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Bayou Fun Paddle — June 6, 2015

2015-06-06

Bayou Fun Paddle — June 6, 2015

Flotilla on the bayou.

We really enjoy our various night paddle events, but we do also have fun paddle trips during the day.  This time it was a tour of Bayou Fountain and Bayou Manchac (with just a smidge of Ward Creek thrown in).

While we always keep an open invitation for anyone to come along on our paddle trail maintenance days, we’re even more happy when we’re asked to lead fun group paddling trips.  That was the case this time when we had a group of about a dozen coming for a taste of paddling on Louisiana bayous.  I loaded up two extra canoes, Jonathan dropped off a four kayaks, and Mike brought his own, and we set up for a 9am start.

Coming... eventually: a nice paddle launch.

With everyone at the park, our final count was 16 paddlers and 11 boats (four canoes and seven kayaks, if you’re wondering).  We finished the paperwork (waivers, aren’t they fun?) and headed to the bayou to put in.  It’ll be nice when we have an official “real” paddle launch, but with the water level where it was, it wasn’t too bad.  We’re definitely getting the hang of helping out with launching the boats and getting everyone in dry.

The water level was just about perfect for a trip down Bayou Fountain, and there were no obstructions (other than a floating log or two that we shoved away as we went).  There was also practically no current at all on Bayou Fountain, which made the going a bit slower than it would’ve been on another day.  It wasn’t a bad thing, but by the halfway point (by the Not-So-Great Wall of Fountain and the larger powerline crossing), a short float break was in order.

Float break.

It just so happened that this was the moment when one of the kayakers (not pictured) got just slightly too far over the gunwale and tipped out into the bayou.  That added perhaps a bit of excitement (but no danger to someone wearing a PFD), and we took a bit of an extra float break while we dumped and bailed the kayak and got everything back in order.  Thankfully, he did not have his phone or other such electronics with him, so he was left with just a bit less of the summer heat to deal with.  With the break over, we continued.

Refreshments!

When we arrived at Bayou Manchac (about the 2/3 point of the paddle), we all joined up in the shade by the bank and had a nice break for relaxation and refreshments.  If this were a normal paddle trail maintenance work day, we’d turn around and start paddling up Bayou Fountain back to the park, but on a fun paddle, who wants to go extra distance or upstream?  We’d arranged instead to shuttle back, making it a shorter, downstream paddle (and with Bayou Manchac’s notably higher current).

Bayou Manchac

After a couple miles on Bayou Manchac, we were at Ward Creek, and soon afterward we hit our exit.  Even with many kayaks and Bayou Fountain’s almost complete lack of current giving little help on the first leg, we averaged about two miles per hour over the whole trip.  After some quick packing up in the hot afternoon sun, everything was loaded and we all hopped in to go back to the park.  (If it was a bit close fitting, we were unexpectedly down a shuttle, but everyone squeezed in one trip anyway.)

On the bayou.
All in all, it was another great trip on the bayou, and a good time was had by all (even our one slightly damp kayaker).  We even got a few new memberships.  (Thank you for supporting PaddleBR.)  We’ll have another fun trip soon (perhaps day and night ones), and we’re also working on the details for our next cleanup.  In the meantime, Friday evening (June 12th) is the next Sunset Paddle with BREC Outdoor Adventure, and Saturday is the next demo day for The Backpacker.  Both events will be on University Lake, with details on the PaddleBR Calendar, and we’ll be out there paddling at both.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Victoria permalink
    2015-06-09 9:05pm

    It was a great trip. Thanks Nathanial!! And thanks to the rest of the crew.

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