10:15. I'm home. On with the Tale.
Grassy Key. Not always visible, depending on the tide. The crossing was hard. Wind in my face, foot, foot and a half high waves. If not for the Open House, I may not have done it.
First lighthouse photo, 9:18.
http://www.wild-florida.com/index.shtml this outfitter put together. I sent an email, got a response. I was told it is ok to climb up these steps, and, at the main docking area, there is a sloped area where kayaks can land. Also got some advice and support for Protect Gum Slough. If you are not an FB, no excuse, I have a petition as well. change.org
I also got the an answer from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Friday that it was ok to use the steps. Seahorse Key is part of the Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuge.
Still, all the signs, and gate were a bit foreboding. But then, a couple came through the gate. I recognize them. When I launched, they were waiting for a tour boat. We chatted, and I headed up the hill.
Sidewalk to the docks. I came up on the other side.
The lighthouse's current use is as a Marine Laboratory for the U. of Florida. This is the dorm.Artifacts from earlier occupants.
I have now been to the top of 4, and seen an additional 6, of Florida's 30 lighthouses.
Looking up. A family was just ahead of me. All five got to go at once. Then, it was my turn.
At most Florida lighthouses, the palms are lower than the tower. But, most, make that no other, Florida lighthouse starts out 52 feet above sea level.
There was lemonade with the re-enactors. A kayaker landed. Only one I saw.
Path to where it all ends.
I wonder if this is the "slope" where I was told kayaks can land. Glad I landed on the other side of the Key.
Lighthouse through a moss draped live oak. Can't get more Florida than that.
Down the hill to my kayak.
Back on the Gulf at 10 after 11.
These sandpipers weren't the only critters walking along the wrack line. A group of people following a guide, who was telling them, and me as I listened off shore, about all the life in the washed up seaweed.
Great blue heron in flight.
Atsena Otie Key, left, Snake Key, right.
Magnificent frigate birds.
The red throat attracts the ladies.
Photos of each of the main keys before I began to paddle away from Seahorse Key.
Atsena Otie Key
Last look at the lighthouse, 12:15. No photos from the crossing to Way Key.
Way Key, Cedar Key city limits, 1:19 PM
Nice place on the water. Better than in the water.
Landed at 2 PM. I brought the lap top, thinking I sit on the deck at Park Place, across the street from City Park. But, that is uncovered, and it is hot. So, I went to the pavilion in the Park, and as you know, was able to log on and post the first few pics of this Tale.
I ate the rest of my lunch, I had the first half while on Seahorse Key. And got a free lesson on Florida Flora and Fauna. The group I had seen on the beach at Seahorse Key, along the wrack line, were a class from Santa Fe Community College. They were in the pavilion.
After an hour break, I was back in the kayak.
Into the Number 2 Channel
Low tide, Two spoonbills and a wood stork flew overhead, headed towards an area where I often see spoonbills. An area accessible only at high tide. Would I see any more?
Great egret in front of the remains of the first cross state railroad.
Number Two Bridge. Four bridges link Cedar Key to the mainland.
Number Bridge in the distance. I could not find the channel at low tide. A local had no problem, crab boat going fast through the channel. Not working, looked like a family pleasure trip with the family. I turned around.
Back to the Gulf, where sandbars revealed themselves far offshore.
Dolphins! Nice way to end the day.
Landed at 5 after 5. I had a bike, but I was to tired and hot for a ride. Even though, the high in Cedar Key, 87 was 6 degrees cooler than it got in Orlando. So, I put the yak on the car, showered under the beach shower, and headed home. After a dinner stop.
Instead of eating at one of the Dock Street establishments, I decided to check out Robinson's Seafood. 7 miles out of town,
I looked at the menu, but went with the AYCE.
I just had one hush puppy. Need to save room.
Seafood chowder. Described as "creamy" Wasn't. Lots of potato, fish here and there. The other choice was lima beans and rice. I picture green lima beans on a bed of rice. Not appealing to me.
I did not ask for a second crab cake, did get more shrimp and mullet. I've been in Florida 23 years, and I think think this is the first time I've had mullet. Other than in spread form. For my Wisconsin readers, mullet are a lot like chubs. Bony bait fish.
Out of curiosity I asked for a sample of the lima beans and rice.
Boy, was it good. I have a new favorite soup. Much better than the seafood chowder. And I love chowder.
No liquor, or even beer. Probably a good thing, or I would have driven off with the gas hose in my tank. But that's a long story, and its time to end this Tale from my favorite place in Florida, Cedar Key.
But, I will say the mullet spread and clams I bought at the Fish Market have been very tasty.