Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sanibel Day One

Saturday, December 11, 2010 I began my annual trip to Sanibel Island, Florida.  Got an early start, 6:30 am or so.  Fog from Disney World to Fort Myers, where the skies cleared.  Perfect.  But, when I got on the causeway to Sanibel, fog again closed in.  I pulled of the cuaseway, took a look as San Carlos Bay, and deceided the wind and fog made it a bad day to be on the open water.  Not good to be crossing the channel wehn boats can't see me.  So, I got back on the causeway and headed to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refugee where I could paddle protected waters where in the places motors are allowed, no wake is allowed.
I was in the water, launching from the desingnated spot on the Wildlife Drive, at 10:30.  Paddled a narrow channel along the Drive, fog still pretty thick.
I was looking for a spot where I often see rosette spoonbills.  I saw plenty on the drive in,  but where I was going I can get close to the pink birds.  The rookery was empty.

The above spoonbills, and other birds, were in a shallow open area across from the observation tower.  An area I paddled without a problem in August, today I had to take the paddle apart to push myself forward in hope of finding floatable water. After a while, I gave up, got out of the kayak and walked back to the channel along the  Drive.

Past the black crowned night herons, to a culvert where water flows from one side of the drive/dike to the other.  I let the flow carry me into an open area of deeper water.

There are several openings in the magroves that open into San Carlos Bay.  I paddled through one of them.

Made my way along the mangrove lined shore, looking fot the main entrance back to the open, protected area.  It was windy, I was headed into it, so I re entered at a seconday entrance.
Back to the channel along Wildlife Drive.

 I'm home.  With a goal to complete the Sanibel Tales by Friday.

 I have a better view than do those in the Tower.
Past the Tower, the channel narrows.  I backed up, then turned around.

Past the spoonbills and ibis in the mudflats.  In the summer, I paddled over these flats.

Yellow Crowned night heron

Belted kingfisher

Yakdave mobile.

Landed at 10 past two, headed to the Sanibel Arms West, my home with sister and her friend for the next four days.  I checked in, unloaded the car, hopped on the bike and pedaled to the Shell Island Beach Club where other family members had 2 condos.
Olivia says "Dave"

A walk on the beach with a nephew.

And so ends Day One.  At least the photos.  Dinner was "a heavy appitizer thing" as my brother described it.  A little of this, a bit more of that, with family and friends in his condo.  With a bottomless rum and coke for me. Good thing I wasn't driving.  And had a flashlight for the bike ride back to Sanibel Arms West.  Never realixed how dark and twisty East Gulf Drive is.

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