Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cedar Key

As usual, I began my visit to Cedar Key with a stop at the Wacasassa River.
Underway at 6:35.  Three motor boats launched as I did, as usual, they went down River, I went up.  A small alligator was swiming just off the launch when I arrived.  I did not see it when I launched,  the boaters likely caused it to hide.
The Wacassasa Park and ramp is 30 miles from Park Place in Cedar Key. Southeast.  Debby did not dump as rain here as it did in other locations, but the River was higher, darker, and faster then it had been Memorial Day Weekend.

Wacasassa left, Wekiva right. As is my habit, I went up the Wekiva.
I heard this before I saw it. Had I not heard, would I have looked up  I like to think so.
Roosting swallowtail kite.

Turned back here, Time, 7:57.  Same log that blocked me last time?  May log, below.  Lower in the water. River higher today.  Did I paddle over it today?
Maybe, about a ten minute longer paddle today, compared to Memorial Day Saturday.

One the way up River, I wondere why I saw only one swallowtail kite.  I had heard irs cry, an assumed when it calls, it hopes for an answer.
Got it.  

Several soarers.

Yellow crowned night heron at the confluence. Up the Wacasassa

 And back down

Little crab

I landed at 10 am. Using the dock, the lowest part was very low, due to the tide. An easy roll out of the kayak.
Stopped at the Cedar Key Scrub State Preserve.

Did not see any scrub jays. Lots of deer tracks in the sandy soil. Which makes for a tough hike. My mile felt like three. No actual deer seen.

Arrived at Cedar Key around 11:40. Thought about seeing if I could check in, decided to get on the water, first.

Debby damage. The row of docks along the break wall at the marina.
Here are photos from the local paper   Someone prayed to hard for rain. 
Cedar Key residents and visiors are advise to not drink, cook, or ingest, Tap water.  Too much salt water is getting into the wells from where the town gets its supplies.  As I mentioned on another site, this ties in nicely with last weeks Tale from the Silver River.
 The town and residents did a great job of cleaning up. Other than the busted up docks, things looked pretty much as they always do.

I turned back shortly after taking this photo.  The wind was in my face, and I could go where I'd be protected.  Saw a dolphin, no photo.
Just as I was about to enter the Number 2 Channel, another dolphin.
Photos obtained for your enjoyment.

Not a dorsal fin.
The prow of sunken vessel in the channel.  A sign its high tide and I can explore the area to my right, east, without scraping the bottom on oyster shells.

I thought I saw  ray, second thought is the small spot in the upper portion of the photo is  fish tail.
Looking for food in the oyster bed.
I hope to see the roseatte spoonbills I saw in this area at the end of May.
None today. At least not in this area.  Plenty of snowy egrets.
And great

I thought of entering the wide, island dotted channel south east of the Number 3 bridge and returning that way. Instead, I got turne around and went into the Gulf.  A good thing, as that is where the two dolphins that open this Tale were. Three in all.

Paddled into the wind back towards Dock Street.

Don't blame me for the water problems in Cedar Key.
From the plot in the local cemetary, shown on prior Cedar Key Tales, I assume the Cedar Key Cannon's were fairly prominent.  Now I see they are in the center of current events.
Landed at 1:25, crosse the street and checked in.

This time, I took the room pics before it got the Dave lived in look.

View from the balcony.
View from the kayak, back on the water, 4:20

Atsena Otie Key dock.

Low tide foragers

Least terns
Royal terns. How do I know?  Side by side comparison.

I landed on Astenia Otie, the original site of the City of Cedar Key.

The yellow tape is new since my last visit. Used to be able to walk halfway out on the dock.
Mosquitos kept my visit short.

Back to the "modern" Cedar Key.
Saw a magnificent frigate bird dive, skim the surface for a meal.

This is the ship/oysterbar in the Number 2 Channel.  Earlier, just the prow extended out of the water. I wondered where the spoonbills I saw here in May were.

Found a spoonbill
And more

Waders like lo tide. So do pelicns, no where for the fish to hide.

Saw this juvenile black crowned night heron, and thought, where is an adult?

Under the Number 2 Bridge.  Old wood span, now a pier.

I found the spoonbill flock.

Spoonbills are nice, but it is always treat to see Toucan Sam.

aka black skimmers

My best attempt at a black skimmer doing what the name implies.  Flying along the surface, beak open, skimming for food.

Landed at 20 to 8. I should have stayed out another 50 mintues to catch the sunset, but I was hungry and tired.  Went to the room, got dinner ready to go, took a quick cool down shower, and headed outside.

Sun going down behind Park Place, so I made the two block walk to the back bayou.

8:25 PM.
I should have immediately hoppe on my bike and pedaled past the big fishing dock, past the curve in the road, to where I got great sunset pics last May.  Instead, I walked as far as the dock, and there was no view from there.  And it was too late to go the 6-8 blocks for the good view.
So, I headed back to Park Place.

If I still did bongs, I'd have some water.  What, that's not what potable means?
An airboat tour dock. Poetic justice?
Main boat ramp.
I had a complete day. First photo at 6:36 am on the Wacasassa River.  Last photo, the moon at 8:42.  Make that second to last.  Dinner, 9:20