Friday, January 1, 2010

Way Down on the Suwannee River...

That’s where we were in my inflatable Sea Eagle kayak the day after Christmas. Usually my family and I try to plan something “different” for the week after Christmas. This year we decided to go snorkel with the manatees in Crystal River Florida. But before we did that we had the opportunity to go on a moonlight paddle.

Since I haven’t had the opportunity to use Sea Eagle much and get comfortable with it, I decided we needed to go put in and let me practice a little. Well it couldn’t have been a “worse” day for trying it out. The wind was blowing and the Suwannee River is quite wide. It was white capping a little and I’ll have to admit I was a little uneasy. But I did have my trusty personal flotation device around my waist, thanks Betsy from work.

Taylor was there to help me pump it up and she and Jonathan launched me and off I go into the Suwannee River, far, far away. But it was a lot easier to maneuver than when Theda and I went to Blackwater SP that one time. So I come back to shore to pick up Taylor. It’s her first experience in a kayak so I gave her a few paddling lessons and she was doing quite well. We came back by where Jonathan was and he said if you go to the other side of the river it won’t be so windy. Oh, that makes sense, so here we go. Let me just tell you that the Suwannee River at that point is wide, did you hear me, WIDE! Took us a while to get over there, got to show Taylor how to cross over waves made by inconsiderate boaters, all good experience. We got to the other side and nope, not less windy and all I could think about was alligators, one bite and Sea Eagle would be gone as would me and my precious cargo. LOL

So after we paddle around and think we have the hang of it we come back to load the kayak up and we are both ready for the night. I don’t have to rent a kayak; I used mine and am comfortable. Jonathan and Taylor will rent their own and we will be ready.

It was dusk and we put in at the manatee spring area and go out the spring into the Suwannee River. It was rather daunting because there are so many buzzards along the shore. Some of the guides said to stay away from the edges as the buzzards would poop on us. Okay, not to worry. I won’t get anywhere near them.  There were other wildlife along the coast. 

Taylor was a little unsure of being the captain of her own vessel but one of the guides showed her and worked with her and was so helpful she got the hang of it and off she went, gliding through the water like the swimmer she is even though she was not swimming. She and Jonathan went ahead of me, I on the other hand had “practiced” too much earlier in the day and I was tired going against the current, so I just took my time and talked to the guide who stayed with the last paddler, ME. Anyway we talked, he is the campground host here and they have just purchased a home (stik & brik) in town. They are giving up full timing after seven years. She has health issues that require them to be closer to medical facilities.

This would be a neat place to camp host but alas, I’m not looking to do that yet. I’ve got too many plans and that doesn’t include parking for very long in one place, well unless that might be Key West. LOL

Coming back was so much easier on the Suwannee River, I was going with the current, it was dark and the moon was ever so bright and it was such a lovely evening. It was the best trip ever. I can’t wait to do more kayaking. The next place I’m going has some clear springs that I’ve heard are great for kayaking.  Oh did I mention that Jonathan was there for our support during the day of our trying out the Suwannee River? 


1 comment:

Margie and Roger said...

Enjoyed the kayak adventure photos. The 3 of ya'll look alike! Loved the photo with reflection in the water. When we see buzzards we do a little dance and we 'keep movin' so they know we are still alive.