Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haulover Canal

I had a difficult decision.  What photo to lead off today's Tale.  Spoonbills on Mullett Head Island?

An alligator on the south bank of Haulover Canal?

Manatees in Bairs Cove?

Maybe a look at the distant Space Shuttle launch tower from Mosquito Lagoon

Or an bald  eagle high above Dolphin Cove?

Had the outcome of the Packer Dolphin game been different, I could have used a dolphin off the launch area.

Getting a sharp picture of birds in flight, the way the pink spoonbills are offset against the blue sky, with an almost geometrical pattern, I think I picked a good pic for Sunday, October 17, 2010.  Launched from the usual spot. The end  of the dirt road on the north side of Haulover Canal, at the Indian River. In the water just after 10.  Able to capture a momentarialy still belted kingfisher on the way to Mullett Head Island.

A steady breeze out of the north made the east bound crossing to Mullet Head a bit choppy.  A manatee surfaced in the distance as I paddled to the backside of the Island, where, as usual, it was calmer.

 Calm seas provided a steady platform to observe, and photo, a flock of  rosette spoonbills.


Royal Tern
Chronologicaly, the flying spoonbills should be here.  I  was on the other side of the Island, so I don't think they took off because of me.  I stayed outside the blue goose signs.
Paddled back to the Canal, and as is my usual practice, checked out one of the dead end canals south of Haulover Canal for manatees and other wildlife.  Nothing visible, other than a great blue heron that burst out of  the small island off the entrance of the dead end canal.  Into the alternate canal, that leads to Haulover Canal.

No dolphins in Dolphin Cove.  I arrived at Bairs Cove.  Two manatees surfaced, then submerged as two boats came in.  I waited.  Soon enough, several mantees surfaced.

On to the Manatee Overlook.  Where I did not see any manatees.
Snowy Egret


Great Blue Heron

Blue heron
I kayaked to Mosquito Lagoon, via the opening on the north side of the Canal.  As it was windy on the unproteceted Lagoon, I didn't stay long.  If I can work out my schedule, I may have to take this egeret's spot on Novemeber 1, for the next Space Shuttle launch.
For a Sunday morning/aftenoon, call it brunch, there weren't that many people in, and on the Canal.   "Not many" at Haulover   is busier than some places I visit, but for such  a beautiful day, I was surprised how much of the banks, usually occupied by anglers, were empty.  But for a great blue or two.
Boat traffic manageable.  Back to Bairs Cove, three boats lamded, then just another kayaker and manatees for the next 25 minutes.

A dolphin arrived.  The Florida Trifecta.  Dolphin, manatee and alligator on the same paddle.

The aftermath of the dolphin leaping after a fish.  One day I'll get the pic of a dolphin completly out of the water.
More manatees.

Manatee under my kayak.

I left Bairs Cove, as had the dolphin.  It, or one of its friends, was in dolphin cove.  No pics turned out, but I did get the eagle riding the themals high overhead.  So, is this the Florida quintuplet?  Alligator, bald eagle, dolphin, manatee, rosette spoonbill.
A final dolphin just off the launch/landing site.

I would have watched the dolphin longer, but as a Packer kayaker I had to watch the other Dolphins in Green Bay.  Oh well, at least the Badgers beat Ohio State on Saturday.


Dark Knight said...

Haulover Canal...My favorite place to paddle. Almost paddled there last Saturday afternoon but the moderate chop forecast discouraged me. An eagle, manatees, dolphins, gator, and spoonnies.DAAAANG!!!!! Just missed the bear but you had that one the day before at Alexander Creek. Not a bad week-end Master Dave. Sorry about the Packers. I am sure you enjoyed the Wisconsin victory last night. I did. I have been in Madison a couple of times, one of these a football Saturday, and WAO...it was unbelievable.

Dave said...

WAO? Wisconsin Always Overcomes?

Danny said...

I loved the pic of the dolphin fin. I tried my best Sunday to get a dolphin pic but no success I was too slow or too far away. Im gonna have to visit Haulover canal looks like a great place.

Dave said...

Danny, Haulover is great. I have never kayaked the Sebastain Inlet area. Visited a couple times, pre yaking days. Even yaking days, the first post on this site is from a visit to Vero Beach. That is one of two Sundays I can recall not kayaking since March, 2005.