Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Weeki Wachee

I have lived in Florida since August, 1989.  Finally saw the iconic Weeki Wachee mermaids this Christmas Day. Can't be that iconic.  Just got off the phone with my Mom. She had never heard of them.    With the one day holiday, I had thought of going to Crystal River.  But, the marine forecast was bad, and Kings Bay is large.  So, I thought the Weeki Wachee, would be more protected, I could still get in the water with manatees, and maybe see bald eagles and deer.
 Launched from Rogers Park at 7:20
It was cool, low 40's as I headed up the Weeki Wachee River

Manatee at Hospital Hole.  As the water was 30 degrees warmer than the air, I joined it.


Pics did not turn out very well.

3 manatees, a hundred jack crevalle, at least,  fewer, but still numerous mangrove snapper, needle fish, sheepshead, and more.

Got out of the water, toweled off, said good bye to the manatees, and paddled up River

 The usually elusive, belted kingfisher

Other than one home owner, I saw no one for almost 3 hours. Just the way I like it.  I was inside Weeki Wachee State Park, 5 miles up stream, when a few paddlers came down River.

Bald eagle nest. One in, one leaving.



Prop protectors on the tour boat.  For manatees, is my guess.  Still have the blunt force trauma issue. But, the Weeki Wachee is all Idle Speed,
 Arrived at that point at 10:25

Looking up River toward the Spring.
 Moon, sky, trees
 Nesting great blue herons.

Did not see the eagles when I passed their nest
 Five miles to Rogers Park


 Leaving the State Park
Same turtle I saw on the way up River





 White Christmas
Super vivid setting
 The famous tree climbing alligator




Crowd at Hospital Hole. Some had wet suits on.  Pussies.  It was 72. I was glad I was there, alone, at 7:30 when it was 45. In swim suit.
I just paddled past.

Rogers Park
 Landed at 1:40
 Went to the land side of Weeki Wachee Springs State Park
A super vivid view of the Sping

No swimming in the Spring, but you can swim just outside the massive hole.
 I saw manatees here in January.  I wanted to take a video, but the last two times I used the video function, I lost all my photos.  So, I used the old camera.  No manatees. And, I forgot why I bought a new camera.  Not because the zoom was not working- it is now, but I get a white blob where the fish should be.
Only two pics turned out.  The water was full of sheepshead.






As I stood on the tour boat dock, a jet ski came up the river.  Making a wake. The entire River is Idle Speed.  Went past the No Entry sign.  Turned around, went down the Weeki Wachee, still at illegal speed.  The operator had a life jacket with PA.  Paddling Adventures is the kayak rental concession.  A real shame if it was one of their employees, and not some random asshole who obtained a PFD some tourist dropped.  I told the ranger at the entrance on my way out.  She called Paddling Adventures.  I did not wait to listen in.  Just now I sent Paddling Adventures an email, reporting what I saw
 Indian Mound marker


 It just dawned on me what peacocks and mermaids have in common.  Fancy tails.

The audience for the Mermaid shows is inside the building on the left.


Standing on the deck overlooking the Spring, I could hear the Mermaid show.  May as well see if I can get in.

I was able.

The show began in 1947.


 Christmas Day is an appropriate day to see mythical figures.

This was my 10 day kayaking in the last 12. Not a bad way to spend December.


Luis said...

Funny thing. I was a hair pin close of going to Weekie Wachee today for the same reasons. Mom is visiting and want to take her to see the mermaids show, which I have never seen.

Dave said...

"Hair pin close" Never heard that expression. Dave's Yak Tales. Learning new things since 2007.

Luis said...

Sorry about that. Was trying to translate a Spanish say.