Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blackwater Creek

I decided not to kayak Thursday after work, due to rain. Rain may be the theme of the 4th of July weekend, as it is forecast through Monday. Today, Friday, July 2, 2010 I worked half a day and headed to the Seminole State Forest. In what is becoming a 4th of July tradition, heck a holiday in general tradition, I obtained a permit to unlock the gate and drive on road through the Forest to the kayak launch on Blackwater Creek. My permit is valid from July 1 through the 18th, so there may be a few Blackwater Creek Tales in the next few weeks. I launched at 2:30.

The skies were cloudy, no rain yet. The overcast kept it cool. For July in Florida. Mid eighties.

I missed a picture of a buck. One that will have a huge rack come fall. It already had 4 points, the main horns at least 6 inches above the head, curving, symmetrical on both sides of the skull, with one branch off both horns. Covered in velvet. I had only seen velvet stubs before. Beautiful animal.

After 75 minutes, I came to this.
I had been warned about a blockage on the Creek. This looked bad, but I found a way over, and through. Unfortunately, once past the first obstacle, a second had to be confronted. I tried ducking, my head did not quite fit. Of course, if I lost twenty pounds, I maybe could bend a little lower over the gut. I tried lying flat, but with my feet against the front bulkhead, could not get low enough. Tried once more, leaning forward as far as I could, kayak turning sideways against the log, maybe if I lean a little.... bad idea, could roll over. I gave up.

The gator is the same one from the way down Creek. There were more, but most went under on my approach. I almost missed these guys, I was looking the other way when a splash caused my head to turn.

In addition to the ibis, blue heron and red shouldered hawk picture here, I saw anhingas, pileated woodpeckers, limpkins, a great blue heron, a wood stork, and a swallowtail kite. Heard barred owls. I returned to the launch site at 5:00, kept paddling up the Creek. To the Moccasin Spring campsite.
I saw the deer in the opening photo just down Creek of the campsite.

About 30 minutes up Creek of the campsite, downed trees block they way. They've been down since at least Christmas.

So, I turned around.

I landed at the Moccasin Springs campsite. Went for a walk, hoping to see more deer, or maybe a bear.

Didn't see either. A short walk in my aquasox. Back to Moccasin Spring
When I camped here Christmas Eve, the fire ring was where my kayak is.
Back in the yak, and 25 minutes later, just past 7, I landed.

A you can see, it did rain. But not hard at all. I have to work 8-12 tomorrow. Not sure where I'll yak, maybe back at Blackwater. Nice to be at a place on the start of a holiday weekend and see nobody all afternoon.

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