I had taken a peek at the marine weather forecast. Light chop. The NOAA site advises mariners to check the forecast frequently, as conditions can change quickly. They did. A strong southeast wind had the Indian River choppy as I came to the end of the dirt track on the north bank of the canal. Changing footwear, a sock disappeared. Blown under the car and several yards beyond. So I won't be headed out to Mullet Head Island, paddling past the two dolphins just off shore. At least for now. In the water at 6:15, I made a left into the protected waters of the Canal.
It is difficult, for me, to get a sharp photo of a bird in flight, so I like the one below.
Or rather, two. Taken in the shallow, spoil island sheltered area on the north side of the Canal, just west of the main body of Mosquito Lagoon.
The third consecutive manatee, dolphin, alligator Trifecta at Haulover Canal. This time, the only picture I got was the gator, above. The gator went under, The dolphin kept resurfacing, until Bairs Cove, after which I did not see it. It likely paused there, and at "Dolphin Cove" to peruse the menu.
Out of the Canal, the Indian River did not look as rough as it did earlier. So, I set course for Mullet Head Island. I recently purchased a spray skirt, thanks to this link http://www.clubkayak.com/greenwave/default.asp?message=4084 from the Green Wave Forum. You may want to check the site for future deals. This item is currently selling for 29.95. 7.95 was some bargain. I had only put the skirt on in my garage. This was the first water test. At first, it just attached it to the front of the cockpit, without me in the hole. It blew off. I put it back on, blew off. Enough of this, I need to keep an eye on the manatee surfacing to my left. For non-yakers, a spray skirt is a hatch covering, with an opening in the middle for the paddler. For some reason, I thought it could only be put on feet first. So, I thought, I'd wait until I got on the back side of Mullet Head, out of the wind, in shallow water to put it on for the return paddle. As experienced seakayakers snicker at my ignorance, take a look at some birds, including great egrets, coming to roost on Mullet Head Island for the evening.
Here are an avian variety at Mullet Head. Tri colored heron.
Cormorant and pelicans.
As the camera flashed, so did the light bulb in my head. Maybe I can pull the skirt over my head. Yes I can. But I have to remove my PFD. So I did. It worked. Experienced sea kayakers and all the women in the world think, duh. I had no problem attaching the skirt to the combing (a little ledge all around the cockpit), from front to back.
Did not get them, but it gives an idea of the conditions. This was taken at 8:00. I was thinking of paddling to Bairs Cove once more, but the wind picked up, the western sky grew more menacing, so I landed.
Some spectacular lightning on the way home. Bolts filling half the sky, more energy off the main charge like tendrils. Very cool. From a distance.