Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Cedar Key, Sunday, March 23

Tour of the grounds, 7:30

 I chatted with the owner.  The cottages were built in the 1950's for the same purpose they are used for now.  Inexpensive lodging.  She is selling it wanting to do something else after 17 years.  Offers have been received.  I did not ask amounts, or make one.  I did make a 2 ham and rolls. One for breakfast, one in the cooler for lunch. Burned the breakfast bun in the toaster.  Note to self for my next visit, coffee is supplied. I will visit again, especially this time of year when Park Place has higher rates.   And, I can get one of the cottages with a full kitchen.  And a water view.  If not the one with the pier.
On the water at 5 past 10
 Trying to get dolphin  photos.
Told the clamers they'd be famous


Good  sized pod, about 8 dolphins

 Clam farmers work their lease

 I paddled further south than I ever have, before turning back.
 Great horned owl nest, with young




 Landed for the photo below.
And a few more




 Wondered if the far off birds were eagles, or vultures. The latter, likely. Paddled towards them but it was a long way, so I turned back




Scale Key eagle

I heard someone yell, "Wow!"  A kayak in the distance.  And a fishing boat.  I thought the anglers landed a big one.
As I paddled closer to the kayaker, I saw dolphin making a wake in the Number 3 Channel.  It went out to the Gulf.  I failed to get a photo.   I got near the kayaker, it had been her "Wow".  Her best dolphin experience, ever.  A pod swam under her kayak.  Not once, but a couple of times.
I had a nice chat with Pam? as we paddled back towards town.   She lives on the water, on a canal in Boyton Beach, FL, but Cedar Key provided a thrill of a lifetime.

This is where I was when it crashed.  Landed at 1:35 
Darn snowbirds and spring breakers.  All four covered picnic tables, with their electric outlets, were occupied.  As was the big shelter, with a birthday party.  I was forced to sit under palm trees.  Which were too far away from Park Place to get the wi fi signal.  So, I moved to the gazebo and downloaded a few photos.
Then, I went for a bike ride.

A gentleman pointed out my tires were low.  I kept going.
Obligatory Honeymoon Cottage photo

 But not far, as it was slow going.

I was on the trail bike, not the road bike.

My original plan for the weekend was to paddle the Hillsborough, maybe bike the Wilderness Park trails, then catch the air show in Tampa.  I changed my mind, but not bikes
 Big Deck Raw Bar
Big Dave's Kayak.  A short, slow, 30 minute ride.
Before I got back in the water, Tom, the kayak concession owner, said "Jed tells me you come all the way from Orlando!?!  Do you drive back at night"  I told him if I am here two or more days, I spend the night.

 No dolphins on the way to Astena Otie
No eagles at the nest






This crab trap was moving.  Against the current.  Must have been a big one.  Or more.
 I paddled across the water to the Number 3 Channel.  Thinking I might find dolphins as tide was coming in.

They were back, and hungry.

I have had single dolphins swim under me several times.
But never a hungry pod, charging after fish 
They were pretty close before diving under me at the last moment.  The yak rocked, I was splashed, it was great!
 For a while, it was just the dolphins and I.  The way they work together, herding their pray, slapping the surface with their tails, is amazing to watch.  I should buy a GoPro camera.  That's one you mount on your bike handle bars, or helmet, or kayak.
 Two kayaks came into the area, so I went to find eagles.
Some of the dolphins joined me


 The dolphins were on the prowl.  All the way to within sight of the Number 3 Bridge.  Through narrow passages through the mangroves only accessible at high tide

 Back to the Scale Key nest
 Into the Number 2 Channel.  No longer with dolphins


Paddling past the wreck.  No spoonbills, a flock of buffle head ducks. 
  I came back to the Channel, and into the Nature's Landing waterway.  Home of the black crowned night heron roost.  And, today, spoonbills.  One flew over my head.  I turn a narrow corner, and, there, in front of me, were half a dozen pink birds.
 They flew off
At least I got an ibis

 And night herons with a great egret

Tide even higher. Just the bowsprit out of the water. Cormorant clings on.
 Into the cove behind the cove at Old Fennimore Mill


Landed at 7:08
Stopped at the Number 4 Bridge to look for great horned owls in the nests there.  Just an osprey.  And, hopefully, a sunset

 Maybe next visit


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