Sunday, January 27, 2008

Blue Springs, Orange City

The Case of the Missing Canoe
I drove to Blue Springs today to go paddle. I carry my canoe down to the water and return back to the car to get the rest of my gear; Lifejacket, Paddle, Camera. Walk back to the launch area and my canoe is missing. My first thought was I went down the wrong boardwalk. Then I thought someone stole it. Then I got to thinking they rent canoes and someone must have taken it by accident. I walk back up the boardwalk and see one of the Rangers. I tell her my canoe is missing. She calls the law enforcement people that are at the park. A Dept. of Environmental Protection officer shows up.(Quickly) I explain what happened, he calls another officer. A female office shows up and tells me they have an officer in a boat and she will ask him to look for my canoe. She was very helpful and waited with me while the search was under way. My boat was found and the people were asked to return it to me. I didn't ask any names so I can't thank the people that helped. I know they were just doing their jobs but they acted in a very professional manner to everyone involved. (Thanks very Much)

Out on the Water

I see this Osprey flying right towards me I take a few pictures and then notice he is carrying a fish. Did I mention it was windy, he was flying pretty slow upwind. But he did have lunch.

I paddled over to the side of the river because I saw this Snowy Egret working his way along the shore. If you look closely you can see the minnow in his beak. I bet I saw him catch 20 of them in the time I was watching. 

He walked right around the front of my boat. I was making sure to be extra still and not make any sudden movements. He just continued on with the business of catching lunch. 

I did see some manatees while waiting for my boat to be returned. when I was on my way back I passed by this one pretty close. I was drifting with the wind so I didn't even have to paddle. I did take pictures as I went by. It looks like the manatee has it's mouth open. 

It was a nice day out. The park was crowded but the manatees were out in big numbers. I had to actually ask people to move so I could carry my boat up the hill.  It was a nice day the wind made it a little more challenging But it was quite a nice day. 

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Silver River 1/5/08 Part 1

Today I paddled on the Silver River, which is not too far from Ocala. There is a bit of current but the water is crystal clear. It Is fed from Silver Springs. The Boat ramp is nice. They have 2 ramps for Motorboats and a ramp for canoes and kayaks. The canal to the river is bone straight and lined with plantlife. Then you turn into the Silver River and enter the current. I paddled 2.56 miles upstream which took about 3 hours. The trip back only took an hour. 

This is an anhinga he cooperated and opened his wings to show off his wings with that great coloring.

I spotted this little gator hanging out on the side of the river. The current had pushed me over to the side. His head was about the width of my hand. Overall he was under 2 feet long. I set and watched him for a bit and he never moved. 

Silver River 1/5/08 Part 2

This turtle was just sitting on this log in such a weird position I had to take his picture. He was however in good sunlight.

This Great Blue Heron Just watched my go by. Usually when you get to close they fly off. This one was standing still like maybe I wouldn't see him. I took some pictures and eased off trying not to disturb him. 
These two guys were hanging out on the same log. I was surprised to see them hanging out in such close proximity. I guess the turtle was more then a mouthful for the gator.

I was paddling downstream when I saw this Doe, She was watching me float by. As I paddled over to the shore I lost sight of her. However I did see this buck. He was standing there looking at me. I had to stand up in the canoe to take some pictures and then he walked behind the big tree and stood there for a while. Then he peeked at me to make sure I was still there. After that he walked off keeping the tree between us but he didn't seem to be in any hurry.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Very Windy

I was going to try and go paddling today however the wind did not cooperate. It was blowing about 20 - 25 knots. I was going to go try one of the small creeks by my house, but after checking the weather I decided against it. I did drive down to the new boat ramp on Goodby's Creek to check out the facilities. It is a real nice place plenty of parking and two floating docks. The only disappointing thing is all the trash people have left on the dock. I guess they are too lazy to carry it up and put it in the trash cans. I want to slap people for doing things like that. I think this weekend I am going to try paddling here. I could hear a bunch of birds and even see 2 or 3 different kinds a ways down the creek. 

Get a new canoe, wind will blow

Get a new sailboat, no wind

Happy New Year and fair winds for whatever type of boating you do