The weather prediction was wind…and more wind, 25-30mph. This can make for some of the most fun paddling, letting the wind push your boat along as you just sit back and rudder. It can also make for some of the hardest paddling if you have to paddle into it, your boat hardly moving but a good workout. Keeping this in mind, we let the wind push us across the lake from the boat launch to the south western corner of the lake.
We all made it to the cypress except for one boat, as they approached the cypress where we were waiting, we see them tip over in slow motion. Yes, they ended up in the water. We very seldom have a person tip a canoe but it does happen on occasion. In the 6 or so years I have been guiding for Pack & Paddle, this is the fourth time it has happened. That’s pretty good odds.
So the two ladies in the water were part of a small group of 4, while Jon and I were working on getting them out of the water and the boat right side up, it came to our attention that 3 of the ladies attended the church in which the other lady was the pastor. And of course, the pastor was in the water. There was talk of being baptized and that this probably was not what you wanted to do to your pastor. These four were hilarious and made light of the whole situation with lots and lots of laughter.
I was in a covered kayak and my helper, Jon was in a canoe with a customer in the bow and a non-paddling rider in the middle. That meant he could not flip the canoe back over. I pulled the canoe onto my kayak, with some help from the pastor and her parishioner, flipped it back over and back into the water with just a smidgen of water in the bottom.
We paddled along the edge of the wading bird rookery intently listening for the nesting birds. According to Kacy, Cypress Island Preserve program manager for the Nature Conservancy, “The rookery really looks good this year. We began our pre-dawn fly-over counts last week. I was the lucky one that got to see nearly 2,000 White Ibis leave their roosting place and fly north. This was just before the sun came up, so it is a beautiful sight to see. If anyone is interested, you may be able to witness the Ibis if you stand on the point by the boat put-in.”
We had warm red beans, rice and sausage for supper which was welcomed, especially by the tippy canoeists . We also had warm bread pudding to ward off the cool winds. It was a great group of people with lots of fun and laughter in the great outdoors. That’s what keeps us guiding these trips, sharing what we know so well with those that may not. Another wonderful outdoor experience!
If you want to see all of the photos from this trip, click here.
-Trip Leader, Stacey Scarce