The only negative, so far, well second, after loud people, at the Sailport Resort. No place on site to launch a kayak. I'm off to the Dunedin Causeway and Caladesi Island State Park.
Back from Caladesi. Three cheers for the Red,
I could have posted a picture of the Pabst Blue Ribbon I'm enjoying now. Thought of Sam Adams, who, at least according to the marketing people the Boston Beer Company, was a brewer and patriot. I am a kayaker, a drinker, and an economist. A 12 pack of Pabst was $1.10 more than a Sam Adams 6 pack. And, has classic red, white and blue packaging. Alas, the Red White and Blue is no longer made. Perhaps for good reason. I think my Dad would get a case and it would last all summer. Dad was a martini man. By the time I started to drink beer, I had older brothers working at Miller and Schlitz. Cases and cases of beer under the basement ping pong table. A fifteen year old's dream.
Enough about my misspent youth, more on today's first paddle, later.
From the second paddle of the day, at Fort De Soto. But now, I have two unfinished Tales pending.
Friday night, I've completed Tuesday's and last Sunday's Tales. Time to get back to the 4th of July.
Views from my balcony, 6:30 am
According to its website, every room at Sailport has a view of Tampa Bay.
I came down from my fourth floor perch to tour the grounds.
Back to the suite for my leftover pizza. Some family, and, personal history associated with Palermo's.
On the website, scroll down to the second picture. To to left of the Palermo Villa, The Murray Tap, first place I had beer in a bar. My brother, Pete, lived above it for a while. On the right, not seen, East Side Liquor. Next to it, my father's law office. I suppose the owners of Palermo Villa wanted a fellow paisan to be their attorney, not an Irishman. My first legal job, while still in law school, involved working for that attorney during the early expansion of the Palermo's Frozen Pizza business, after the sale of the restaurant.
Back to kayaking. The Dunedin Causeway is 21 miles from the Sailport. I was on the water at 9:30.
Before launching, I asked a gentlemen at the Sail Honeymoon rental concession (don't let the name fool you, they have lots of kayaks) if the foot high pile of sea weed, all along the causeway beach was the result of TS Debby. He said it was,raked off the shore. The high water mark was further "inland" to a row of pine trees. Not to far from the road
I asked what was on the line "Bonnet head" That would be member of the hammerhead shark family.
It had over three years, May 9, 2009,since I last kayaked to Caladesi Island State Park. I was thinking about the roseatte spoonbills I had seen.
And, there they were.
Too bad the Park Service ferry can't set a better example. Slow speed, minimum wake zone.
There are combustion motor exclusion zones along the shore of Caladesi and off the boat channel in the interior of the Island.
Empty slips on the 4th of July. There are 108. For kayakers, a single dock. I was debating whether to land or paddle the trail through the mangroves. Mosquitoes were out on the open water. My mind was made up when a fairly large group of paddlers entered the mangrove trail. I went to the dock. Which is less splintery than my last visit. Right choice. As I pulled the kayak out of the water, the paddlers were coming out of the mangrove tunnel, arms flapping hats. "Never seen so many mosquitoes!"
That's what happens when a Tropical Storm leaves standing water.
Boardwalk to the Gulf beach
Too crowded for me.
Wading birds like the flooded picnic area.
So do ducks
I thought the beach accessed by the boardwalk a bit farther from the tour boat dock might be less crowded. Not by much.
Since sharing the shore with wildlife and people would be difficult, I went back to share the picnic area.
Laughing gull. When I was in my suite, these were constantly flying by.
I moved to Florida too late to see, and climb, the observation tower.
A covered patio and picnic tables outside the Park concession provided a nice space for lunch.
Keep an eye on your sandwich.
Kayak dock. Orange ones are rentals. If you did not know the red one is mine, welcome to Dave's Yak Tales. Of course, as soon as I got to the dock, 4 people came to land. A good thing, I told them. They could rescue me if I capsized. I don't launch from docks very often, and am a bit nervous when I do.
No need to call the Coast Guard.
Ibis. They are often seen near spoonbills. Or vice versa.
I paddled back across the Sound towards the causeway, head on a swivel for boats and jet skis. Under the bridge and pelicans roosting on the power lines.
On past visits to Caladesi and Honeymoon Islands, I've paddled to, and around, the point in the distance. Not today. A bit wavy, accented by holiday boat wakes. Plus, I wantedto visit Fort De Soto. I did see another dolphin.
I asked a paddle boarder what was going on here, as swimmers jumped out of a State Law Enforecment boat. "Outside the swim area without a lifejacket" I guess the tubes are boats. Speaking of paddle boards, I ha never seen one here before. Today, lots of boarders
Approaching the mound of seaweed along the shore, landed at 2:00.
Dunedin Causeway, linking Honeymoon Island to the City of Dunedin.
Courtney Campbell Causeway,across Tampa Bay, linking Clearwater and Tampa.
View from the balcony. Inside the unit.
I fixed a burger, composed more of the Cedar Key Yak Tale, then got back on the road to Fort De Soto.
Howard Franklin Bridge.
After a stop for gas, at 3.11 a gallon, Pinellas County has the lowest prices I have seen during my recent travels, I launched at 6:30. Just past the rental concession on Soldier's Hole. An inlet on Mullet Key.
Soldiers Hole widens out past an island. I paddled around it.
Saw a lone spoonbill.
On Sunday, or was it Saturday, I saw mangrove flowers at Cedar Key. After seeing these, I did a little research. Black_Mangrove Blooms in June and July according to the article. By the way, my sister has yoga classes at the Key West Botanical Garden. Ask for Monica.
I was at Fort De Soto to see the sunset, and, hopefully, a manatee or two. I've seen them before in Soldiers Hole. None today. For the sunset, I'd have to paddle around the tip of Mullet Key, into the Gulf. That would have taken to long. Not to mention paddling back after sunset. So, I headed back to where I launched.
From the way the rental concession has their kayaks blocking the entire landing area, I have a feeling they don't want people launching or landing from there any more. It was closed when I arrived.
Landed at 7:40, loaded the kayak, drove across the street, put the yak on the cart, wheeled it down a path, across the beach, to the Gulf shoreline.
Underway at 8:08. I looked back for landmarks. Two palms, a power pole, and a couple sitting in chairs, taking in the setting sun.
The white area is the top of Fort De Soto
Egmont Key Lighthouse
And now, the sunset
Because sometimes, pictures just aren't enough. I headed back to shore.
There was the couple on the beach. I landed, and asked, did I walk past you earlier? No. Oh well. I carted the yak across the beach, then a different trail then the one I came in on. My car was not at the end of the path. I left the yak on the side of the bike path, and a walked a few hundred yards to where the car was parked. Drove to the yak, loaded, and headed back to Sailport. And watched fireworks from several beach communities. The first leg of the drive is west, over a bridge, and I could see firework displays from north to south.
I should have taken pictures. Back at the unit, more fireworks from the balcony. Where I noticed my camera has a fireworks setting.