Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Ichetucknee River and Cedar Key

It was time for my spring trip to the Ichetucknee River.  Have to go before the tubers return on the full length of the River on Memorial Day.  Recent rain had the Ich entirely closed to tubing. Perfect!
But, the two motels in nearby High Springs were sold out.  So much for kayaking the  Ich and the Santa Fe Saturday, staying the night, and heading over to Cedar Key on Sunday.  A wider search had very high rates in Gainesville.  What was going on?  I later found out.  Graduation at Santa Fe Community College.  And, the University of Florida.   So,  I booked a cottage in Cedar Key.
 The Ichetucknee was higher than I have ever seen it.  It was high last spring, but is higher now.  I have only been paddling here since 2005, so I am sure  there have been times the flood waters have been even greater.
Underway at 8:15

The barrier is to prevent tubers from attempting to come down river.  The would not get very far.  Little, if any current as the high water from the Santa Fe pushes up the Ich. I went into the trees to get around it.

High water has the boardwalk at the Mid Point Landing under water. The dock is on pontoons, so the bridge from dock to boardwalk is cockeyed.
 There were two massive plant blooms.  At one, I thought I might not make it through.
I found the soft spot. At the other, another paddle through the trees.
 The high water made wildlife scare.  Too deep for wading birds

Snail eggs

This is where I thought, for a moment, I would have to turn back.


 Devil's Eye Springs
The sign is supposed to be above the waterline

Blue Hole Spring



Ichetucknee Spring. The high water let me get close.
Pileated woodpecker at the Spring


The water is over the platform where your usually get out, over the deck, over the first few steps, and up the handicap access ramp.  Easiest landing ever at this location
 Walk to Ichetucnee Spring

Into the water




Just bass, bluegills and me.  A couple, who had been watching, got in as I got out.
 For the first time, I did not go to Blue Hole Spring.  The boardwalk is under construction, so you walk on a service road, or so I have read  I had already paddled over it (and over the fence that blocks access from the water).  Besides, it was cool and drizzling.
Illustrating the high water level. Launching from the handicap ramp. Not a ramp, but the walkway.
 First 4 steps from the deck, below water.
Floating over the deck



At the blockage, a family in two rental kayaks were not moving.  Kids were screaming so I went to the other side.  Harder to get through.  I then caught up with the family. Spiders caused the screams, and, they had seen manatees.  I paddled back to look for them


I counted 4

 Paddling through the trees to get past the plants blocking the River

No tubing
 Cool, rainy, just the family I saw earlier on the River, that's a perfect paddling day.

Railing at the Last Takeout, several feet under water. I landed at
More to come
Landed at 12:37. This is not a ramp, above. It is the slopping stone walkway that leads to a platform, down a step to another.  All under water.
Cedar Key is about 60 miles away
4:07 PM, at Mermaid's Landing.  I assume by this time I had checked in, unpacked, and added more photos to the prior weekend's Yak Tales.

City Park and the beach on the Gulf is a half mile away
 On the water again at 4:30

 Astena Otie Key

 No eagles in, or near, the nest on Aestena Otie

Everyone wants to be in Dave's Yak Tales
 Tailing redfish

 Scale Key bald eagle


 Into the Number 2 Channel

 Another red fish
And pink bird









Can never have to many spoonbill photos



7:46 PM time to chase the sunset





 Landed at 8:30
Back to Cottage 8 at 9

 Popped a dinner, and later, canned clam chowder in the microwave.  As with Cottage 7, where I stayed about a month ago, no stove top.  But, as I said then, at $57.00, can't beat it.  Or, can I...................?

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