Archived Story

Banks faces fierce headwinds

Published 10:51am Wednesday, September 5, 2012

By Harold Banks, Special to the Outlook

Editor’s note: This is the 15th installment in a fascinating diary chronicling a 400-mile paddle down the entire length of the Alabama River. 

April 15, 2012 – Day 15

High 84, Low 71 – Mostly cloudy, high winds

Saturday night – Mile 329 – Mobile/Tensaw Delta 1 mile below I-65

I get a nice early start for what will be a very long day against fierce headwinds, but it begins relatively calm.  All along the lower Alabama I have been amazed at the number of jumping fish, large and small.  I have seen good sized shad shoot two feet in the air and go 10 horizontal feet, I guess to escape some fearsome predator fish.  Mid-morning, a carp of about five pounds decides to hitch a ride with me.  It would not have been so bad had he jumped in front of me, but he went in the canoe behind my seat which made it exciting for both of us before I evicted him.

The wind picks up strong from the south southeast, and as I turn down a two mile stretch headed in that direction there are big rollers hitting me head on.  But I am