Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Saturday, May 19, 2012

In Search of the Pink Dolphin

I belong to a terrific club called the Pelican Paddlers. We're a kayaking group really, but occasionally, some folks with canoes come along. Early this morning, we went south to Cameron and put in at the ship channel by the ferry. Dolphins love to hang out around there. And I wanted to see some. Specifically, I wanted to see the 'pink dolphin.' Several years ago, boaters in that area started sighting this rare albino. I know a few people who have seen it. I've heard it is one of only a few known albino dolphins in the world.

We paddled around Monkey Island. I asked why they call it that. No one knew.

We saw pogie boats, which are blue-bottomed vessels that catch a type of fish called menhaden. These fish, also called pogies, are rich in oil, and are processed for industrial lubricants. The waste is used for fertilizer. If you drive past a pogie plant, it smells really bad. I learned all this today.

We also saw dozens of shrimp boats.

Can you guess what this boat with the tall black yellow-tipped poles is for?

It goes out into the Gulf and the poles go straight down to the seabed. It’s a platform. Probably something to do with oil rigging. I learned that today, too.

Yes, we did see some dolphins. They were a good distance from us (I was hoping one would come right beside my boat and I could pet it -- other kayakers say they've experienced that -- but it didn't happen) and we did not see a lot of them. It's also very difficult to get a photo of them. If you look closely, you can see a fin here.

And no, sadly, we did not see the pink dolphin. Not this time.

Do you have a kayak or an interest in paddling? Come join us! We paddle every Wednesday evening during DST at 6:00 p.m. from the I-210 beach kayak put-in. And occasionally on Saturday mornings.


Jan Rider Newman said...

Good old pogie plant--so glad I don't live downwind of it. Too bad you didn't get closer to the dolphins. Maybe next time.

Pat Carroll Marcantel said...

What a great day and club you're in. Perhaps you'll have another chance to see "Pink." This was a fun post.