Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I knew it had been a while since I paddled the Chaz.  Just checked the archives.  May 18!?!
Some rain on the 90 mile drive to the Chassahowitzka Campground including just before I arrived, but it stopped. On the Chassahowitzka River at 8:28.  A short paddle, 25 yards or so, up stream, to look at Chassahowitzka Main Spring.
Down the Chaz

 Went into Snapper Hole Spring.  Saw mangrove snappers, no manatees.


This is at a spot where people camp.  Visitors to Snapper Hole have not been so thoughtful.  There were cans in the spring.
 Tri colored heron
 Belted kingfisher

Otter. I saw romp of otters earlier.  At least six

 Great egret



 Manatees in the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge.  Previous wildlife was not in the Refuge. The eastern boundary is marked by the sign in the opening photo.

 Still waiting for the Department of Interior to take my advice and put a kayak friendly landing in at Dog Island.  It is high.  Needs one of those ramp roller things.
Blue colored kingfisher on a Blue Goose Refuge marker 

Turned back just past Dog Island, 10:20.    I had shared the River with a guy from Necedah, Wisconsin.  Which is linked to Chassahowitzka.
Or, was.  The gentleman, whose name I did not get, turned back before Dog Island.  He had dog with him.  And chuckled at an old joke.  It rained, briefly.  "This is what the Chamber of Commerce calls, 'Liquid Sunshine'"

The Chaz is a prime spot for the Florida Trifecta. Manatee, Alligator, Dolphin.  I thought I was 2/3 there.
 Seaweed cleverly disguised.
Into Crawford Creek
 Out of the Refuge

The structures are just before Blue Run enters Crawford Creek.   I continued up the Creek, despite an airboat going up it ahead of me.  A family, going slow.  So just obnoxious, not bleeping obnoxious.  I lagged back, and after a while, did not hear it.



Turned back at 11:36
On the fins, rudders, airfoil, or whatever you call it, is written Beetejay Springs Wildlife Refuge.  The spring is on the other side of the dock. This is not the earlier airboat.  I passed it.  It stopped, kids were playing in the water.





Bald eagle

 Approaching the Chassahowitzka

 Dolphins, near where I saw manatees on the way down the Chaz
Alligator. Really.  The Florida Trifecta has been achieved.


Dolphin video
Another video   Listen to them talk


Entering Potter Creek
 Don't even think about stealing my sandwich.  If memory serves, I ate it coming down Crawford Creek.

Red shouldered hawk

Wood stork. With great egret
 Great egrets just before Potter Spring
 Ruth Springs Run

Ruth Spring

 Ruth Spring


Ruth Springs Run. Short, but very sweet
 Back on Potter Creek.


Now, that's a gator


Approaching the Chaz



Snowy egret

Tip. Paddle on the left side of the islands when heading up River. Right, down.  Too shallow for motors.  More wildlife.




Crab Creek

 Crab Creek Springs


 Back to the Chaz


 Into the Solution Holes, or Seven Sisters Springs

Landed at 4:00
I missed the car rolling over to 100K.  First car I have put 6 figures on.  Better, I think I have made the last payment.  Bought it in March 2009. 100,000 miles, all within Florida.

1 comment:

Luis said...

Have been postponing a trip to the Chaz for several weeks now. After seeing the Facebook video it is happening soon. Looking forward the rest of this Tale.