East Hewitt Bayou Road to Honeymoon Cove and Buck Bayou
(Santa Rosa Beach)
Sunrise over Hogtown Bayou
A beautifully quiet morning in Northwest Florida and I finally got back out on the water. I debated heading to the north side of the Bay, but with Chat Holley Road torn up that seemed like a bad idea. So, I headed for East Hewitt Road, which is the closest spot I know of to put in for a paddle to Honeymoon Cove and Buck Bayou, on the East side of Four Mile Point. The early morning breeze, what there was of it, was from the Northeast, which made it just a little awkward launching (East Hewitt is best when the wind is out of the South or West) but it really was a light breeze and so once under way there were no problems.
I had decided to paddle straight to Honeymoon Cove and then paddle back along the shore on the return journey. The paddle over took about 25 or 30 minutes at a comfortable pace, and having explored the mostly shallow Honeymoon Cove, I paddled round into Buck Bayou which is right there to the South. Around that point, I even touched bottom once as it is very shallow there.
I had been in Buck Bayou twice before, once in Stray Goose (my Catalina 22) when we had anchored off Four Mile Point for dinner and then did a quick motoring tour of the bayou. The other time was when I paddled out of Cessna Landing last year and that made for a long paddle, somewhere around 12 miles. Going back was in some pretty choppy water which is not where my Native Watercraft Ultimate 14.5 excels. This time having had
a fairly short paddle to get there, I had plenty of time and energy to poke into all the corners.
There are three creeks or cuts emptying into the bayou itself two on the north side and one on the south. None of them are really long but as always, it is interesting to see the backs of people’s houses and their docks, yards and boats. Having explored the south side cut last, I paddled on round to Mack Bayou because I thought that the last time I was on the sail boat I saw someone putting a boat in on a ramp on the west side. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it. I was interested because I would love to find a public ramp or other spot to put in closer to Four Mile Point so that I can more easily paddle Mack and Buck Bayous, and then round Four Mile Point and into Sandestin Bay.
There were plenty of birds around but no dolphins. When I first went out the gulls, pelicans and even the ospreys were having a field day with a bunch of shoals of fish but by the time I was paddling back they all seemed to be resting on various docks and posts after breakfast. The osprey’s nest on the corner of Mack Bayou seemed to be deserted so I guess the chicks are off and flying about on their own.
Landing back at Hewitt, the wind was still calm enough to make getting the kayak out pretty easy. All in all, it was a very pleasant morning; not very hot and a really peaceful way to start the day.