Monday, February 15, 2010

A lazy St Valentines Day in St Charles Bay

The steely red eyes of the black crowned heron watched us canoe nearer. It seemed as if we could hear him say, "Not those two again, canoeing in my private canal." Renita took more images and I gently paddled us past his perch.
The weather had finally warmed and the wind was dying as we launched our canoe at Big Tree. We headed north and entered the canal looking for birds and a little fishing Another boat was already where I wanted to try fishing so we beached our canoe and I cast a dead shrimp into the channel, but no fish bothered me.
Leaving the canal we reentered St Charles Bay. A yellow kayak seemed to appear from nowhere and we headed towards the spot hoping to find a hidden channel. Sure enough it appeared at the last moment and we entered its narrow mouth.
The brush closed in and I stood up looking for sunning alligators but none were in sight. The water was quite shallow and I had to remove the outriggers. Renita used her paddle to keep us in the center and guided us in the narrow channel.
A larger opening appeared and we were able to enter a small bay but the tide was falling and we quickly became stuck in a deep soft mud bank. It was too narrow to turn around and so I prepared myself for a muddy mess but we both leaned on our paddles and were able to free the canoe.
Blindly pushing backwards we finally we able to turn around and retreated to the main bay. A wading egret greeted us and posed for more pictures. You could clearly see his wedding veil plumage, ad it seemed so fitting for the day. I had to laugh as Renita had been steering and pushing us while still maintaining a grip on the cameras in an ultimate multitasking display.
Moving out a bit, I dropped our anchor and cast a shrimp. The calm waters of the bay and the blue sky seemed to merge together, as it often does on the Texas Coast, and I was barely able to stay awake. Nothing took my bait and so I raised the anchor and we oared back along the shoreline.
Whoopers called to each other and we saw two fly and land. They were too far for a good picture bu it didn't matter and Rentia happily snapped away. The water was pretty shallow and we headed away from the shore. Stopping I tried another shrimp and cast a plastic imitation jig, but no speckled trout took my offerings.
It didn't really matter that the fish weren't biting, it was a great afternoon and a Valentines day that we both would remember. We have been truly blessed. Clear skies.

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