Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Orange River and Ding Darling

With my brother, Pat. Saturday
Underway from Manatee Park at 9:30
 Short canal to the Orange River
Saw several manatee, but, I was unable to get any photos of the sea cows.  Green heron, above
Down River, we did see, cows.




 Turned back about 10:35.   We had been paddling into the wind and an incoming tide. The Orange River is a tributary of the Calossahatchee River.


 Two very long canoes mark the entrance to the short canal back to the launch site
 Hung out with the manatees, again.
Alas, no photos

Landed at 11:35.  When we arrived, there had been plenty of paved, parking spaces. A sign pointed to "Additional Parking", a grass lot.  Who is going to use that?  I thought.  The answer, lots of people.

All there to see lots of manatees.  40-50 in the warm water of the power plant discharge canal.

 We went back to the hotel, a Travelodge on Highway 41, in Fort Myers.  Pat had been in Fort Myers on business, and stayed over for the weekend.  I came down Friday night, after work. This is not the view from the hotel, but from the pool at Shell Island Beach Club, on Sanibel.  As we ate Cuban sandwiches from the East End Deli.
Pat had to conduct some business,  I had to have an afternoon kayaking session.
So, a look at the Gulf, and on to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge.  Traffic on Periwinkle Drive was horrendous. 
Much better on Wildlife Drive, in the Refuge

On the water at 3:15





Black crowned night heron

Landed at 4:22.  Pat had told me to come get him "5ish" and we'd head to Fort Myers Beach for sunset.  Once again, Periwinkle was packed from Casa Ybel to the Causeway. I turned off at Donax, taking the Gulf Drives, Middle and East, back to "the quiet end of the island"
Pat was waiting at the condo entrance, and we headed to Fort Myers beach.  Again, traffic was an issue.  Two lanes merge into 1 at the bridge to Estero Island.   Where would we park with all these people.  Pat had a plan.  Park in the first lot, buy a drink so we are customers, then cautiously, as no alcohol is allowed, take it out on the beach




As I was taking my last sunset pictures, Pat hurried into another beach bar, Nemo's to place our order before happy hour ended at 6.  Got the food order in, so the Shrimp Mancini was 5 bucks off.  Very, very good.   But, to late for the $2.50 drinks, the rum and cokes were up to $2.50.  The young bartender said . "Oh, $3.50 is still pretty good"  Not if you drank .75 vodka tonics at the Brat House in the early '80's young missy, I thought.

 Great place, lots of TV's, watch a bit of the Badger game, a two person combo, playing Van Morrison, Pink Floyd, and more.  Happy hour is 3-6, Mon-Sat.  Nest stop, Maries.
I ate here before, with Pat and family, a couple summers ago.
Pat had  bowl of gumbo
A mere cup, for me.
Followed by the Fishermans platter.  No alcohol, you can bring your own.  Had a PBR in the cooler.
A fine way to end the day.


Luis said...

Was this your first time there?

Dave said...

2nd. First was December, 2008.