Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Friday, February 20, 2015

Ichetucknee River and Spring

I took a Friday off and began a 3 day plus weekend at the last take out in Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
 Had I known what the weather was going to be like, I would have gone south.  It was 22 degrees in nearby High Springs in the wee hours.  But, it was cold everywhere. 48 in Key West.
All the toilets, and urinals, had these stakes in them.  In case of freezing?
 29 when I got on the spring fed Ichetucknee at 8:30.   Probably a few degrees warmer on the water Still, the coldest temps I have paddled.  Wore real shoes and socks in the kayak for the first time in a couple years.  T-shirt, Packer turtle neck, and windbreaker on top.  Windbreaker pants.
 At first I thought this was a pair of otters, or maybe, a beaver.
 Until I got closer to and saw the snorkel
Coffee Spring.  Home to the Ichetucknee silt snail.


Pileated woodpecker

I wore gloves, but they soon got wet, so I took them off.  Living in Florida means only having cheap gloves from the dollar store, not some good water resistant ones.
Saw two deer, River left.

 Taking the picture of the wood stork when I noticed something below my kayak


 There were 8 manatees at the mouth of a spring run.  Too shallow to go very far up the run, so a good spot to stay warm.





Devils Eye Spring


 Beaver dam

 Arrived at the Ichtucknee Springs State Park dock at 10:52. It was occupied.
 I did not get out. Still too cool for a swim.  Either intentionally in the springs, or unintentionally if I capsized getting out, or back into, the kayak.
A look towards Ichetucknee Spring and up the stairs, before turning around.


 Pie billed grebe


 Back at Devils Eye Spring


Moor hens
 More coots

 Duck weed

Snowy egret scratches the itch on the Ich



 Paddling through these trees caused me to miss something.

Not turtles



The Dampiers Landing dock.  How had I missed the manatees? I turned around, paddled back up River.

I had paddled on the wrong side o a tree island, missing the sprig run.

 About half of the morning herd was still there





I first kayaked the Ichetucknee River in September, 2005. Did not see a manatee until March, 2013. Curious,  I searched the worldwideinternetweb and found that Lars Anderson, of Adventure Outpost is asking people to report manatees outside the boundaries of Ichetcucknee Springs State Park.  In Park reports should be sent to Ginger Morgan.  I sent Ms. Morgan a video.

More sign of, but not sight of, beavers

Landed at 1:35
 Back at the North entrance, overlooking Ichetucknee Spring, at 2:15

 Into the Spring



Got out, and took the trail to Blue Hole Spring

Did not swim.  High temp for the day was 53. Blue Hole is much more shaded than Ichetucknee Spring


More to come969

Back at Ichetucknee Spring


I need to see if Cannon Creek is navigable

My room at the High Springs Country Inn



Brenda M said...

Glad you braved the cold because those are some of the best underwater manatee photos yet!

Dave said...

Easy to get good pictures when the only thing stirring up the water are the manatees and my camera over the side of the kayak. A lesson for the swim with manatees industry in Crystal River.