Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Monday, April 6, 2015

Fort De Soto with Honz and the Googes

As I had one kayak on the car from Friday night, I only had to put one more on the car before heading out to Fort De Soto on Saturday, April 4.  Driving west on I-4, the moon began to go behind some clouds.  Or so I thought.  Until I remembered, there was a lunar eclipse.  I pulled off at the Lakeland Rest Area and took a few pictures.

Back in the car, arrived at the Arrowhead Picnic Area at Fort De Soto at 8:00 or so.

 John Honz(ik), who lives in St. Pete, had arrived earlier to snag the best spot.
 Phyllis and Mike Gaggioli (The Googes) arrived shortly thereafter.  They live in the Milwaukee area, down to Tampa to visit Mike's parents.  John, Mike and I went to grade school together, Mike and I continued as classmates through high school
Dolphins swam behind John.
 John brought his kayak, I brought 2. We needed one more.  I took one kayak off my car, then Mike and I drove to the rental concession at Soldiers Hole.  Mike rented a kayak, a sit inside at my recommendation, and we headed back to Arrowhead.
 I have never seen a loon, this dark, in Florida.  The wintering birds are much paler.


 A manatee took a liking to Mike's kayak

 John and Phyllis met us on the water.



Back to Arrowhead

 Back on the water

 Stop on a crowded North Beach

 Back on the water


Grilled burgers and brats.  Washed down with another b word. Which I cannot name as it is not allowed in the Park
Phyllis said this was the first time none of the children joined them.  One of the seven could have given selfie advice.

All of a sudden, it was 5 PM. "Mike, when does that kayak have to be returned?" "5:30"  John, "You'll make it"
Mike and I paddled to the concession

 We were halfway when I realized there was no way we would make it at closing time.  However, I figured it was such a busy day, the workers would still be cleaning and stacking kayaks
So we could watch manatees

 Merganser, below


Landed at 6:20.  As I had surmised, lots of kayaks still scattered about.
 Back to our spot, all vehicles loaded.  Mike said, "Take the Ulmerton exit"   My GPS was advising otherwise.  I thought, doesn't Ulmerton only have a west bound exit?
 Yup.  But then we would have missed the sun setting coming back across the Howard Franklin Bridge.

Final Four and local pizza at Mike's parents place in Largo.  Great win for our second favorite college basketball team.  John and I stayed the night.   A meager substitute  for the grandchildren.

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