Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Rock Springs Run

Last paddle of 2013. Scheduled myself for half a day. Extend the New Year's holiday.  I will work Saturday morning.  Wanted to go to Haulover Canal, but the forecast was choppy.  Thought about Blackwater Creek, but decided Wekiwa Springs State Park was closer for an afternoon paddle on a short winter day.  And, I'd have a better chance of seeing deer.
 On the Wekiva River at 2:20
 Pie billed grebes

It was crowded. Guess lots of people had the day off.  Wisconsin may have lost to South Carolina in the Citrus Bowl, but we won on the water.  Saw one Badger hat and one Packer T-shirt.  No Gamecock gear
 River patrol volunteer Joanne, and her friend, Sue?  keeping order.   Once I passed the people in front of them, I just saw three more people as I paddled up Rock Springs Run.  They were coming down.


 Turned back at the big pine up Run from Big Buck Camp. 4 PM
 Medium doe

Probably the same gator I saw last time on Rock Springs Run.  Or else another one stole its spot.  Had just seen a deer on my left, could hear more walking through the bush.

A woman coming up Run said she had just seen three deer, on my left.  A buck was on my right, I could hear, but not see, the deer moving on my left.

Landed at 5:46.  Last paddle of the year.  The 174th day of 2013 I got on the water.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cedar Key, NFL North Champion Sunday

As I began my walk this morning, a car with a Wisconsin Packer plate drove towards me. I waved, they rolled down the window and asked where to see the game.  I told them I did not know but I'd be looking on Dock Street later in the day.  As the pulled away, I gave the traditional greeting,  "The Bears still..."  and got the correct answer.  An omen for the rest of the day.

Despite the driving rain that canceled my walk.  It is now New Year's Eve as I resume the Tale.  Stood under a shelter/information booth. Panels on aquaculture, local fish, and the Big Bend Aquatic Preserve.  Shared it with an interesting local.  Joined the Navy during Vietnam.  After basic at Great Lakes, got assigned to the White House Honor Guard.  When LBJ was President. In civilian life, worked all over for power companies.  Good guy to share a shelter with during a thunderstorm.

It let up, I headed back to 330.

 Balcony views

I ate breakfast-seafood pasta, composed a bit of Saturday's Yak Tale, made an entry in the room log, packed, and checked out. Was raining as I drove across the street to City Park.
 It stopped as I took the kayak off the car. Underway at 11:20


Colorful trio. Reddish egret, oyster catchers, roseate spoonbill

Coming back after trying to get black crowned night heron photos




I was able to get some black crowned night heron pics in the rookery near Nature's Landing



These spoonbills were near the wreck




It was deep enough to get past the wreck and take the back country to Channel Number 3
 As I write on New Year's Day, I forget what kind of ducks these were.  It was raining, lightly.

I long paddle to get to the white pelicans. Which were far to the east, near the Number 4 Bridge. Too bad I did not keep my lens clean.

 The rain stopped, but it got windy.  Very windy.


Approaching the Number 3 Bridge



 Female avocets




Number 2 Bridge





As my morning walk was canceled by rain, I decided to take the usual real estate photos from the water.


Where's the motor?
 In the center of the boat.  So not to interfere with working and pulling up traps



The wreck

Earlier, paddling into the wind, the occasional whitecap on the protected inner waters of Way Key, I thought I might be landing on the Channel 2 side of Old Fenimore Mill, walking to the car, and coming back to load.
 The wind subsided.

 Landed at 2:40. 
Had lunch, downloaded photos, recharged the camera battery, all with a nice view.
 Back on the water at 3:55

 Saw dolphins as I paddled out to Astena Otie Key.  Did not get any pics.
This one was back near town and the Honeymoon Cottage.









Blue winged teal. Also saw a bald eagle as I paddled towards Scale Key


Skimmers over Dog Island

Buffle heads

Eagle and nest on Scale Key

As the eagle nest was the wrong way from the sunset, I was unable to get back in time for a better view.





Ideally, I would have been on the other side of the fishing dock.

Landed at 6:02

Dinner and most of the second half of the Packer game at Steamers.
Also had a cup of clam chowder and a Swamphead Brewery Midnight Oil.
Saw the last 3 scores.  When the Bears scored, silence.  When the Packers scored, especially the 4th and 8 winner, it was like this 
Well, not quite, but there were a lot of Packer fans there.  Perfect ending to a great weekend.