Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Canaveral National Seashore

My money was no good at Canaveral National Seashore this morning, Sunday, January 16, 2011. Free admission  I did not know until my $3 was refused at the entrance.  Nice way to start the day.  This was my first time at the Seashore since September 26.  That was also the day after I took visitors to Blue Springs State Park, as I did yesterday.   My NOAA weather radio gave a smooth waters forecast.  It lied.  A steady north breeze made it more of a light to moderate chop.  I launched from Parking Lot 7 in the Mosquito Lagoon at 10:00 am.
Brown pelican 1

Great egret 2

Cormorant 3

Osprey 4

I headed north, into the wind and waves.

White pelican 5

Low water level, as you can see. To low to enter Shipyard Island, so I kept paddling north, out of the Seashore.

More white pelicans.  The poles mark oyster beds.   This is across from the cove at Bethune Park where I often see manatees.  None today, water too cold.  I began the return paddle.

Hooded merganser 6.  I think the males, with the white head are making a first appearance on Dave's Yak Tales.  At least from the yak.  I may have a pic somewhere from Black Point Wildlife Drive.

Belted kingfisher 7
I took a look at the entrance to the Shipyard Island trail.  Still to shallow.  Paddled across the Lagoon to Turtle Mound.  Walked to the top.

 I ate my sandwich on top of the Mound.  Why I haven't done this before, I don't know.   I usually have lunch at a picnic table on the shore of the Lagoon.  From my lofty perch, I scanned the Atlantic for right whales.  This most endangered species, only 300-350 or so remain.  The National Seashore is the southern limit of their winter calving ground

Wild oranges on Turtle Mound.
Back in the kayak.

I did not expect to see manatees this time of year. Dolphins, that's a different story.  But, I was not seeing any of them, either.

I came upon a feeding frenzy.  Great egrets, gulls, wood stork, ducks. Surely a dolphin or two would join in.
Nope.  A juvenile bald eagle, head and tail still brown, flew overhead.
Wood stork 8

I paddled to just past the Eldora House.
Which is a good spot for dolphins. Finally.
Dolphin 9
Landed just after 1:30
Walked the Eldora Hammock Trail.

 Fellow Wisconsinite.
And the beach.

1 comment:

Dave Glassner said...

Hello from a fellow Water Dave,
I just spent the last 2 hours shirking the responsibility of school work to check out all of your postings on Canaveral National Seashore. I am a paddleboarder and regularly frequent the Winter Park chain of lakes. I hope to see you out there one day. I'd love to ask you some questions about Canaveral as I plan on spending a week camping there. Shoot me an email if you like! Keep paddling!