Monday, July 17, 2006

Hey! Where'd the creek go??

My father and I had planned a trip out into Kendall's Prairie for yesterday...unfortunately, our schedule (about 7-10 AM) had corresponded with low tide (about 8:30 AM)...which, on a salt marsh creek, usually means NO KAYAKING. It is not wise to go into a marsh when the tide is going out, because you may go into an area that WAS covered by water, but is later only very soft mud. As a result, you would get stuck in the mud without having anywhere to go until the tide comes up (the stuff is so soft that if you try to walk, you will just sink right into it.) So we didn't go back into the salt marsh as planned, but we did still take a good 8-mile trip on the Intracoastal Waterway. Here's some pictures of our trip:
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This is a Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja), characterized by its pink-colored hind quarters and spoon-shaped bill. I wish I could have gotten closer for a better picture, but he was way up in the mud along with numerous egrets and herons. They are common in south Florida, but the populations in north Florida are spotty at the best. These poor guys have gone through some rough times in the past; they were prized in the 1800s for their wings, which were harvested and used for fans, and their plumage was also a favorite in the feather hat craze of the early 1900s. A threatened species, they seem to be recovering, and have populations on the eastern coast of Florida and the Gulf Coast of Texas.

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This is two trips in a row we have been greeted by dolphins! These guys showed up on our way downstream, a couple miles from the boat ramp, and surfaced again on our way back a couple hours later. Gotta love dolphins, they just love to play around humans.

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Well, you don't see that everyday. These are two Army Corps of Engineers barges that are filled wish trash (some of which is labeled "waste oil"...nice to know it's just sitting there in our waterway) just south of the bridge. They are a part of the dredging effort that is ongoing in the Intracoastal. Normally, there are floating in the water, but at low tide, they just sit on the mud like this. Interesting site to see.


R.Powers said...

Oh man. I needed that dolphin shot for my Ozello post. Everybody wanted to see the dolphins I mentioned, but I didn't get a pic that day.

What kind of kayak are you using? I'm shopping...there's a fishing kayak in Sports Authority that I have my eye on.

MinorcanMeteorolgist said...

We have a Pelican Apex II tandem. It handles well, is as stable as you will ever find, and was cheap (only $400 at Sports Authority). It really is not a kayak built for speed, but it will definitely get you to even the most isolated and hard-to-get-to fishing spots (we've paddled it through 4-inch-deep water and through very narrow salt marsh creeks). I believe they make the model in a single form (Pelican Apex I). Word of warning, though...It's definitely not the best for hauling gear around will need to cut out the hatch to store items below deck and find a waterproof hatch for dry storage. But honestly, if you're on a budget and you're looking for a good fishing kayak, I'd say you would be happy with it. There's better out there, yeah, but this definitely does the job.

MinorcanMeteorolgist said...

By the way...if you do decide you want to haul a lot of stuff around on a one person trip, you can always get the tandem and load up the bow and stern with your gear. All you would need to do then is rig up a comfortable seat in the middle of the kayak (should be pretty easy to do if you're good with your hands...and I gather that you are) and tie all your gear down with parachute cord. It would work quite well, but obviously you would just need to make sure that you distribute the weight evenly, and unloading and reloading could be a hassle with all the tying-down. But, in my opinion, a few days out in the wildnerness alone would be well worth it.