Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Upstream Reflections

Wednesday April 12, 2017                                                                       Most Recent Posts:
Faver-Dykes State Park                                                       Pellicer Creek, the Heart of Faver-Dykes
St. Augustine Florida                                                                    Nice Surprise at Faver-Dykes



I’m going back in time a week or so to post about our last day at Faver-Dykes and in Florida.  David joined me on Pellicer Creek this time heading up stream to see how far we could go.



The water was calm and the reflections outstanding.  The tide was low unlike my previous post about paddling down stream when the tide was way up and coming in fast.



We’d hardly set out when we paddled by the park’s fishing dock at the picnic area and found only one fisherman checking things out. 





Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in while paddling.  There are things to see on the shoreline, things to see in the water including the fabulous reflections today.  But I have to remember to look up as well.

There are non wading, non swimming birds in the trees like this Osprey. It is just so amazing that he can see the fish he’s looking for from the tip top of this snag.   Wish I had his eyesight.  Even my 50X zoom can’t match him.






Further along I caught another kingfisher in a similar snag.  Their chatter when they fly often alerts me to them and I can follow and see where they land.




Not sure this is the pelican from yesterday but it could be since he was hanging around the only cluster of houses we paddled by.






I was really lucky to have looked up and seen the bald eagle only a minute or so before he flew away.  Talk about eyes, he has them.  He was on top of the massive electric tower we always call Ready Kilowatt.



I didn’t want to paddle so the best I could do is float underneath him and zoom in.  Wish I could have gotten rid of the wires.  But he’s still pretty majestic. 



Taken just before he flew off.  I’ve got some very blurry shots of him winging away.


These are some of my favorite pictures of the day and their beauty belies the fact that they were taken not far from the I 95 interstate bridge we went under.  The noise was a serious contrast to the visual beauty.


With my paddle


And without. 
Your choice.



This will be us tomorrow as we cross this I-95 bridge heading north.




At the last minute, this cormorant decided he didn’t want to share space under the bridge with me.


On the western side of the bridge the eco system changes from Salt Marsh to Maritime Forest.  Palms overhang the water.




Not much further on it begins to narrow.


The reflections give the creek an even more jungle like appearance. 




Around a corner we come to the only other campground I’ve seen on the Creek.  This one is private and called Pellicer Campground.  It has a boat dock and appears to be off of Route 1.




We head on past the campground as the creek gets narrower and narrower.  This is the part I really like but by this point we are running out of time.   Darn!  




I starting thinking about how I can get back up here without having to paddle so far from the park.  Where to put the kayaks in is the question closer to this upper part of the creek.  Not only did I not see any other campgrounds along the creek but no other put ins than the ones at the two campgrounds.

I hope Pellicer Campground will allow us to launch from there for a fee.  That would be great.

We turn around and head back.  David in the lead this time.




Once we get out into the open, we pull off for a break before the long stretch back to Faver-Dykes.




It’s a great spot which I noticed on the way up but further investigation shows that it would be a fine put in and has a dirt road leading to it.  Now if we could just discover how to get to the dirt road.   Might be someone’s private property of course.

Wish we’d done this paddle earlier in our stay so we would have had time to investigate but we were only here for a week and we leave tomorrow.   Something to return for.




Paddling back by the small group of houses after going under I95, there is that pelican again or one of his relatives.  He takes off right into my camera just as I’m trying to get a close up of him.



Wow is his wing span huge.  He must have amazing muscles to flap those things.


We arrive back in the salt marsh to end our last paddle in Florida for this year.  Tomorrow we’re back on the road.


Pellicer Creek, the Heart of Faver-Dykes

Monday April 10, 2017                                                                                   Most Recent Posts:
Faver Dykes State Park                                                                           Nice Surprise at Faver-Dykes
St. Augustine, Florida                                                             Wrapping up Wekiwa: Paddle, Hike, Weigh, Swim


Yes I’m back in Virginia but I still have two posts I want to do on our last days in Florida.  This is the first one.

One early morning I drove down to the boat launch and put my kayak in the water to paddle down stream on Pellicer Creek.  I was paddling against the water so that I could have an easy ride back.




It was just a spectacular morning on the water.  So calm, it was like being on a mirror.  I’m still having problems with OLW and Youtube so I can’t get the video to work on the picture or even come up on its own but there is a one minute video if you click this link.  Make it full screen and it’s more fun. Perhaps, if you have never kayaked, it will give you a sense of it.


Pellicer is a tidal creek.  It was within an hour of high tide so I imagine the spot where this heron is standing will be a mud flat later.



I’m surprised to see a lone pelican on the creek.  Somehow I always think of them flying over the Atlantic shoreline.



This brown pelican lives up to his name.  His brown neck almost looks like rich dark chocolate fur.




It’s not possible to get a tide chart for Faver Dykes, the best I could do was a spot more than two miles away which is not terribly helpful.  Shortly after I launch the tide begins coming in and the speed of it picks up pretty swiftly.  The ocean isn’t far so its power doesn’t take long to get here.

I decide to slip into a side channel to ease up on the paddling.



The tide does ease up as I go.



Almost back to that mirror image of earlier. 



It’s wonderful to see the Tidal Marsh up close as the waterway narrows.



Eventually it’s clear that it is going to get too narrow and if I go much further I’ll have to paddle backwards out a longer way since there will be no where near to turn my 13’ boat around.    Here I am coming out.



I’ve reluctantly left my inner marsh exploration.  When I get back on the “creek”, which seems more like a river to me, the tide has increased and so has the wind.   If you want to see and hear it, click this link for the short video.  Full screen is more fun. If I knew anything about editing, I’d have cut out the end of this since I clearly can’t see what I’m looking for.  But I’m lucky to just be able to get it linked.




I allow the tide to turn me around so I’m going with it now rather than against it.  Now I can just sit back and go with the flow.  I can also look at what’s in the sky.



I am seriously zipping along going back.  Click this link for a video of my holding the camera absolutely still as I move along the shoreline with the tide.  Look mom, no hands!



Same waves only this time I’m going with them and not against them.  Much easier!




Along the way back I see my pelican friend hunkered down in the grasses.



In no time the dock is in view but I’m not ready to go in yet.



So I quick jump onto another little side trail.



This one doesn’t go very far before I’m out of luck.



Back to the dock for me unless I want to ride further out with the tide and have to battle it back.  I don’t think so.   When I get here, guess who is on the pole on the far left.   I really don’t think there are two pelicans. 



He doesn’t flinch when my rudder slams as I pull it up and pick up paddling speed to force  myself as far onto the shore as I can.   He just sits.







I think he has his eye on me though.  I definitely have mine on him.



Then he stands up to pose and does some sort of bill aerobics









When he sees the fisherman come with his boat, the pelican flies over to the dock edge.  I guess this is what he’s been hanging around for.  The possibilities.






He stays until the very last minute as the boat backs up right next to him and then flies only a little way into the creek.  I don’t stay to see what’s next.  It’s after 11am and I’ve been on the water since early morning.  Time for food!

That’s probably just what he’s thinking too.


Luckily I get one more chance to get out on the water this time at low tide rather than high and goin up stream rather than down.  That will be the last paddle for some time unfortunately.