursday, January 21, 2016

Paddling Adventure - Goose Island State Park

As most of you know we added our Sea Eagle 420X inflatable kayak this past year. I called it then our LEV (Life Enhancement Vehicle). I have no idea how many times we have pulled it out of the truck, inflated it and then went on an adventure. Each time we do, something interesting happens. There is almost always a totally different perspective of a place available only from the water looking back to land. I would highly recommend to any person that likes to travel adding a boat to enhance your experience.

Just after we arrived at Goose Island, we inflated the boat and took it out to cruise around on the flat water. Just as we got out to the end of the pier, we had dolphins all around us. They were surfacing as close as 20 feet from the boat. It was an awesome experience.

Dolphin surfacing very near our boat.
That day was kind of cool and the wind came up after a while and we headed back to camp. We did not put the boat away and just slid it under the rig and waited for another opportunity.

On January 15, the opportunity presented itself. The wind was almost zero and the sun was out. It was around 70 degrees. We were thinking about a short trip out to some of the shell islands just off the end of the pier. We headed out there and took a few pictures of many birds including White Pelicans on the islands.

The end of the pier from the water.

Some of the barrier islands had smoke coming up off of them from controlled burns. 
White Pelicans and a few other birds
It is here that I need to make a confession. We have a problem when we go on a hike, a paddle or just about any other type of outing. We have a tendency to overdo it. We seem to get lost in the moment and when we think about going on. We seem to have a strong interest in what is around that next corner and neither of us has learned how to say no. We looked at the inward side of the bay and we thought we could make a loop around the island. We would have to get under a very low bridge, but once we did that, we were good to circumnavigate the island.

As we paddled, we had to watch for oyster beds. We hit one and later saw a small scrape on the boat, but no real damage. We then found out that there was a marked channel. We stayed in that for a while and then found what looked like a way to go around the end of the island. It was actually a lake and had no outlet. The cool thing is that there were tons of fish in the lake. As we paddled we could see them scatter in every direction. I was wishing I had a fishing pole and a license. We paddled to the far end of the lake and there was still no outlet. I assessed our situation and determined the best answer was a portage over the last 50 feet of the island to get to the open water. We both got out of the boat and carried it a short distance and then relaunched it. It all turned out fine. We paddled back in the direction of our camp along a rock breakwater. This is where I saw the birds I put in my previous post.

Still not sure what kind of birds those are.
As you can see in the pictures, the day was still beautiful with no wind. I pulled out my phone and fired up google maps. We had already paddled about 3 miles and we had about 2 miles to get back to camp. We paddled and rested and paddled and rested for what felt like a long time. The scenery was awesome and we saw many more birds and fish. We made it back to camp before dark. We were both a bit tired, but it was an excellent adventure.

We really need to be more prepared for long trips whenever we go anywhere. We did not bring enough water or food, but it was still fun and the uncertainty of the outcome is fun (for me).

Our plans for the rest of this trip is getting more defined. We have had some family items that have contributed to us actually making reservations and doing some other things we don't normally do. I will get into all of that in future entries.

Go out for an adventure today, you never know how it will work out.


  1. Hello Shawn/Kim,
    Congratulations on ya'lls anniversary, both marriage and retirement. I liked your post about paddling around the bay. I remember how flat and placid it can be on a calm day. When I was there, it was so calm one day that the horizon disappeared and you couldn't tell sky from water. It was amazing.
    I've toyed with the idea of an inflatable, but still haven't given it a shot.

    Ya'll stay safe, have fun. Maybe Cya down the road.

    1. It is good to hear from you Darrell. If I remember correctly, you were the one that told us to go to Goose Island in the first place last year. I hope you are well and get back on the road when you are ready.

      All the best,

  2. Nice dolphin shot! What a pretty place.