Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pine Island

Greetings from St. James City, Florida. Actually, greetings from Winter Park as my lodgings on Pine Island do not have Internet capability. I am beginning to compose this Tale at 5 PM, Saturday, January 22, 2011. You reading it means I successfully returned home, cut, pasted, added photos, and published.

I took Monday off. Another three day weekend adventure. A cold one for Florida. 56 now with 23 mph winds. That is why I am where I am. Pine Island, across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island, is warmer than most other locations I could have gone to. Excluding the Keys. Sanibel is to expensive this time of year, I think the best I found was $149 a night. My efficency on Pine Island, with full size fridge, stove, oven, coffee maker and toaster is 109 a night. On a canal. The dock is to high to launch from. But, the Southernmost Inn is one lot away from the water. An easy carry to launch. Here are pics of the unit.

I got an early start, on the road before 6 am. Arrived at the Inn just after 9. Parked, called the owner, left a message saying I assumed I could not check in but would leave my car in the lot and go kayaking. 30 seconds later, the owner called, I could come to the other properly where the office is, and get the key. So I drove to the One Fish Two Fish, about a mile up the road and got the key. When searching the Internet for lodging and emailing assorted establishments, I did not find the Southernmost Inn. The proprietors of the One Fish recently added the S’most to their holdings. For my purposes, this 4 unit building is perfect. My purpose being kayaking.

The tide was out as I began. In the water at 10:15. I found the deep water leading to the canal, as did a dolphin

I had thoughts of paddling across to Sanibel, and Tarpon Bay, but wind and fast boats in the channel nixed that. Instead, I paddled east along the south tip of Pine Island, towards Back Bay. I had downloaded a satellite map from the Calusa Land Trust. The shore was residential at first, more canals. Saw another dolphin at the entrance of one of the canals. The homes end, the land now under the auspices of the Calusa Land Trust.

Back Bay, on the southeast corner of Pine Island, is protected by a couple islands. And today, a couple dolphins


I paddled into a narrow channel from San Carlos Bay into  Back Bay. A fishing boat came, anchored and began fishing the channel. In the bay. Homes to my right. As shown on the map. More islands, not shown, except for one.

I circled the island, not realizing it until I was back in the channel with the fishing boat.

I rounded the tip of Pine Island and paddled north for a while. Not to long, as the wind was out of the north. No sense fighting it on both sides of the Island.

I did not see any other kayakers.

I think this is the best looking home on the waterfront. All the other large homes are modern looking. I have a feeling many were built or renovated after August, 2004. Hurricane Charlie.

The home is just to the right of my landing area. A shorter walk, as the tide had come in.

I landed at 5 to one. Had lunch, wrote the beginning of this Tale. Then took a bike ride into the wind. A wide concrete path, like the one in Flagler County for those of you familiar with that, parallels most of the main north south road on the island. Where I am on the southern tip, there is not even a shoulder, so after two blocks the bike route goes off the main drag of a couple blocks, then reconnects to the main road, now with bike lanes on either side. The path begins near mile marker one. I was looking for the St. Jude Nature Trail. That proved to be a lost cause.. I did see the Eagle Preserve. A gate in a fence, then a couple hundred yard trail through palmetto and pines to an observation spot.

I did not see any eagles-- or did I? A large bird was flying in the area, but to far off for proper ID. The ride back was much more enjoyable. Wind at my back.

Local art. Painted power poles.

Sunset. Not the best view, a house blocks it, but Old Glory in the wind looks nice.

I had dinner next door to my lodgings, at The Waterfront. Seafood Creole. Shrimp, clams, calamari, grouper, in a spicy tomato sauce over rice. Tasty. Nice little place. Paper table cloths for kids and adults, to draw on. The resulting art hangs everywhere. Not to mention, you can write on the walls, too.

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