Sunrise from outside my door at the Sirata Beach Resort on St. Pete Beach.
The hotel has an enclosure with abandoned iguanas.
What does this add to the room rate? And the 3 pools and 2 whirlpools I did not use. What I need in lodging is a fridge, microwave, stovetop, internet. And a good table and chair where I can see my computer, TV, and view, all at the same time.
I checked out, and went 4 blocks north, out of my way, to Subway. Had a gift card. Thank you again, Ed, of the Green Wave Forum. Got a breakfast sub for now, a footlong for later. On to Fort De Soto Park, a seven mile drive. As of the new year, there is $5 entry fee. Also being charged at the north end of Pinellas County, Fred Howard Park in Tarpon Springs. Parking off the road before the manned entrance station won't get you in free, there are self pay stations before the booth. I parked near the rental concession and was on my way at 10:40.
Paddled out of Soldiers Hole, the marked area near the concession. Ask for a brochure and follow the trail markers if its your first visit.
Pushed the button at the right time to get the wings in the above photo.
Tide was in, so I could paddle into the area behind the North Beach, Gulf just over the low dunes.
I crossed Bunces Pass to Shell Key.
map The shipwreck was at the elbow on the south end of the Key. The Gulf was flat. Which was why I was here, nice when the marine report from Friday stays accurate. Wanted to paddle north. But a bot zoomed by. Huge wake. I angled the yak, but one wave brought in a lot of water. Bleep this, I'm going back into the protected water.
Back on the water.
I've been seeing a lot of mergansers lately, but all females.
Feeding brown pelican.
Back to Soldiers Hole.
Would have been nice to have brought the road bike for the nice paved trail, but I just had the trail bike with me. I had rode about a mile, past the Fort, with views of the Gulf, when I stopped to photo a great egret. To find I left the camera in the car. Went back to get it, and pedaled in the other direction. Stopped to walk the "barrier free" nature trail.
Back on the bike, I got my egret photo.
Views from the top of the Fort.
A nicer walk to the top. New steps at one end, and ADA compliant ramp on the other.
I left at 4:45. A nice weekend.