Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cedar Key Day Two

A dolphin's dorsal fin is just breaking the surface. On a line between the kayak and boat to starboard. That's right for you land lubbers.
I wanted to get an early start Saturday, April 16, 2011 to avoid the forecast high winds.  But. low tide was early this morning.  The little inlet in front of the condo was a mud flat. Great for bid watching as I had a leisurely breakfast. Today I did launch from the condo.  Down a bank next to a little pier, pushed the yak through some foot high grass, sank a bit in the muck, and shoved off.  10:20 am Into the now navigable inlet.  Saw a opening on the right and entered.
Mangrove maze. Wind protected. Home to half a dozen black crowned night herons. None which obligated my photography efforts.

Back into the inlet  which flows into a channel. "Number 2 Channel"  The opening to the Gulf is obvious, but where it is as it flows past oyster bars, mangrove islands, and grass flats is a mystery to me. So, I set out to solve the mystery.

The pelicans and friends were in the middle of the channel. An open area on the other side looked inviting. I let the wind blow me across. Until crruuunchhhh. Grounded on an oyster bed. I could not turn around. So, I got out, walked to deeper water, walked a bit more as I knew the current would blow me back, and got out of the jam.

I read on the condo owner's website, that it Cemetery Point Park is on the Number 2 Channel, and can be reached by land or water.  I made a land visit in September. Saw many wading birds, including rosette spoonbills.  So, I hoped to find it via the water today. 

  I paddled into the wind, and more often, a cross wind. For the first time, I thought a paddle leash would be a good thing to have.  That's a line from the kayak to the paddle. So, if you dropped it, it won't go far.  Twice, I put the paddle down, probably to blow my nose, and had to quickly snatch it as it blew away. Actually, I'm proud of my reflexes.  The waters around and inside Cedar Key have a lot of abandoned boats.  Don't want to add mine.

  I saw a bridge, paddled towards it.   Low, current speeding through. Would be very hard to paddle back.  Too low for boats, so it could not be Channel Number 2.  Had to be a bridge marked "Canal" land side.   I found the bridge over Channel Number 2.  Neat thing number 785 about kayaking.  Seeing old bridge pilings. Here, even better.  The old wooden roadway.

I saw the walkway at Cemetery Point Park.  And the cemetery.

 Another boat that did not make it home.
I did not see any birds, Probably hunkered down, deep in the mangroves, like the night herons I saw to begin the paddle.  The next two pics give an idea on how windy it was, even in the inner waters of Cedar Key.

I  should say, the inner waters of Way Key.  Cedar Keys are the group of islands, Way Key being the largest. The City of Cedar Key is on Way Key.  Paddling towards a marina, I thought I saw a dorsal fin. No way. Yes, way. Not one two.  I wasn't expecting to see dolphins in the interior, so of course, I did.  I followed them for a while, got the one photo, the opener of this Tale, then lost track of them.

 My balcony, from the little inlet.  Spacious. A high, round table with three chairs.   Two wicker chairs, three end tables.   I kept paddling another 30 minutes.  Door looks closed.  When I got back, it was open.  Wind.

Landed at 12:30. Had lunch, continued writing Friday's Tale, then went for a walk.
I was expecting a bit more spray with the 25 mph wind. Views from the fishing pier.

I did not even see the pelican when I took the next picture.
I considered having a beverage and appetizer at a waterfront establishment, but as I mentioned in Friday's Tale, I decided I had beverages, apps, and a view back at the condo.  So, I kept walking. The two block central business district.

The Gulf is 4-5 blocks away, more water, a block on the other side.

I think I was along Channel Number 2, and the clam boats and processing facilities I had seen from the water.

Last Labor Day weekend, I mentioned how friendly folks are in Cedar Key.  Now they can say the same about me.  I helped a guy push a horse carriage from a grassy lot to his trailer on the street. "Isn't the horse supposed to be doing this?"

They offered to take me back to the condo once the got the horse hitched up, I declined. I need the exercise. I brought both bikes, but the wind and my cold have caused me to leave them unused so far. Back to the condo, and the nature "trail". Probably 150 yards, maybe less, including the dock.

My stroll took about 45 minutes. To the balcony for a beer, Ritz and Kaukana, and rosette spoonbills.

And a great egret and a pelican.

As the water in the inlet receded, more pelicans came, to feast on the fish trapped in the remaining water.  As it got to shallow for pelicans, small birds darted about. And another, closer visit from spoonbills.

I like being on the third floor, four levels off the ground.  I don't like not kayaking, but it was just too windy. Here's a view from the front door, as I left for dinner.
Looking over the roof of the City Park restrooms/pavilion, towards Dock Street.  Where I went to the Pickled Pelican.  Ate there twice in September.  Why mess with success?

Speaking of which, I had the clams appetizer, again.  Gotta support local aquaculture.  Followed
by another appetizer.

Tastiest popcorn shrimp I've ever had.  Will be heating up what I brought back to the condo shortly. Speaking of heat.

Hopefully, I'll yak more tomorrow. Less wind forecast  Low tide is at 8:02, it was 7:21 today.  I think I'll launch from the beach, and will have to walk out a ways.  The inlet at the condo won't be navigable to at least 9:30.  Check out is 1:30.

1 comment:

Luis said...

Nice vew from your location!!!!!! Heck of a Sunset!!!!!