2009 Nissan Versa. 4 cylinders,5 doors, 6 speeds. Got it Thursday. Hope to get a rack soon. The roof on the '98 Cavalier was missing a little paint. The yak was at the local outdoors shop, getting patched. I had hoped to get a rack yesterday, they had none in stock, so I used the trusty pad and towel method. No scratches, so far. As for the patch, my old glue and duct tape method worked better. The guys at the shop said the damage was so bad they may not be able to fix it. I had them give it a shot. Oh well, I'll use the money I spent ($70.00) to negotiate a discount on a roof rack.
I arrived at the wrong bridge by turning left instead of right at the intersection of Seminole County 426 and State Highway 46. Not knowing then what I know now, I was launching at Cameron Wright Park. A new span is under construction.
The sediment barriers make fine perches for great blue, green heron, and snowy egret. Nice way to start, in the water at 8:25. I headed upstream, south on the St Johns. Equipped with a small map, I thought it would be easy to find the mouth of the Econ. Not so easy when you're on the wrong part of the River. Seeing a white pelican, I thought I was on track. The St Johns was shallow and muddy. Long grass cover banks. One clump of palms. Marking the Econ ? No flow, I kept south. Lots of alligators in the water, more on shore.
The River was very wide, my map indicated a narrow channel. It grew even wider, a highway bridge in the distance. I was at the north end of Lake Jessup. I kept going, as the birding was great. Great and snowy egrets, ibis, including glossy, and white pelicans.
A second great blue heron also had its head raised. No fish up there, fellas. But then, I assume one wasn't a fella, if you get my drift. Mating dance.
Speaking of drift, after 90 minutes, I turned around. Still searching for the Econ. It couldn't be two miles from the bridge, and I know I went more than two miles. I tried the cut at the palm trees. Straight as an arrow, stuck in muck. Had to be a canal. At home, looking at a Seminole County map, I see was in the Lake Jessup Conservation Area. Which has canals.
I landed at noon.
See the airboat on bank, left ? The driver asked if I was worried about alligators. My response was no, but those things, (airboats) terrify me. Assuming he had been on the River before,I asked for far it was to the Econlockhatchee. "16 miles" What ? I showed him my map,and that's when I learned about the two bridges. Nice guy, offered to help carry the yak to the car. I declined the offer. I guess all airboat people aren't bad. Later, on the Econ, I encountered 6 of the obnoxious machines. All jerks, not slowing down. Loud, wake making, fume spewing pieces of crap. If I were king, I'd ban them outright. As a start, I'd outlaw the use of earplugs by airboat users. Let them hear the racket.
Yak on the car, I drove to CS Lee Park. Went the wrong way first. Didn't get back in the water until 1:45 or so. . CS Lee appears to be a popular spot with air boaters. A truck had a "Seminole Airboat Club" sticker on its window. Curious, I googled it. Had to chuckle when I read this on the home page.
"Our club is made up of dedicated members that take pride in the preservation of our environment & keeping our waterways clean and safe."
Sounds of nature are part of the environment. Can't hear them in an air boat.
Napping, not snapping, turtle.
This great blue heron shot turned out well.
I was paddling until three or I saw an eagle, which ever came first. It got to 3:25, and I turned around, no eagles. The upstream view at my turn around.
I stopped to empty water from the kayak. Much of the land on this section of the Econ is posted, "No Trespassing". I did not see a sign where I stopped. Back in the yak, I saw two bald eagles high overhead. Far enough that I thought I could be mistaking vultures or ospreys for eagles. But, soon I saw another, lower. Confirmed bald eagle. Then, the "woosh woosh" of large wings overhead. Two bald eagles flying low. One briefly landed. You see it in the opening photo.
I made a second stop to check out this shelter.
As I approached it on the way upstream, I figured it was a private structure, maybe an elaborate deer stand. I was wrong. The Cul Pepper Bend shelter is provided by the St Johns River Water Management District for public use. Two picnic tables are inside. Here are two views from the shelter.
It took me an hour to return the launch, with photo opps on the way.
Wood storks, great blue heron, and flock of white pelicans.
I got the yak on the new ride.
Tying the front last, moving the car to get away from a sunning snake.
I have no idea what kind it is, better safe than sorry.
A another great day on the water. Two new places, big alligators, bald eagles, white pelicans. If not for airboats, it would have been perfect. With the exception of the gentleman who got me to the correct bridge.
If you are reading this Sunday afternoon, March 15, and see the Tale has just been updated, you may be wondering, why isn't Dave in his kayak ? Because, Space Shuttle Discovery is set for liftoff in 7 hours, 18 minutes, 20, no 19, no 18 seconds. 7:43 PM. I'm off to Haulover Canal. Hopefully, I'll post a picture or two around 11:00 PM EDT
If you want more of this Tale, including a map, click http://www.clubkayak.com/greenwave/treports.asp?trip=338 for my Green Wave Forum trip report.