Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mosquito Lagoon Canaveral National Seashore

-There has not been a picture of a dolphin on Dave's Yak Tales since January 23, 2011, from Pine Island off the Gulf coast. I saw several today, including three as soon as I launched Parking Lot 7 at the Canaveral National Seashore into the Mosquito Lagoon.  I had to park in the next lot, as number 7 was full.  Not all paddlers.  Clamers.  If you ask me, they should park in the lot just before Lot 7. 

I got on the water at 2:15, and almost immediately saw three dolphins. Feeding. I was able to get several coveted tail in the air shots as they worked the bottom.

 I heard anglers on shore exclaim. "A manatee!" I thought of paddling back to where they were but figured I'd see one, or more, later. I'll end the suspense now. I did not see any manatees this afternoon.

Here is a map of the Seashore. I launched just north of the Eldora Hammock. My plan was to hug the east shore of Mosquito Lagoon, inside the little islands. But, a fishing boat was in that channel. To paraphrase Wee Willie Keeler, I like to "paddle where they ain't". So I paddled northwest, among the islands near Orange Island.

I've seen rosette spoonbills in this area.  None today, but white pelicans are just as spectacular.

I saw a red arrow.  A marker for the Shipyard Island Trail.  I think I entered near marker 8.

And exited at 14.  There are markers on Trail, but I need the map, which I did not have with me. to know which way to go.  There were three options on what direction to go, I followed the current and exited Shipyard Island on the west side.

Activity on the west tip of Shipyard.  Stand up paddles.  The new trendy thing.  If you ask me, if the good Lord had meant for people to paddle standing up, He would have given us two legs.   I mean.... Anyway, two of the SUPers were with a group in a boat.  They ended their paddle, got in the boat, and blew past me, at full wake.  WTF?   No respect for a fellow paddler, the assholes.  Two other SUPers, I assumed, were camping on Shipyard, as I did not see another boat.  I was wrong, the paddled all the way across the channel.  At a good pace, catching up to me.

I has headed to Bethune Park, where manatees often hang out.  A straight shot  across the Lagoon.  But if gulls are standing in the middle of the Lagoon, the straight shot won't work.  I paddled around the sandbar. Almost.  Cut back a bit too soon, got stuck and had to walk. Back in the yak, and to the cove at Bethune Park. 

Two dolphins.  One an old friend I've been seeing since 2003.  Before I started kayaking.  A local in a kayak said, "We call him Finny."   I knew she was a local, or at least had been to the cove before, as she knew where to look for manatees.  Near a dock.  None around today.  Time for me to go.  It was 4:30, and I had a long paddle ahead of me.  Into a freshening south wind. Turtle Mound did not block it.
I took a break to stretch my legs, walking to the top of Turtle Mound.

I resumed the trip, now staying near the east shore as originally planned.  Still windy.  Saw another dolphin, number 6 of the day. Photo not Yak Tale worthy.

Not sure what the above duck is.  I think it is a red breasted merganser, thanks to the good folks at Cornell U

I paddled past the launch site, pass the fishing dock, to the abandoned dock pilings between the fishing dock and the Eldora dock.  Often a manatee haven.  None today.  Back to the launch, landing just after 6:30.  Just as the wind ceased and the water was smooth as glass.


Luis said...

So Finny is a he. I thought it was a female. Have seen Finny on my two trips to Canaveral Seashore, always with a smaller dolphin around. Nice tail pics Master Dave.

Dave said...

Luis, I have no idea if "Finny" is male or female. I did not ask the lady if she can identify dolphin genitalia.

Luis said...

My comment was based on what she said..."We call him Finny" Maybe she used him as a generalization.