Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, April 15, 2011

Greetings From Cedar Key

The view from my third floor condo.  The aptly named "Pelican Perch". An up grade from where I stayed Labor Day weekend, my last visit to Cedar Key.  As I did in September, I sopped in the bustling metropolis of
Gulf Hammock, Florida and kayaked the Wekiva River, right, and Wacassasa River, left.
The Levy County Wekiva, not the one near Orlando.  Here's the highlight of the morning.
Now its time to see where I can launch the yak here at Nature's Landing.  I don't like launching off docks, so I may end up driving a few blocks to the launch at the beach. Across from Park Place, where I stayed last time.  Stay tuned.
I back.  Launched at the beach/City Park. Highlight of the afternoon.
Now, back to the beginning.  There was void-  too far.  Out of bed just before 5, on the road at 6, on the water at 8:20.
I don't think the launch has a name, other than Levy County Wacasassa Boat Ramp. At the end of County Road 326. There is an exit for 326 in Ocala.  I got off on the prior exit, US 27.  Took that 4 lane divided highway until it crossed the 2 lan3 326, took that to the launch.  5 guys were headed out in an airbboat as I launched.  "Which way you guys headed?" I rasped.  Hand to ear.  Not due to engine noise, it wasn't on.  I have a cold and am very hoarse. I repeated.  "That way" Pointing towards the Gulf.  "Okay, I'll go the other" Which had been my intention.

The cement boat ramp is the only place to launch. The tide was out, and I was not able to float the yak. I was just on the edge of the ramp slope and the back end scrapped,  Wonder what that did to my duct tape.  Reinforced with a piece of inner tube.   I reached into the rear compartment. Wet. Damn. Since it was low tide I was able to pull up on shore and do a new tape job. 24 minutes with the stop to get to the confluence.  I wasn't sure which side was which River until I got to the condo and looked at my September Tale. I was on the Wekiva River.

Like the other Wekiva, this one is spring fed.  Unlike the other, the springs are on private property.  I was no where near them, but the water was clear.
I wasn't seeing many animals, a few anhingas, bass, so I photoed the purple plants above.
My turn around spot. 9:45.  I could have gone under, easy, but I wanted to paddle the Wacassa too.  And the waters around Cedar Key.  And, I'm at about 75% of optimum health with this darn cold.

This Wekiva reminds me somewhat of Rock Springs Run.  Narrow and tree lined.  A few houses, spaced far apart, and off the River.  Back for high water, I reckon..

I always say, if you don't see much wildlife, at least see spectacular wildlife.  I don't means turtles.  A bald eagle soared overhead.  Please land on that tall cypress.

Thank you
Returned to the confluence at 10:56 and paddled up the Wacassassa River.

 Saw a hog near the bridge, a gator a bit up stream. No pics.  The Wacasassa was darker than the Wekiva, although it is also spring fed. The source, Levy Blue Spring, is in a County Park. I have not visited, yet. Could do it tomorrow.  Choppy waters forecast near shore. There goes paddling in the Gulf. Other than a short paddle early before the wind kicks up.  Back to today.  I figured this log was as good a place as any to come about.

Tine, 12;25.  That's a towel on deck.  Alternating two in an effort to stay ahead of the leak.

Outside the boat ramp, I saw no one all morning.

 The wreck was there in September. And a long time before that, from the looks of it.

Landed at 12:20, a four hour tour.  All these folks must have headed towards the Gulf, not up River.  Although, with the tide coming in, I paddled "up river" both ways.
That's all for now.  Still more Friday Tale to tell.  But, I gotta figure what I'm doing tomorrow, go to bed, wake up and do it.

Good Saturday morning,  9:30 am from the balcony. Waiting for the tide to go out.  Small craft advisory, so I'm going to stay in the protected waterways around the condo. I recalled a fellow paddler had stayed at Natures Landing.  I found her Paddle Tale and she did launch from next to a little dock I'm looking at from the balcony.  I'll try it.

Here are a few more pics from Saturday.
On US 19, there's a shiny black locomotive.  County Road 326 gets the caboose.

 Stopped at the Cedar Key Scrub Preserve to look for scrub jays. On the trail 30 minutes, this is the only one I saw.
The walk took a lot out of me.  Hopefully another residue of being sick, not because I'm that much out of shape. Probably  a little of both.
I got into Cedar Key around 2, 2:15.  Stopped at the Real Estate office to get the keys. I found this unit on VRBO. Here's the link Pelican Perch  Don't tell anyone, but at $120 a night, I got a deal. Other one units in the complex go for at least $125.00 Pics of the inside.

View from my third floor balcony. Which is four flights up. Or elevator. I have a covered parking spot.

Natures Landing is on Depot Avenue.  My guess is the depot for the Florida Railroad, the first Atlantic to Gulf line, completed in 1861, was here.  A short nature trail is on the old right of way.
I checked it out for a place to launch the kayak.

Didn't find a suitable launch site, so I drove 2 blocks to the launch area at the City Park. Debated whether to put on the spray skirt. At the beach, the water was flat. Glad I decided to wear it.

Not a good day to paddle across to Astena Otie.  I paddled along the Dock Street eateries and bars, to the fishing pier, and turned around.  Waves at my back, I surfed past the beach, and turned into a channel. The Number 2 Channel.

The pelicans are at the Old Fennimore Inn.  Great location. Gulf and channel frontage. $170 a night. Spoonbills not guaranteed.

Time to get back outside.  Not to kayak. To darn windy.  Walking over to Dock Street to watch the waves pound the pilings. 
I,m back from my sojourn to Dock Street, and downtown.  Thought of stopping for a drink and an appetizer, but than thought why? I have cheese, crackers, and a-two spoonbills just flew by- as I was saying a great view from the balcony. Make that three rosette spoonbills.  Probalbly the same ones I saw yesterday. Continuing with Saturday's Tale, here are a few more spooonie pics.

 I paddled about, exploring a few channels. Tide was headed out,n so I had to find floatable water.

 I figured big boats need deep water. 
I puzzled over what the above contraption is.  Has to related to Cedar Key's main industry.  Clam farming.  I'll have some local clams for dinner tonight. That's Saturday night.

 Old railroad pilings and Natures Landing dock at the end of the nature trail/ RR.

Tres hombres.

Back on the Gulf.

I interupted dinner as I landed.

I had to get out of the yak and carry it to shore as the tide had gone out. No extra weight from water leaking in. The duct tape worked fine this time. Back to the condo.

Photo inspired by John H., cousin Katie, and Lowell George. My view must be to the north, because I had to tren my head left to see this.

And so ends Day One of my three day Cedar Key Weekend. Last photo from Friday posted 5 pm, Saturday.


Octohawk said...

Jealous. I have spent almost no time at all in the Keys.

Luis said...

I know the feeling Master Dave. Seeing an eagle flying over you and expecting it to stop in a tree where you can shoot a decent pic. So far I am like 1-10 on that one.

Joanne said...

Dave, please get your boat fixed because it will only get worse. TCO (Spencer) repaired my rec boat and the repair has held up very well. Plastic welded. $50.
More info on Nature's Landing, please?

Dave said...

Octohawk, these Keys are just a two hour drive.
Luis, at least you got that one.
Joanne, I know, I know. Just dread driving on 436 during rush hour after work. I should have just left it there a month ago when I went on a Wednesday morning and Spencer wasn't in.