John arrived at my house, we successfully loaded the two kayaks on the roof of my car and headed to Haulover Canal. Arrived a little past 2, the dirt road on the north side of the Canal already filling up with cars. We found a spot, and dropped the kayaks from the three foot high bank into the Canal. Did the usual paddle east into the Indian River and Mullet Head Island. Dolphins surface in the Canal, twice, one tail shot, but no photos.
I wanted to take John through the natural channel south of the Canal. The Coast Guard told us to use the Canal only. Haulover Canal is the northern end of the launch day security zone. Who knows what mischief two kayakers could accomplish during a brief detour. So, into the Canal. No dolphins at "Dolphin Cove", no manatees in Bair's Cove.
The draw bridge bumpers are always restricted, not just on launch day.
We arrived at the end of the Canal about 4:30, plenty of time to pull up on barnacle encrusted rocks at the entrance to the Canal.
After a brief hold in the countdown, Discovery had liftoff!
Some of John's photos.
Video, courtesy of John.
Back to my pics.
15 minutes from lift off to feathery contrail spiralling in the blue. Eyes back to the water, I saw John's kayak floating away. I stepped into the water to grab it, then began to swim after it. Strong current at the mouth of the Canal, and wind pushed it away. As did I when I reached for it. I discovered what great people fellow kayakers are. One guy grabbed the kayak. Another, I grabbed on to a line and swam, was dragged back to the rocky outcrop.
Above two pics from John's camera. We headed back, dallying in the area north of the Canal to let the crowd thin out.
On the other hand, landing at dusk, one finds the Mosquito Lagoon is aptly named. We got out, traffic a bit heavy north bound on 3 to US 1. But nothing compared to those who did not take the Yak Dave back way. We got home, changed, went to the Copper Rocket Pub in nearby Maitland. I ate my Rocket Blast Off Burger as the local news reported on the traffic back ups from the Cape. Nice way to end the day, and get ready for a 3 day weekend kayaking and more visit to the Ocala National Forest.