Dave's Yak Tales

Cedar Key Sunset

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Mantanzas River and more

The sun's coming up, I'm riding with lady luck... as I get to this Tale from June 13,  I am listening to the chorale group, Chanticleer sing another Tom Waits song, Temptation, on a Prairie Home Companion.  On July 18.


 Headed to St. Augustine
On A1A
I saw Fort Mantanzas, and thought, why go all the way to St. Augustine.
 So, I pulled into the small parking area.
Boardwalk, steps, beach.
On the Matanzas River at 9:08

 Low tide
Matanzas Inlet.  I grounded on a sandbar. Got out and walked back.  Carefully holding on to the kayak as the tide was rushing out. Holding to  a line not the yak itself.

Saw a manatee.

 And wondered why the National Park Service tour boat made a wake in the No Wake Zone.  Which, I believe, is for the tour boat, not manatees.
 Fort Matanzas was built to defend the back way to St. Augustine


 Shell mound?

I wondered what this mangrove-less island was. I was told later by a ranger, spoil island from dredging the Intra Costal Waterway

Last time I paddled this area, I saw several dolphins.  Today, the current was swift, big waves where two channels meet. I turned around.


 Landed at 10:40.  Not where I started, but near where the Park Service tour boat docks.
Went to the Visitor Center,  got a ticket (free) for the next trip to the Fort.

 Had some time before the voyage

Matanzas translates to Slaughter.  The Spanish killed shipwrecked Frenchmen.  Ending France's efforts to have a Florida colony

Checking on the kayak before boarding the NPS pontoon boat.
 Wishing they had kayaks




Fort Matanzas  usually had a garrison of 7 men.  It was a hardship post.


Those people need to put my kayak under an umbrella

If Santa and go down the chimney...

I visited the right day.  Not only were there re-enactors in period uniform, but I saw the once a month
Cannon firing just sounds wrong.

Back on the boat



 Lots of people on the water

I got off.  The nearly empty parking lot was now overflowing.  Cars parked on the side of A1A.
 I headed back towards Ormond Beach.
The guy distributing the tour boat tickets told me about a launch site near Marineland.

 Tide dependent
 Don't know what the posts are, or were

 I went into Marineland,  but decided against buying a ticket.  Walked back across A1A and came across a clear pond.


 The stripped fish are sheepshead.  The small ones, snapper
 The large, dark fish are drum
I had to ask what they were. The drum.

Where there are fish, there are,


 Next stop, Washington Oaks State Gardens

Sat under a oak and ate lunch
Island campers

 Inside the home of the Park's last owner, who donated the property to the State in 1964







 The Park extends from the Matanzas River to the Atlantic

 The Atlantic side has a unique feature.
 Coquina stone formations
 Made from tiny sea creatures.  The material the Spanish used to build St. Augustine.
Including Fort Mantanzas

Fish in a stone enclosed tidal pool


 One of the best drives in Florida.  A1A from Fort Mantanzas to Ormond Beach

 Back to the room, dinner, then time for a late day paddle.
 At Smith Creek, part of North Peninsula State Park

 Short, and tidal.
 Had to get out an pull the kayak over this mudflat to get to the Halifax River

Highbridge Road Bridge

 Bulow Creek


 Home on an island in the creek



Black crowned night heron.  At the entrance to Smith Creek.  The tide had come in a little, I pushed over it.


 Landed at 8:30
 Back at my motel, ship lights out on the Atlantic.


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