Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Flagler Beach and Haw Creek

Kayaked a new creek today.  New for me, Haw Creek has been there.  More on that, later. First things first.
 6:22 AM. Trying to find the sunrise through the clouds from the Whale Watch Motel beach overlook.

A look back at the Whale Watch
 Looking south.
And, north




Only vehicle you'll see on this beach. Looking for new turtle nests.


Beauty and function. Wildflowers help stabilize the done.  Or so I assume.
 360 video

 I was now on the beach



 I posted this on Facebook earlier.  I now know it is a cannonball jelly fish.  How did I not know that before?
Crab scuttling away
 Marine forecast called for choppy waters, including a small craft advisory on the Intracoastal. You can see why.  Although, the wind had yet to pickup.  Forecast to do so at 10 AM

Time to go


How did the dolphin lamp post get here from Cedar Key?  I lay down for a few minutes, got up, had coffee, composed Saturday's Tale, got on the bike at 8:40


 Pirate House

Betty Steflick Park.  Nice trails and boardwalks along the water.  Did not have time to explore them this time.

Moody boat ramp
 From the Whale Watch Motel, its about 2.5 miles to Moody, just over a mile to launch at Gamble Rogers.  In the opposite direction



 Detail.  Pavers in cross walks and fancy street lights.

The best stretch of coastal highway in Florida.......the Florida Keys aren't a coastal drive. That's over the water.

Ride over, 9:35.  Made breakfast. Steak and potatoes.  Another cup of coffee. Came with the cottage, unlike last weekend at Pirate's Cove in Cedar Key. Coffee, not steak
Beach chairs and coolers for guest use.  Looks like my garage with the Omaha Steak coolers

Last photo before getting it the car.  The forecast wind arrived.
 And rain.
I was headed to a place I had never been to.  Haw Creek Preserve. On the west side of Flagler County. Had partial directions.  A brochure in my cottage had the address as 2007 County Road 2007.   CR correct, street number wrong.

 I got to 2007 CR 2007 and kept going.  Stopped at a country store at a rural intersection.  "Take the road out here to 2006, take a right, you will see a sign for Pelicer, a dirt road, go left, take it to the end"

 Any place that has a 2 mile dirt road to get there, I like
Talked to a guy fishing at the launch.  "Downstream is a lake, up, a hunting camp.  One other car in the lot.  Probably on the boardwalk, as it had no racks.  On the water at 12:14




 I am not a big fan of the rivers on the Florida east coast.  Mostly  marsh grasses, not a lot of shade.  But Haw Creek, or Hawk, as the guys at the store pronounced it, is more like a Central Florida river with shady oaks and palms.

The one negative, I did not see much wildlife.  A lone turtle, gar breaking the surface, and the above palmedes swallowtail.

According to my GPS, I was in the first open area, before Mud Lake, when I encountered this.

The lovely, but invasive, and pervasive, water hyacinth blocked the way

I turned around, it was 1 PM


Finally, a bird! May not have noticed this anhinga had it not almost pooped upon me prior to leaving its initial perch 

Back to the launch at 2
 Kept going, in a light rain
 There are 4 overlooks on the Preserve side of Hawk Creek
 This over look is in the opposite side. Private property.  I turned back at 2:00


 An alligator!
Only one I saw



Landed at 2:20
 It began to rain, I took pictures from the picnic shelter. The sign says State Park, but Haw Creek is not on the State Park web site.  I like that.

 The rain stopped, I went to the boardwalk
Slow, short steps on the rain slicked wood.

First overlook.  


Overlook 2


Third overlook

Fourth, and final, overlook.
 The boardwalk ends at this open field.  Two turkeys ran across, to fast for my camera.

There is a Pellicer Creek in Flagler County.  The Pellicers have a long history in Flagler County.

I wondered it this was still private land.  A gray trash barrel, same as the ones on the boardwalk, indicates it now is part of the Preserve.  I did not check to see if the water is on. Did try the lights in the building.   Nothing. No movement on the meter.



 Dry creek bed.  Must be when Haw Creek is very, very high.
 I walked along, thinking, it would be nice to see a deer, a pig, at least an armadillo...when a deer ran from under the boardwalk.

Stopped for a bit, well hidden.
 Ear alert for danger
Back to the launch at 3:35.  I saw 6 people all afternoon. The fishing couple at the start, a couple launching a kayak after I landed, a third couple on the boardwalk. Like me, the last two pairs were first time visitors.
 As I wrote earlier, Haw Creek is not on the State Parks website. It is on Flagler County's site
 One might think the Flagler County Seal would feature the pier at Flagler Beach, maybe the Oceanside golf course at Hammock Dunes, or the cypress trees of Haw Creek.  Nope, a potato. An Irish potato, so I like it.
\Western Flagler County is very rural.  Lots of farms, big cattle ranches as you drive the County Roads.  Below is the main north south route, once you have left the County Roads, State Highway 11.
I-4 it ain't.  And I like it.
A bit of history to close.
In 1860, Lord Henry Decie, a British nobleman, purchased the yacht America, the winner of the regatta of the Great Exhibition of 1851, the first World’s Fair. The America won the
British Open Cup Race around the Isle of Wright, and began the racing legacy known today
as the America’s Cup Race (Cardwell 1999). Shortly after the outbreak of the War Between
the States in 1861, Confederate agents purchased the yacht, renamed the Camilla, for use as a
blockade-runner. In early 1862, the Camilla was trapped up the St. Johns River when the
Union Navy blockaded the river and occupied Jacksonville. Fearing that Union expeditions
would locate and take her, the Confederates scuttled the Camilla at the mouth of Haw Creek.
However, the Union Navy did find, raise and refit the renamed America for use in the
blockading Fleet
... from the DEP Unit Management Plan for Haw Creek Preserve ,2003.


1 comment:

Joanne said...

The one time I went to Haw Creek it was covered with duckweed, and I didn't see much wildlife, either, but it is a pretty creek.

The butterfly is a Black Swallowtail, which looks similar to the Palamedes underneath, but the Black Swallowtail's body has white dots, while the Palamedes' body has parallel lines. Palamedes, parallel, that's how I remember.