Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Piney Island

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Palmy Island would be a more appropriate name.  Maybe there were pines there once, but now the island is mostly saltmarsh with a few areas high enough to support trees.  The largest of these spots does have a small piney forest... otherwise,  it's marsh with spits of sand covered in grass and lined with cabbage palms and a few cedars. 

 Bob Thompson and I ventured out as the tide was rising to circumnavigate Piney Island, land and explore it where we could... to see what the island had to offer..  Bob had heard that there is a plaque at a point called Seven Palms which describes the acquisition of this 1000+ acre island by St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge.  The photo above was made at Seven Palms.

"A minefield" is how I would describe the oyster bars around the island.  The bars are numerous, come up randomly and suddenly from deep water, and are super shallow, even at full high tide.  With Bob's eagle-eye watching from the bow and going at idle speed, we avoided many groundings, but still hit three oyster bars - CRUNCH!

Along the way, we detoured to a long line of trees along the mainland near the mouth of Purify Creek.  We didn't have time to stop, but above is a shot from the boat.

There were moments when we wondered if we'd get back to our put-in by dark, but made it just in time for sunset along Bottom's Road.  Here are a couple pelicans in the marsh and a panorama of the saltmarsh looking east towared Piney Island.

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