Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Haulover Canal

  I had a wonderful afternoon kayaking Haulover Canal, Tuesday, January 11, 2011. Followed by a tedious evening attempting to post the Tale. Computer freezing up, having to restart.  Losing my internet connection, twiddling my thumbs waiting for it to come back. Both problems happened several times.  Finally, after midnight, I had just a few more photos to upload.  When the entire Tale disappeared. AAARRAAGGHHHH!  So, here I go again.

Tuesday was the day this month I worked a half day during the week, as I will work Saturday morning.  A check of the marine forecast had two sites reporting a light chop on the Intracoastal waters, a third a moderate chop. As I had not seen a dolphin since the Saturday after Thanksgiving off No Name Key, I decided this was the day to go to Haulover Canal.  Perhaps there I would see dolphins, something I did not see during four days at Sanibel, one on the Crystal River, and one on the Chassahowitzka, all locations on the Gulf Coast where I have see dolphins.  As you can see, I was successful.
I launched from the end of the dirt road on the north side of the Canal, into the Indian River at 2:30. Destination, Mullet Head Island.

Continuing what I began Saturday, I am going to count the animals I saw. Ibis 1

Cormorants 2

I was a bit on the cool side, so I wore a 2 shirts, a light long sleeve and a short sleeve. Swim suit. Windbreaker in the hold if I needed it later. Brought the spray skirt, which I attached for the open water crossing to Mullet Head.

Osprey 3

Royal tern 4

If I don't know the name, other than "seagull" I am not counting it.

 The darker birds are killdeer 5

White Pelicans 6

Rosette spoonbills 7 Great blue herons 8

Low tide, so I was farther away from the island then usual. Mullet Head is a bird sanctuary, and close approach is not allowed.  See how big the pelicans are compared to the cormorants?

Brown pelican 9

Circumnavigation of Mullet Head complete, I headed back to the Canal.  And, as usual past it and into the natural channel.  Not that I needed to avoid boat traffic on a Tuesday afternoon.  Nothing in the channel, but where it joins the Canal, the reason I call that spot "Dolphin Cove"

Dolphin 10

Just one dolphin.

Great egret 11

No manatees in Bairs Cove.  A trio of brown pelicans using the Manatee Zone sign as a diving board.

Paddled east to the Mosquito Lagoon.  No manatees at the Observation Deck.  To cool.  High temp was 64 with colder weather on the way.  I put on the windbreaker


Snowy egret 12

Raccoon 13

Two dolphins at the Mosquito Lagoon end of the Canal. One can be seen here.
One of the dolphins had a split dorsal fin.  Wonder if it was the same one I've been seeing since 2003 in the Canaveral National Seashore section of Mosquito Lagoon.   Today I missed several tail shots.  A "tail shot" being when the dolphin's tail ins sticking straight out of the water.    After a brief entry into the Lagoon to gaze at the distant launch towers, I turned back.  Wind and tide now behind me.

Dolphin still in "Dolphin Cove"

I paddled into the dead end canals just south of the natural channel.  Hoping for a manatee or an alligator.  Just a sea trout on the end of an angler's line.  I did get a nice shot on the way out.
That's not the sun, which was higher and to the left, its a reflection in the clouds and a reflection on the water.
I made a second visit to Mullet Head Island. Camera on normal mode.

Sunset mode.
The tide had come in, water level higher around the island.  I was able to get closer to the birds and not violate the Sanctuary.

 Spoonbills on a sandbar

The dark birds look like tri colored herons. 14

 The white pelicans began to walk along the shore.

Before taking off into the sunset.

Pelican and dolphin.  My animal count ends at 14.  I thought I had 15 once again. May have to do a recount.
Nature and space.
Two dolphins at the Indian River end of the Canal, near the launch.  The opening photo is from this series.

Landed at 6. Got some pretty good, or, good and pretty, sunset photos.


The Florida Blogger said...

By far one of my favorite yak trips to take in FL

John honz said...

thar dolphin looks ginormous

Dave said...

Any thing looks big when its 5 feet from the yak ;)

Dark Knight said...

That first pic of the tale is better that many of the post cards I have seen in the souvenir stores.