Monday, October 15, 2012

Kayaking Table Rock Lake

Friday night, in spite of a horrible weather forecast, my friend Brian and I headed down to Cape Fair, Missouri and Table Rock Lake to do some kayaking and fishing. We got down there around dark, dumped our excess gear at Brian's friend's cabin, reloaded the kayaks and hit the water for some night paddling.

Photo Oct 12, 7 11 46 PM_s

Photo Oct 12, 8 06 32 PM_s

Photo Oct 12, 8 25 52 PM_s

Being heavily overcast, it was really dark out. The only ambient light was bouncing off the cloud cover from the surrounding lakeside homes and resorts. We used colored glow sticks as port and starboard navigation lights and LEDs hung inside, which made the boats look like Chinese paper lanterns. After a while, we killed the LEDs. A better idea in theory than practice. They made a lot of light pollution and it was hard to see past your own kayak deck.

Photo Oct 12, 8 53 02 PM_s

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We paddled about 2 miles in the dark, owls hooted and herons squawked their displeasure at your passing. No other boats to be seen. It was rather surreal, but an absolute blast.

Kayaking Table Rock Lake Oct-12-13, 2012

Photo Oct 13, 7 26 26 AM_s

Photo Oct 13, 7 27 10 AM_s

Saturday morning, up bright and early around sunrise. Back to the same put-in point. We paddled out as the daylight was starting to kiss the lake from over the surrounding hills. An absolutely beautiful morning. Bass boats joined us on this trip, though. There were quite a few of them zipping across the lake at breakneck speed.

Photo Oct 13, 7 37 45 AM_s

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Photo Oct 13, 8 02 57 AM_s

Working our way to an island we'd spotted on a map the day before, we fished the leeward bluff line and lake shore. We ended up catching five fish, total. Three large mouth bass, one striped bass hybrid and a crappie. Several of which could have been kept. Especially the good size bass Brian caught. He was trolling across the lake when it hit and it had recently eaten a large crawdad/crayfish.

Photo Oct 13, 8 13 54 AM_s

Photo Oct 13, 9 51 38 AM_s

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Photo Oct 13, 12 21 52 PM_s

We saw plenty of wildlife on this trip. Turtles popped their heads up around the boats, constantly. We saw a dozen blue herons or more, some Canada geese, coots and bald eagles. We also saw a lot of Coyote scat and evidence of raccoons feeding on shellfish on the island.

Photo Oct 13, 8 03 10 AM_s

Photo Oct 13, 7 59 18 AM_s

Photo Oct 13, 7 50 52 AM_s

After a second breakfast on the island, we pulled the kayaks over the narrow isthmus exposed by a summer of drought and circumnavigated before a windy paddle back towards the truck and take-out. By the time we made it back, it was gusting heavily and there was no going to windward. It was even difficult to cross perpendicular to the breeze. Erring on the safe side, having covered about 5.5 miles, we called it a day.

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Photo Oct 13, 12 26 56 PM_s

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An absolutely awesome kayak trip. The epitome of why we built the boats.

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