Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Banana River

For some reason my arms were tired this morning, Sunday, January 30, 2011.  Oh yeah, I kayaked 18 miles Saturday. So, something less strenuous for today's paddle.  I thought of the Econlockhatcee River.  A car-bike shuttle for a downstream only paddle.  But, when the marine forecast call for smooth waters on the Intracostal, I had to take advantage.  Off to Merritt Island, Kars Park, and the Banana River.
A paddler's dream.
I put in at the grassy launch area at 10 am.  Had to walk a bit to get to float depth.  Headed south, towards the boat basin.  A good spot for birds and large animals.

Brown pelican 1

Brown pelicans and cormorant 2

Alligator 3

Great blue heron 4
Tri colored heron 5

Laughing gull 6

Our of the boat basin, back north in the Banana River.  Plenty of birds feeding in the shallow water.

Willet 7

Ibis 8

Rosette spoonbill 9
Several kayaks on the River, which really is an estuary, and arm of another estuary, the Indian River.  All fishing. That's what people do here.  Except for an oddball like me.
White pelican 10

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch towers.

Great egret 11

Reddish egret 12

Wood stork 12 With spoonbill and great egret

Beautiful day,  swim suit and t-shirt.

Vehicle Assembly Building. "Vehicle" meaning space ships.

I turned back at an old gunnery target, now a roost,  at 12:30.

Gull, grey wings, black mask on eyes. I can't ID it.

Snowy egret 13

I did not expect to see manatees, water to cool.  I did expect to see dolphins.  No luck. But, not a total washout for aquatic mammals.

Raccoon 14
Vulture 15

Past the landing and back to the boat basin to see what was there.
I thought the alligator I saw in the morning was earlier.  Made a lot of noise when it entered the water.  Here it is.
Black Skimmer 16  The black and white bird with the orange beak.  16 critters breaks the previous record of 15 on both the Hillsborough and Wekiva Rivers.

Landed at 3, a five hour paddle.
On my drive in, I noticed a new bike path.  Stopped to check it out on the drive home.

Short, 1.1 miles, and no parking.  Maybe parking is at the other end.  According to this article a kayak launch is planned.  I'll let you know.