Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer in/on Sanibel, Day Three

Monday, August 2, 2010, third and final day of my visit to Sanibel Island. A paid vacation day. I resolved the leftover seafood pasta vs. Lighthouse Cafe breakfast dilemma by having the pasta, augmented by the last of Saturday's steak, for breakfast, then ordering breakfast, after biking and kayaking, in the afternoon. I began the day with an unplanned walk. I could not find the spare camera battery. I lost another one on Saturday. Probably on a beach walk, pulled something out of my pocket, and the battery came out to. So, I walked to the bay side of the island, hoping the see it on the ground. Of course, when I got back, the spare was right where it should be, in the ziploc bag in my kayak bag. I left the Parrot Nest about 9 am. Can't really say "check out". Just left the keys, as I found them, on the desk, with the door unlocked. This six unit facility is a true "Mom and Pop" operation. No one was in the office when I left. I saw "Pop", Lenny, in the wash room when I arrived on Saturday, never saw "Mom", Brenda. Called her, from the phone on the outside of the office, on Sunday, to ask when check out time was. Before 11. Unpretentious and comfortable. Kind of like this gator, lying in a puddle on Wildlife Drive in the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Until some knucklehead in a car with a kayak on top and two bikes on the back stopped to take its picture. That knucklehead asked in Saturday's Tale, if anyone remembered Wildlife Drive when it was unpaved. J.B. did. "Dave, the Ding Darling road used to be dirt. I remember alligators lying in the mud holes in the road after it rained." Now, gators have to find a pothole. Sanibel must be a popular place. I've had 5 comments on the earlier Tales, only one from a family member.
Changing my usual routine, I went for a bike ride first. On the Indigo Trail.
Other than the start of the trail, the "Cross Dike" section, above with the shelter, the Trail is a better biking surface than Wilderness Drive. Smooth, fine crushed shell and rock. Short, two miles from the Visitor Center to Cross Dike. My odometer reads 3.86 miles, riding to the entrance station on Wildlife Drive and back. The final bit of trail is via a boardwalk that you can see in Sunday's Tale. Plenty of alligator signs, no alligators.

I only saw lizards, cardinals and pigeons along the narrow path, like Wildlife Drive, a dike, water on either side.
Short ride done, I was on the water about 10:20.

To my spoonbill spot.

A short paddle on, two more rosette spoonbills and a woodstork.

I paddled further east than I had on Sunday, into the open, shallow area near the observation tower.

The great egrets were on the east shore of the area. Further away, pink dots on a small mangrove island.

Spoonbills and more. And more spoonbills.

The observation tower.
I turned back, the woodstork and spoonbills were still at their roost.

This spot can be viewed from just off the drive, at a fishing dock. Not one of the water control structures, where people also fish, but an overlook with railings. The other spoonbill spot, also can be seen from the Drive. Just past the dock, there is an opening in the mangroves. A sharp eye may be able to spot the spoonies. Binoculars are helpful. I don't know if they still do, but years ago I was able to borrow a pair of binocs at the Visitor Center. Ask, you may receive.

Speaking of water control structures, here is the rushing water as the tide went out from one side of the dike to the other.

Florida whitewater pushed be out to another open area, this is attached to the open area I paddled on Sunday. I did not paddle through the channel connecting the two "lake", but through a gap into Pine Island Sound.

I paddled towards the power lines, where I had seen dolphins Sunday. A splash behind me. Two dolphins.

Back into the "lake" through the wide gap I paddled in and out of Sunday. Paddled around the inner shore.

Back to the launch site, but first, a final paddle in yet another open area, this a small one, more "pond" then "lake", to see what I could see. Four views of the last spoonbill of the day.

I landed at 12:50. I should have stay out another thirty minutes to and hour. Would have missed rush hour traffic in Orlando and got home about the same time. But, I was tired, hot, sore and hungry. Got the yak on the car, changed T-shirts, swim trunks for shorts. Yakdave tip- put your change of clothes in a cooler. Much better than changing into underwear that's been baking in the car.
To the Lighthouse Cafe for lunch/breakfast. Chroizo scramble.

Final note on August vs. December. Felt odd to sit at small table, instead of the large round one with my brother and his family. So, Pat, got room for me this year? Say, Saturday thorough Wedesday?

Postscript. For whatever reason, some people look forward to my weekly Yak Tales. This was in my inbox when I got home on Monday night.
"You doing ok, or just a busy weekend? i see that you haven't updated your blog. Getting a little concerned."

No, not my Mom.


ha! said...

That is a great turn out for the spoonbills. I have seen four at one time in Edgewater, FL. And for the dolphin pictures good work. I always end up with "there was a dolphin there" pictures.

Anonymous said...

I, like a lot of other people I assume, look forward to reading your Tales. I moved here from Seattle area and found your blog when I got interested in kayaking two years ago. Since then I come back 2-3 times a week to see where you have been and were I might like to go. If not for you I probably would never have found Rock Springs Run, my favorite place to yak.
Keep up the great work, we all apreciate the little look into your world.

Dave said...

Thank you both for the kind words. Chef, next time I see a shirtless paddler witha touque on Rock Springs Run, I'll say "Hi"