Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Winter Park Chain

By Winter Park Chain, I mean the entire Chain. Lakes Maitland, Osecola, Virginia, Mizel, Minnehaha, and Nina.  And the four canals that link them.  I know the mathematically inclined are thinking, "six lakes, shouldn't there five canals"    Lake Nina is off the canal connecting Lake Maitland with Lake Minnehaha.

I did this paddle in the afternoon, after jury duty.  Usual launch spot, Fort Maitland Park.

Into Lake Maitland, paddling east, than south, past Dog Island.

To the narrows, not an official name, but that's what it is, the MaitlandWinter Park border.

 Made even narrower by the cormorant filled cypress trees that extend into the lake.

 On Sunday, a pelican flew overhead just before I got home.  At the time, I wondered if it would land on the local lakes.

 Perhaps it did/

Kraft Azalea Gardens.

Into the Venetian Canal.

 Growing up in Wisconsin, I only saw azaleas on TV. At the Masters. Or, maybe, at the Domes

Into Lake Osceola.

Across the Lake to the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens

The Fern Canal is just east of the Gardens.

 Into Lake Virginia
Rollins College.  Which I have always seen as a miniature UW Madison
 Both located on an isthmus.
The short Genius Canal is just east of where the Fern Canal enters Lake Virginia.

Short and sweet into Lake Mizell

 I heard peacocks cawing, but did not see any.
The one percent

 Take me back to old Virginia
 Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour.  Poor saps only see three lakes.
You need to time your chain of lakes paddle to make sure the tour boats, or others, aren't blocking the narrow canal

Back to Lake Osceola.

This bathing hawk has a different look from the usual red shouldered hawks I see. I'm thinking Coopers Hawk

 Eagle or osprey nest? From the size, I'd say eagle
 Venetian Canal

Return to Lake Maitland.

As I paddled to the Island of Sicily bridge, I thought I could paddle under all seven bridges on the Chain today.  This made four.  A little Seven Bridges music to accompany the rest of the Tale.  I did not see any eagles, but, you can hear them.

I'm torn between thinking you have to be a pretentious f**k to  have statues like these in your yard, or be honored that one is of me.

Approaching bridge five.  Walkway over Howell Branch Creek.  The opening photo is from here.

Just a short visit, then, back to Lake Maitland

Approaching the canal linking Lake Maitland to Lake Minnehaha.  Unlike hoity toity Winter Park, (I live in the non-toity section) Maitland does not name its canals.
 To the right, the canal continues, left, opens into Lake Nina.

 Frequent readers recognize bridge number six.

 Bridge 7, Howell Branch-Horatio Ave.

 Into Lake Minnehaha, the sixth lake of the late afternoon.

 If not for the jet ski, this would be a great photo
This is better.

 This is what Florid houses looked like 20 years ago.  Simple one story structures.    A lot more character then the big block home people build today.

 Lake Nina sunset

 Nice to have the street/parking lot lights turn on as I loaded.  As I am no longer working late one night a week and paddling in the morning, as the days get longer, I'll be doing more early evening excursions on the Winter Park Chain.