Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Monday, April 21, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter, Myakka River State Park

Easter Sunday began at 7:13 as I strolled down the Cabin Road




I like this


 

My Protect Florida Springs tag is good until November, 2015. Unless a kayak is added to that plate, I may be changing.

On the Park Road, headed back toward the cabin

Cotton tail close up.
Just made the rounds at the Palmetto Ridge Campground


Vultures
Campfire circle



Black crowned night, riverside.


Juve black crowned

The adult black crowned had been sharing the tree with the great blue heron

Rest rooms


Read this, and you know why there is an Honore’ Street and Palmer this and that in Sarasota.

Almost home, 7:43.
Easter breakfast was the usual. Steak, potato, onion and cheese.
Put the kayak in at the same spot as Saturday. Carried it empty, and kept my sneakers on for better footing. Went back for gear and aquasox.

Underway at 9:38. Down stream, as that is the only way you can go for about 50 yards. Around a spit of land and up River towards the bridge.


Alligators began to appear before I reached the bridge


There are two channels you can paddle up the Myakka from the bridge. I choose the wider on, on the left


 Limpkins near a small parking, picnic, fishing, launch spot.

This is a dead end. Deep down, I knew it was, but there was a huge alligator at the correct route.

42

I have seen it before. Or else two massive gators watch this narrow space. A curve, too.

43

Another gator

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46 47

48 49 50 51

It seemed an alligator, or two, was at every junction on the River

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But, the only thing I saw eating another creature was a cormorant

57 59



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Myakka River State Park


 


Impressive zoom on the new camera. Canon Powershot Elph 115 IS. Spending Easter Weekend at Myakka River State Park. “Myakka” being the Calusa word for “many alligators” As George Washington said, “Don’t believe everything you read online



Arrived at the Park just before it opened at 8 AM. There was a line to get in. 8 cars. As usual, I got a Wilderness Permit so I could go south of State Highway 72. Half the cars were at the Park Road Bridge when I arrived there. I do not think I have ever seen more than one car this early. A guided tour outing. The outfitter offered to help carry my kayak to the water. I, of course, declined. I may have mentioned, and even posted a photo my last visit to Myakka, showing the road crumbling at this launch point. It has been stabilized with rocks. Resulting in tricky footing to the water’s edge. I accepted the gentleman’s second offer when he saw me looking for a spot to place my feet as I gingerly walked with the yak on my shoulder;


On the River at 7:28



I have a new camera as the old Powershot Elph 100 HS has been malfunctioning. White blobs were alligators and whatnot should be. Does not happen all the time, but I have no way of knowing when it will happen. Still under warranty, I have to mail it to Canon. In Virginia, not Tokyo. I will do it when I get home. For now, I had two cameras around my neck.












First gator of the day






I had been concerned about the water level. Last year around this time, the Myakka had been too low to paddle. I asked the ranger when I obtained my Wilderness Permit. “It’s high. So high we are not seeing a lot of wading birds’ “High” is relative. No where near as high as it was last August. And, as you can see, I was seeing wading birds.

 
Some of the wading birds, in trees
 


 


 
 
 
More often than not, I paddle the Myakka on windy days. Not by choice, it just seems always to be breezy. Today was no exception. Out of the south. A good thing, as it would be at my back when I paddled up stream


 
 
 
Approaching the Myakaa Wilderness
 
 
 
As I was using two cameras, some of these photos may be out of order
 
 
 
The numbers are photo numbers, so if you see them, this Tale is incomplete





This has to be with the new camera



 


The channel is narrow from the 72 Bridge to Lower Myakka Lake
 Red winged blackbird
Pay attention. If you see matted down vegetation, the alligator that was there may be around the next bend. Or, below you

 
 

 
.


 
 

Lower Myakka Lake



 
Coming out of the channel I went right, and up a slough. Saw spoonbills here, once. None today, but I did see a pair of deer deep in the marsh grass .

Wood storks
 


 

Glossy ibis



Turned around, headed into the Lake. As I did, a bald eagle flew overhead.
 
Now exposed to the wind. I wanted to paddle to Deep Hole, the sink hole at the south end of Lower Myakka Lake.
 

As the Lake is high, I could stay close to shore, and somewhat out of the wind. And have a better opportunity to see glossy ibis, snowy egrets, and more.

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Another bald eagle, this one a juvenile. Unlike the earlier one, I got a photo


 




The Lake narrows at the south end. Alligators lined both banks. The welcoming committee to Deep Hole.



 

 



 
I did the video with the old camera. A precaution against being bumped, and splashed by a gator. More likely, me bumping a reptile. Collisions were avoided.


I would have liked to keep paddling south, out of the Wilderness. The farthest I have gone is just past Downs dam. To it twice, past paddling over the submerged structure, last August. The wind convinced me to turn back. Now at my back.

 
 
 
 
 

Saw an adult bald eagle again. Once again, no photos. Spotted, and got photos of, youngsters



 

And, a black necked stilt
 



 
 







As usual, it took me awhile to find the River channel and get headed the right way on the River.


 



Back on the River, I saw 2 pairs of paddlers. Darn crowds.




Green heron

 

 

 

 
State Road 72.  Last August, I waited out a thunder storm near the embankment. The background in this photo.  On the water.  What you see in the foreground was underwater.


 
 Turkey
 


 











 
Speaking of crowds, I did not stop for lunch until 1:40 because the 1st two places I wanted to stop were occupied.
Not that I could not have shared with picnickers and an angler, but why intrude?



 
 



 
Paddled past the bridge, looking for roseate spoonbills. Just gators. And osprey







Canopy Walkway tower



 




 
Landed at 2:40
 
A sign of the wind.
 

Blew the strap out of the eye hole. Or what ever you call it.
 
Went to the ranger station to turn in my Wilderness Permit. And ask if my cabin was ready. It was
 Outside

 

In
 


One of 5 cabins  This is for disabled people, so all the counters are low.  But  anyone can rent it.  I am very glad my back, which was hurting during the week, cured in time for the weekend.  I did all my food prep atop the microwave.


 Note-bring toilet paper.  Just a little bit on the roll.
 
After unloading the car and stocking the fridge, I put the laptop in my backpack and biked to the Myakka Outpost.



New aluminum rental kayaks
Should last longer than plastic ones when people drag them during periods of low water.

Canoes
Why the laptop? WI FI, that’s why.

Slow, but the view is nice.  After downloading a few pics, I made the short bike ride to the dam.



A good spot for wildlife.


 



Bike back to the Outpost
 On the Park Road, I stopped because a great egret caught my eye.  Then, a hog.
Followed by a deer.

 
 
Two minutes down the road, another deer.

 
 
 Two more deer.  Saw more, but too far off and dark.

 


 
Last photos of the day, 7:29 PM from the Park bridge.  Back to the cabin to cook round steak, potato and corn on the cob.