Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Weedon Island Preserve

The Extended Stay at the Tampa Airport is water front.  Not the above view. Below. Retention pond from the hallway window.
 On my way to get breakfast.  Coffee, oatmeal, muffin, and an orange.  Plus an apple, another muffin and a granola bar for later.
Unlike Saturday when I ate in the car, I dined in my suite.  Left a message for John H at 10 after 9. We has talked about kayaking Weedon Island, Saturday at the Chattaway.   I checked out at 9:45.
 I had never been to Weedon Island Preserve.  A Pinellas County facility on the west side of Tampa Bay.  Here is a link http://www.weedonislandpreserve.org/  I found the Preserve, and launch site.  Busy, but as it was already after 10, people who got in an early paddle were leaving.  The closest space to the launch opened up.   I set out at 10:28.
 There are trails on land as well as on water in the Preserve
 Trail marker 1
 Homes on Riviera Bay
Into the mangroves

This is my nightmare scenario. Not getting stuck, I never had to take my paddle apart. Getting stuck behind groups of paddlers with no place to pass.  One person somehow got turned sideways.  I waited for her to straighten out.  Unable to.  Until I told her which side to paddle on. And back paddle.

Fortunately, there are open areas



 Picnic area less than a mile into the paddle.  Seems to be the only place to stop until a sandbar near the end.

 This is how I know the picnic table is less than a mile into the trip


High tide.  I have read the trail can be impassable at low tide

I wonder what happens when people come the "wrong way" in the mangrove tunnels.  Many are long and narrow.   I say the right of way belongs to the person going upwards counting the markers

The sandbar I mentioned earlier. Appears to be a party spot

The trail is 4 miles
 I landed at 12:30.  I saw an osprey or two, a great blue heron, a tri colored heron and several ibis.  All I flight.  This may have been the first paddle ever where I did not get a single animal picture.
So when I saw the saw crabs that I saw on the mangrove roots in the urinal, I got the camera.

View from the fishing dock next to the kayak launch
 Crowded on a Sunday.  I left before it got really bad.  The launch has a low floating dock, and a sloping concrete ramp on the side.  At a 90 degree angle to the water.  I used the ramp, standing in the water, just off the ramp, and picking up my kayak.
 History of the area
There is visitor center. Closed on Sundays. Which makes no sense.
 One of two boardwalks

3 story observation tower
 Saint Petersburg

 Wildlife was here.
More crabs! Fiddler crabs.

Saw more wildlife, cormorants and osprey on light poles on the Howard Franklin Bridge than I had at Weedon Island.  Wildlife has been avoiding paddlers for over 1000 years.


Joanne said...

When getting crabs in the bathroom is the only wildlife...I think I'll pass on this one.

Luis said...

Sorry it did not turn out as you expected Master Dave. Maybe because the day(weekend)? I had a totally different experience on my paddle there but it was a weekday as was on vacation.