Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Banana River

I worked until 1:00 today, Thursday May 22, 2008, then drove to Merritt Island and Kars Park. As I was filling out my car information at the guardhouse, I heard, and saw, a manatee. I paid the $5 fee at the store, and was in the Banana River at 2:30.

This was my second visit to the Banana River. Last time, I did not see any manatees from the yak, only from the dock at the boat basin. http://davesyaktales.blogspot.com/2008/01/banana-river-nmz.html

This time I visited the basin first. I saw four manatees. And an alligator.

Unable to get the manatees to pose, I still have the goal of photographing the "Florida Trifecta" from the yak on the same trip. At least I saw the trio today. Dolphin, alligator, and manatee. My first Trifecta since before the inception of Dave's Yak Tales in October, 2007

The boat basin is on the edge of the No Motor Zone. No motors, great wildlife, its paddler paradise.

I'd rather have the view from my yak than from six or more stories up on a cruise ship.

I doubt a liners passengers can notice the difference between a blue heron and a tri colored heron. Or ibis and snowy egret.

Birds whose names I don't know, below.

Let me know if you have the proper name for the above gull/ terns whatever the last two birds are.

I wondered what this was. A ship ? Not likely, its circular. To far from shore to be a wharf.

As I was loading the yak at the end of the day, a gentleman who has lived in the area since 1968 told me it is an old bombing target. Makes sense, with Patrick Air Force Base nearby. Also close by is Cape Canaveral. A bit of searching on the net reveals that Patrick was named Banana River Naval Air Station during WW II.

I turned around. The Banana River not only was wonderful wildlife, but launch pads, radar sites and other infrastructure for NASA. My earlier Banana post has some tower pics. Today was to cloudy, and I did not want to get out in the middle of the River for a better view due to the lighting possibility. Here's a radar site.

Back to nature. Watching a pair of dolphins on the prowl is always a treat.

One of the pair rose vertically from the water, white belly facing me. Neat stuff.

It was after 5 when I reached my turn around. I did not realize I had been out that long. I took few pictures on the way back. Not just due to the time, but the sky was becoming more ominous. Thunder rumbled in the distance. Fortunately, it did not open up over me.

The Banana River teems with fish. Redfish "tailing". Tails poking above the surface as they work the grass flats for food. Sea trout jumping. Sting ray wings breaking the surface. Also breaking the surface, an alligator, a few feet to starboard.

I arrived at the launch, and went past it to the boat basin, hoping to photo a manatee. No luck, but I did see one just outside the channel to the dock. I made up for it by getting more dolphin pictures

My day ended at 7:30. I utilized the telephone poles the great blue heron had been using to stay out of the rich organic matter (muck) as I pulled the yak to shore.

If you want more, I have a post with additional picture on the Green Wave Forum.



Nancy said...

Hi Dave,

The black and white bird on the right of your May posting is a black necked stilt.

Enjoyed reading

Dave said...

Thank you, Nancy.
I like it when names fit the appearance.