Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Monday, December 13, 2010

Sanibel Day Three

Third straight day launching from Wildlife Drive in the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  Which was Plan C.  Plan A was to go go to Manatee Park on the Orange River.  Thinking that inland the wind would be less of an issue.  But, driving across the first Causeway bridge leaving Sanibel Island, I did not like how by kayak was moving in the 25 mph wind, with a higher , longer bridge to come. I turned around.  Plan B, launch at the Tarpon Bay rental site.  I don't like doing that, it's seven bucks.  I parked, the Bay was very choppy, but the area at the launch, protected by a mangrove island, did not look to bad.   I went into the building, only to be informed they were not allowing anyone to launch. So, back to Wildlife Drive, Plan C.  As you see, it worked out.

If memory serves as I type on Wednesday morning, I could see a spoonbill or two at my spot as I drove in on Wildlife Drive.  The location is past the Observation  Tower, then just past a fishing/observation platform.  At the next open area, stop and look. That's the spot.

I launched at 10, and judging from the photos, I headed east, towards the spoonbill spot.

As I mentioned somewhere in these Sanibel Tales, they all run together in my mind.  And even though I did launch and land at the same spot for four days, I did a different route every time.

All four paddles included a stop at the spoonbill spot.

With Monday's visit being the most rewarding, spoonie-wise. With a reddish egret for a darker hue

Once again, I paddled along the shallows past the Observation Tower.

I paddled deeper into the narrow mangrove waterway than I had before.  Several black crowned night herons, none staying around for a picture.

 I was able to push through the mangroves.
But stopped here.
Turned around, back in the flats, then the narrow, not so narrow as above channel.

Into a little cove, where an opening lead to what I call the lake like area. Here is a basic. Map courtesy of the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

I paddled along the shore, to stay out of the main thrust of the wind.  Eventually, I came to a narrows between two "lakes"   Paddling dead into the wind, I paddled in place.  So I turned around, letting the same wind push me back, reentering the sheltered area along Wildlife Drive.

I'm looking at the picture below, two days after I took it, thinking how is there a wake and line of bubbles from a boat?  I did not see any boats.  Oh yeah, its just the wind blowing the water.

Last paddling pic, osprey.  I landed about 12:30.

Got the yak on the car, drove out of the Refuge, then back in.  Parked, got on the bike and pedaled the Indigo Trail.
The trail starts at the entrance station,  ends at the Observation Tower.  As I began, a worker in a golf cart came in the other direction.  "Any trees down/" I asked.   "No, but its awfully windy"  No fooling.

The trail ends a bit shy of the Tower, I parked the bike and climbed up for the view.

The view from the seat of my kayak is better. Back on the bike, the trail is 2 way.

Wildlife Drive is one way, so, at the end of Indigo Trail you must take a short boardwalk to the parking lot.

I left the Refuge, for the Shell Island Beach Club.  No one around the pool or in one of the condos. Figured they went shopping, or something.  The or something was my brother and nephew going to a clinic to get Derek's ankle checked out.  Some knucklehead had dug a hole in the sand that Derek stepped into.  A certain towheaded boy who shares our last name.  X-rays were negative.   I took the short beach walk to the other condo.
Where I did see a bundled up niece-in-law and great nephew.  Camila walking and swaying with Phineas so he would be rested for the excitement of 20 some people coming for dinner.  As you shall see later, it worked.  I headed back to my lodging, and after a sandwich, took a longer beach walk.

Birds and people seeing what the wind washed ashore.

A smorgasbord of bird treats.

 Tis the season,

 I'm no tone to go looking for shells, but so many had washed up, I found myself saying, that's a nice one, and that, and that, and before I knew it, my pockets were full.
These aren't mine.  Someone left them at the start of the boardwalk.  Near the building end, I washed off my treasures.  Whats this leaf, or seaweed, in this shell.  I pulled, opps, its a foot.  I went back to the water's edge and tossed it in.
I went into the condo where my sister had Bill and I chopping greens for dinner.   I never knew there were so many kinds of leafy vegetables.  All bought Sunday at the local Farmers Market.  Takes a lot to feed to feed 27.  Or 25, as the youngest aren't ready for fresh grouper, beans and rice, greens, and salad.  Not to mention hot, rum laced cider.  Evan and Aaron handled the main course, serving, and clean up with aplomb.  And a well rest Phin provided the entertainment.

Older cousin Olivia slept through dinner. Or else her mom kept her very quiet.  And so ended Day 3 on Sanibel.


Tootie said...

Hi Dave, We'll keep an eye out for you, since we just found out you are at Sanibel. Sorry we have to share cold wind with you. :( But, sounds like you've managed to deal with it just fine.

Dark Knight said...

I am not sure where but you posted a link with a map of the Sanibel Area. Thanks a lot. Excellent tale on a very nice place. Hope I can paddle there one day.