Wednesday, November 9
A front came through overnight and dropped 3 inches of rain. We woke to a cool and breezy overcast sky, with flocks of ibis, egrets, ducks and geese passing through.
We made it to the dredge by 7:30, but forgot some things, so Karen ran back in the flat while Timmy got the dredge set up. He had it ready to dredge when I returned, and he dropped the pump to start moving mud at 8:00 am. He did all the dredging today.
The day stayed windy, and flocks of birds swirled over us in one direction or another. Around 9:00, Timmy spotted a creature moving across the canal at the junction with the main canal and thought it was an enormous alligator – but it was a huge hog instead! Our usual companion at the dredge, Curious George the little alligator, pulled himself up on the mud bank and went to sleep as the water level in the canal dropped.
Karen went to shore around 10 am while Timmy continued pumping. The waterlevel was high, at the top of the orange mark on the marker poles, roughly 3-4 inches above marsh level (ML). This meant that the sediment filled water was flowing into the marsh grass so there was no way to confidently assess containment performance. Even though high water made accessibility by canoe easy, the wind made it more of an effort.
The 2 hours of pumping into Cell 5 visibly changed the color of Cell 4 and part of Cell 3. The new containment 4b created a visible break between sediment plume and wind energy. As I approached Cell 5 in the canoe a pair of egrets lifted away. I pulled the canoe into the cut behind 5a and got out for my usual suite of photos and confirmed that there was water straining through the marsh grass.
As I stood watching the effluent shoot away from the pontoon, I watched a fluid mud plume lazily bloom and flow toward and then past me. Another flock of ibis silently flowed past the study cells toward the canal. Blue crabs were leaving a stirred up path as they moved through the mud, and one was up in the reed containment probably trying to reach clearer water. By the time I was back on the dock, the egrets that left upon my arrival circled back down and landed just to the other side of the pontoon for their afternoon snack.