Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Good-bye Cedar Key

View from the balcony, or rather, the perch, at my lodging, Pelican Perch, at 7:26 am, Sunday, April 17, 2011.  Not the above picture, below.
That's not water, that's mud. Went back to bed. Not to sleep, at 7:58, went down for a closer look.

No kayaking for a while.  I figured by time I showered, ate, packed, I'd be good to go.  Breakfast on the balcony, of course.  Easy to find the bridge across Channel # 2 from up here.

I've been looking for info on the "Number 2 Channel"  Here's a Map from the Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce. Natures Landing is on Depot Street. On Saturday I paddled through Back Bayou, through the Number 2 Bridge, to Cemetery Point.  Interesting, to me, to see the route after the fact.

 I'm going to miss the rosette spoonbills flying by. Mykka River State Park may have a Canopy Walkway.  I prefer the Cedar Key Sit and Stay.  Killed some more time by putting an entry in the condo log.  Pen and paper, how quaint.  I think I was the first one in this log, labeled Log 2, I did not see Log 1, who did not write about the cleanliness of the place. I mean, it was clean, but logs are to write about boating, fishing, and what else you did during your stay.  At least they were on family vacations on Wisconsin lakes when I was a kid.
Breakfast and log entry complete, I walked out to the nature trail and dock at the edge of Channel 2. the "Main Channel" on the map.
 It's hard to tell, but it is mud behind the lower tri colored heron in the photo above, the upper one is standing in a trickle just coming into the inlet that dead ends at my condo.  I sat down and watched the great egrets and pelicans fly by. Regrets, no egret photo.

 This is the view from the finger docks in the middle of the inlet, looking towards the channel.
I walked to the Gulf to see how that looked.
That's about how it was when I landed on Friday. Time stamp is 9:53.  I figured by the time I got to launching it would be fine.
A clam boat coming in.  One that docked just before had a boat full of bushel baskets, full of clams.
I had a 1:30 check out, but left early.  Final look from the balcony, 10:56.  A sheen of water over the mud.
After dropping of the key at the local Real Estate office, I was on the water at 11:24.  Destination, Atsena Otie Key, about a mile and a half across the water. Waves were rolling, but smooth. If that makes sense.
Atsena Otie was the original "Cedar Key"  Began as a Army depot for the Seminole Wars, later a pencil factory. Which was destroyed by a hurricane and tidal surge in 1896. Ruins can be seen in the interior of the island.  I have yet to explore inland.
 I did not disturb the birds.  A bleeping airboat.  I made fists with both hands, extended both middle fingers, and placed them in my ears.  Practical sign language.  I kept hearing the contraption, on and off, as I paddled.  Thanks for ruining everyone's day.

I've been searching the web trying to find the origins of this pier.  Anybody know?

Several kayakers were on the water.  Atsena Otie is popular for fishing, picnicking, sun bathing (amazing that people still lie out in the sun. Guess they haven't heard of melanoma) and exploring.

The duct tape was holding, a little moisture was coming in, but not to bad.  However, I decided against paddling more open water to Snake Key, and Seahorse Key.  About a 5 hour paddle.  Did not want to do something that strenuous and then drive home. So, I decided to just circle Astena Otie.   Something I did last September.  At low tide, in the rain.  Not the most enjoyable paddle I've ever had. Today was much better;
Here's a Map , from the Suwannee River Water Management District, of Atsena Otie to give some perspective.  It is not accurate.  I entered one, and exited another, channel on the west side of the key.

Calmer on the southwest side of the key.

I found out why the air boat kept stopping and starting.  A large group of people were on the island, near the aircrap.  More than would fit on it.  So, the owner had to make several trips in his machine.  Waking the dead each time.

I explored the interior of the island from the north end.  I've never been in this area before.  Did not know until today that, you can, at high tide only, I'd guess, paddle through Atsena Otie.  Something for my next visit.

Cruise around Atsena Otie Key complete, I headed back towards Cedar Key.  If price were no object, I'd take the top floor right unit. Gulf, and channel views.

 Black crowned night heron taking off

Tide was in.  I have photos with most of this wreck out of the water.  I was able to cross the channel into an area where I grounded Saturday.  Looking for spoonbills.  No luck as I paddled a maze of mangrove lined channels.

Snowy egrets.

 Plenty of water in the inlet in front of "my" condo now.
Posted the above pic for the poop.  See all the white on the leaves?  This is where the black crowed night herons hang out.  Once again, not one stayed around.  They saw me before I spotted them, bursting out of the mangroves. And I'm quiet.

Back to the Gulf.

Crystal River nuke plant on the horizon.

 The most photographed building on the Cedar Key waterfront.
Cormorant tenant.

The seas increased. Time to head to shore.  A final look at the condo. The pitched roofs.
Landed at 3:00, and saw that horseshoe crabs can read.

A wonderful weekend. Even though I did not paddle as much as I would like due to wind and illness.  I'll be back. Mayne Memorial Day weekend.


The Florida Blogger said...

I'm a little late getting to your post, but once again you've made me jealous. Cedar Key is a treasure, although it has become a bit too Key Westish.

Dave said...

FL Blog, I can think of at least two things that will keep Cedar Key from being "too Key Westish"
1)Shallow water, so no cruise ships.
2) Levy County in the twenty teens is a little- make that a lot- more conservative than South Florida in the 60's and 70's.

One similarity is locals being priced out by transplants.