Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Mermentau River

Louisiana's Mermentau crosses the GIWW
The Mermentau River Anchorage is deserving of it's own post.  It has been the most beautiful anchorage we've visited so far, and we spent woefully little time there.  Weather concerns forced us onward or we would have taken a time-out here and done some alligator hunting!

We read that the alligator here are not shy and I was on the lookout for them.  I had the kitties on lockdown so as not to provide lunch.. but in the end, I actually allowed them on deck to try to lure the gators over...  It was not to be.  I guess November temperatures are keeping the gators holed up.

Tree lined ICW
I had no idea what to expect of the Mermentau.  I'm still of the lingering impression that rivers are small and shallow...  I'm beginning to let go of that particular stereotype.  We motored along the GIWW looking for our first sign...

Suddenly up ahead, I could make out a red/green marker which told us we had arrived.  The waterway opened up wide and flat.

Looks like this is going to be easier than I thought.  Still, I powered down a bit to inch my way out of the more certain depths of the ICW and into the unknown river.  It helps that the high winds that are normal back home, just do not exist here...

I grew more relaxed as I could see that the depths held.  After an initial hump where I read 10 ft. the depths never went below 12 to 20.  The channel was plainly marked.

Our final mark in the distance
I was glad of the chart plotter and the iPad apps I had to follow as I really wanted to stay in the river proper.  We followed the marks around the lefthand edge, then saw our last mark before the anchorage up on our right.

That tree line in the picture is the backdrop for our anchorage tonight.

The Active Captain notes said to drop anchor in 10 feet.  With wind sowing from the East that would have worked.  We found that the depths went very quickly from 20 to 10 to 4 ft.

The Hyacinth Pond
We dropped at 10 ft and once we backed down on the anchor, we were uncomfortably shallow as the South wind blew us towards the trees.  It didn't take Bruce long to decide to try again once I told him what the depth meter read.

We pulled up the anchor and went back out to 17 ft and did it all over again.  Things looked much better now and we were all set to relax and enjoy the still hush of this place.

We could hear birds off in the trees.  A hoot owl started calling and I answered back.  For several minutes, the owl and I volleyed back and forth.  I hope I didn't say something rude...

Bruce saw this as the perfect opportunity to dig out his old Calabash pipe with Meerschaum bowl.  The pipe is almost as old as I am and the tobacco is probably as old as my children...

He saves this for special occasions and this just seemed like one of those.

We enjoyed the evening on high alert for any size alligator.  We talked about splashing the dinghy but it seemed like a lot of work...  We decided that we would just go for a ride and explore the shoreline in the morning.

I really did want to get over there and weave in and out of those roots and check out the hyacinth pond off to our right.

The moon popped over the treelike and began to make her ascent.  The reflection on the water alternated between glassy and sparkling ripples with the puffs of breeze.

Every once in a while, our wa was intermittently disturbed by the odd small boat speeding by on it's way to who knows where... Funny how their rooster tails all had rainbows.

We would rock gently for a few moments then the stillness would return.  I imagine them out there hunting alligators in the night.

We slept well and I woke up in the morning excited to get on with our dinghy ride.

Bruce broke the news that we would be staying aboard for the time being as a dense fog enveloped us with no sign of lifting.

With so many of our movements determined or influenced by the weather conditions, this is a time of forced inactivity.

We whiled away the morning in peace, enjoying watching the ever changing nuances of this rare scene. This is an aspect of Cruising life to which we will have no trouble adjusting...

So... I didn't get to go on an alligator hunt.  It's probably a good thing as I'm sure our inflatable boat would be no match for a disturbed gator.  If you ever find yourself in the vicinity of the Mermentau River, don't pass up the chance to stay an extra day.

No comments:

Post a Comment