Seven paddlers joined me today to do some exploring around Little Mandeville Island. We launched from Holland Riverside Marina at 12:30 under hazy skies with low tide predicted for 2:15 at -.83 ft.. The marina charges $5 to launch kayaks and you can use the envelope located next to the little store on the dock. When launching, the marina prefers you use the beach adjacent to the ramp. After unloading your kayak you can park down near the restrooms as the parking spaces near the covered berths are for residents. There are restrooms available and there will be a restaurant, Daryl's BBQ opening this summer. Kevin, the owner of the marina is working hard to get the place fixed up.
We headed north on Old River against a mild headwind and took our time keeping a look out for wildlife. As we came around one of the marsh islands we spotted a flock of White Pelicans. Besides the Sandhill Cranes, White Pelicans are my favorite birds that inhabit the delta. This flock was the biggest I have seen as there had to be at least 50 of them. Along with the pelicans we saw a couple of hawks, cormorants, a few turkey vultures and hundreds of coots all floating in a line about a 1/4 mile long.
We found a spot to stretch our legs and have a snack just inside the island on what's left of a levy. After refueling we got back on the water and returned to the marina in about an hours time with the wind at our backs. It was a great day and it was wonderful meeting new friends to explore the Delta with!
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