Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, February 25, 2011

Voyage of Discovery

With special guest kayaker, John H.

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.

We circled the bird sanctuary.

Few people, as I write this two nights later, I don't recall anyone on the Indian River.  All were headed to the Mosquito Lagoon end of the Canal.  Fine with me, there was plenty of time before the 4:50 PM launch. 
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.
 Nice thing about a late afternoon launch.  Not a long wait for sunset over the Indian River.

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.


Sandy said...

Dave, I have read all of your trips, and note that you have never done the Ocklawaha. I'm going there Sunday morning to paddle upstream from Eureka to Gore's landing and then enjoy the trip back downstream.

Dave said...

Sandy, thanks for your interest, but you may have missed one paddle. See my Tale from July 26, 2008 for an Oklawaha trip/

Luis said...

Nice report Master Dave. I just hope to be able to be there for one of the two launches in schedule(April or June)

So, you had to go for a swim huh? Do you know when the biolum starts again at Haulover Canal?

Dave said...

Luis, the biolum begins when it gets hot. How hot, and when I don't know. You might want to go to the Day Away site to see when they start offering tours.

Wendy said...

So I've been lurking through your posts and admiring the photos, this post especially caught my eye- love the shots of all the folks on the water and the sunset pic is gorgeous!

I noticed you mentioned the Copper Rocket - I used to work there many moons ago while finishing up school 98-2000. Great beers, great music (at least when I was there).

Small world. :)

Dave said...

Wendy, one of my great regrets is not spending more time at the Copper Rocket. Maybe 5 times since it opened in the early '90's.
And, I can walk there. A good thing,a sthe beer selection is fantastic.