A solo paddler, followed a bit later by a large group. One of them told me they just saw five deer. I got to the guy bringing up the rear, asked if he saw the deer, yes. But a few minutes later when another large group came down river my, "Did you see the deer?" question drew blank looks. I did not see any. I did see three bald eagles. Two juveniles and an adult. I saw the youngsters from a distance. By the time I got to photo distance they were either gone, or deep in the nest. I think the former, as they were pretty big. The parent was there, wondering when the kids would return.
Reached the end of the up Weeki Wachee paddle at 12:17. Three hours, with a snorkel/manatee stop.
I turned around for the leisurely return trip.
Leisurely, but working. To drain the kayak. Paddling up stream I did not check how the duct tape was working. Not well. I reached behind me, popped the hatch, reached back. The dish towel I had to soak up water was floating. I wrung it out, put the towel I had behind the seat back there, pulled it out, wrung it out, repeating as I went down River.
One of the former landing areas.
I may have glimpsed a deer. I thought I saw something in the brush. I paddled back, listened, heard movement but did not see anything. Probably a large bird. Or raccoon or otter.
The Weeki Wachee remains scenic even in the residential section of the River.
Boat traffic increase, but the Weeki Wachee is Idle Speed from the Spring to the confluence with Mud River. Kids in a pair of canoes spotted two manatees. "Its under your canoe" And eventually, under my kayak. Mother and child. This was just up stream of Hospital Hole. No photos. I wondered if they were two of the three I saw at the start of the day. Maybe.
One manatee was at Hospital Hole.
A woman in a canoe asked, "How can you sit there so calmly?" She must have been seeing her first manatee. "Just naturally lazy" More kayakers came, so I left. And saw another manatee pair. Adult and calf. The pair I saw earlier could have done a u-turn, passed me, done a second u-turn, so I again saw the swimming up River. But I doubt it.
Got back to Rogers Park at 3:50. I kept going. My usual route, under the County Road 550 bridge, than under the local road bridge on the right, to get to the least developed channel.. Homes on one side only.
Into the creek that leads to the Mud River.
Fourth eagle of the day.
I paddled to within sight of the Bayport pier, and turned back.
Cut the throttle, and slam the beer. Idle Speed and No Alcohol from this point.
Nest building osprey. One of the pair just landed, carrying a stick that trailed about four feet behind its tail.
I was taking a picture, or trying to, of the low bridge, when I got the "Change the battery pack message". As I was almost done for the day, I didn't change it. Landed about 5:20. An eight hour day. No time for a bike ride on one of the four paved trails I'd pass on the the way home. Time for dinner at the Upper Deck, overlooking Rogers Park.
As usual, I had the Chef's Special. Tango Mango. Shrimp, chicken, and a mango sauce, over bow tie pasta with broccoli and red peppers. OK, I've had better here. Two of the last three meals here I've noticed they are cutting back on the amount of food, and not raising the 15.95 price. Just 4 shrimp. And 3 slices of bread for dipping, instead of a loaf. But with a cup of soup, and a side of vegetables, still a good deal.