Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Blackwater Creek

A short paddle on Blackwater Creek today, Sunday, August 26, 2012.  I planed to go for 4 hours, get off the Creek before any winds and rain from distant Tropical Storm Issac got here.  It's now 4 PM, and the current track has it moving far off the coast.  Looking  out the window, a light breeze.  Looking at Facebook, my niece in Key West posted a picture of her husband headed out the door, windsurf board under his arm.   I guess its not a good day for taking a client fishing on the flats.

Underway at 9:30.  Three equestrians had just ridden over the bridge.  One came back, to see it I would make it under.   Didn't even have to duck.   If the Creek rises a quarter inch, I will.

Ibis.  Great, I thought.  Ibis are the first to leave when a storm is approaching.  When I got home I saw I had it wrong. Legend says ibis are the last to leave, and first to return.
None of the downed trees from my last paddle on Blackwater have been removed.  If we get significant rain from Issac,  this one may become tough to duck under.
Find the viceroy.

Pushed through this.  Thicker than it was a month ago.
The tent has been here for a month, too.  Or, maybe the trespassers take it down each night.
Made it through here, too.
I turned back short of paddling for two hours.  Came to some downfall I could have struggled to get over, but with the potential for bad weather, I took the opportunity to turn back.
Saw two big hogs on the right bank.
Click the photo to expand, you will see an alligator near the palm tree. Wish I had a better pic. It has a pronounced under bite.  Big teeth from the lower jaw protrude upward and over the upper jaw.
It rained on and off.  More off.

Back to the launch site at 12:05.  I continued up Creek.

To the Moccasin Spring campsite.

Landed at 12:50. As I loaded the car, a cycling couple stopped to take a look at the Creek.  We got to talking.  They have heard of Dave's Yak Tales.  Turned out we have a mutual friend in Joanne B.  Too bad I can't remember their names. John and Jen?
I did not bring my bike, due to the rain.  Went for a walk.  After talking to hiking trio that stopped at the launch.

It rained.
When you see a fork in the road, take it.
Moccasin Spring.

Walked for about an hour.
No deer.  Deer hunters. Scouting.  Interesting that I saw four groups of people, pursuing four different activities.  Horse back riding, biking, hiking, and hunting.  I was the only paddler.  No deer on the ride out, or on a stop at Wilson's Landing Park, where I saw a herd across from the Park a few weeks ago.

It is a good thing I had two short paddles this weekend.  And, won't be doing a midweek paddle.  Work and root canal.  Have a five day weekend coming up. 

Staying at Redington Beach, St Pete area,  Sat and Sun.  Then a cabin at Myakka River State Park, Monday and Tuesday.  The latter could change.  The State Park was on my voicemail.  Parking lots are underwater, water about to come under the cabins.  Good thing Issac is moving west.  I'll monitor the situation, see where things stand, or float, Thursday.  Cedar Key is plan B.   Did not plan to go over the weekend due to holiday rates.  They are $40 a night less, Monday and Tuesday.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wekiva River

A rain shortened paddle from Katie's Landing after work today, Saturday, August 25, 2012.  Underway at 1:30.
Doesn't look to bad, but the mostly cloudy skies were short lived.
Moor hen
More moor hens. Including moor chick.
Great blue heron.
The worst of the rain fell after the ibis and before the alligator.
I was thinking of paddling to the St. Johns.  Increase the chance of seeing a manatee. I was past the illegal campsite, not yet to Blackwater Creek when I noticed reeds move in a manner inconsistent with the current.
I stopped to investigate.

With light rain, and distant thunder, manatee spotted, I turned back.  2:36 PM.

Same alligator as in the prior photos.
Different alligator.
Blue heron
Great egret. It,  and the anhinga were the only photos I got in the area across from Katie's Landing.   August is a slow season for birds in Florida.
Approaching Katie's Landing, 4:21.
The Wekiva is as high as it has been in two years.   As on Tuesday, I thought deer might be found away from the River.
So, I walked the trail to the Lower Wekiva Preserve trail head.
1.1 miles on loose sandy soil made the picnic table very welcome.  A rest, and I headed back.
I was looking right and heard a noise on my left. Deer, five. Ran away before I could get a picture.
 They were here.
Return to Katie's Landing.  Not a bad, short afternoon.  Alligators, manatee, and deer.
Yesterday wasn't bad, either.  One piece of mail in the box when I got home.  It had University of Wisconsin mail sticker, the kind that goes in the return corner, in the center of the envelope.  The return address was Recreation Resource Management, Silver Spring, Florida. What is this?. Opened it.
I won the lottery!  For the Sweetwater Cabin   I'll be there February 15 to 22.  Sure beats a root canal. Which I have scheduled for Wednesday.