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

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It’s Foggy, Let’s go Kayaking

Friday April 4, 2014
St. George Island State Park
Eastpoint, Florida

 

 

 

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On our East Slough Sunset hike we walked from the Sugar Hill Camping Area along the south side of the East Slough.  That trail is not marked on this map.  On our Primitive Trail Hike we walked from the camping area down the brown dotted path to the primitive campgrounds on St. George Island Sound. 

 

This morning it is very foggy so I figure it’s a great time to go kayaking and see both the trails from the water.

 

 

 

We start out at the boat dock on the East Slough and go to our right down the slough to see how far we can go.


As we put the kayaks in this sailor is also getting ready to go out.  Before he launches out on his own kayak, he watches David bring his boat down to put it in the water.   He’s looking so intently into the water, I wonder if he’s fishing. 

 

 

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As we paddle along the shore line, the dunes are visible.  Some commenters on the Slough Hike post said they thought the pictures I took of them there looked like snow capped mountains.  I never quit being thankful for the dunes and to those who set this land aside so they could be undisturbed.

 

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I’m ahead of David so I miss this skate who swims right by his boat.  Darn!

 

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The slough tapers from a wide body of water down into one of those cool little places I love to explore.  Those places only a kayak can get.  Probably not even a canoe can get in here.

 

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When I get in among the grasses I discover that along the way some how I’ve picked up a little hitch hiker.  Close your eyes Karen,  it’s a frog.   Cute isn’t he???  He’s no bigger than my thumb.

 

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Of course it keeps getting smaller and smaller as you can see on the map. 

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I am quite a bit ahead of David coming down the slough so I have no idea he has come in behind me until I come to the end.   Thanks for these pictures David.

 

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The corners are getting tighter and tighter. I know I’m going to get stuck.  But I just love these tight tiny places. 

 

 

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Well that’s it, I can’t go around this one.  At 13.5’, I’m just too long.   So now how to turn around??   Since David is behind me, he has to go first.  HA!   But he’s also a foot shorter than I am.  Well his kayak is.

 

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I back out to a spot I think is wide enough and with some serious effort manage to cut through a short even smaller stream to avoid a corner I can’t get around.   Boy do I wish I had my sweet little paddle instead of this oversized one. 

 

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When we arrive back in the wider water, we see the fog is still here.

 

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We’re coming up the opposite side of the slough when this group flies by.  We’re on our way to the tip of land that has the Primitive trail.

 

 

 

 

 

I am surprised to see this green heron out in the open on a snag.  I normally see them skulking about in the shallows and reeds.

 

 

 

This is probably not a spot for the Sea Eagle or any other inflatable boat since there are not only visible oyster bars like this one but submerged ones.  I hit at least 3 of them over the course of the day before I even knew it.  With a hard shell kayak it’s hopefully only a few scrapes but in an inflatable it could be a puncture.   David actually takes a picture of one he gets in to.

 

 

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We’re not surprised to see oyster catchers on the oyster bars.  But they aren’t the only ones looking for dinner there.

 

 

 

 

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Paddling along we see a large nest back in a pine tree beyond the grasses.   My camera confirms that it is a great horned owl.  COOL!   I can even see one of the little chicks.  WOW! 

 

 

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The tip of the land around which we are paddling ends in a sand bar which now is exposed as it is just past low tide.  It’s covered with birds.  Mostly terns but some cormorants, oyster catchers and gulls.   Every once in a while one of them sounds an alarm over who knows what and they all take wing only to fly around in a circle and land right back where they were.

 

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We have to swing wide around the tip.  The water is only inches deep here.   I think you could walk out to this point from Primitive Site #1 although I wouldn’t want to disturb the current occupants.

 

 

 

 

Around the other side are the primitive campgrounds.  What a gorgeous natural setting. We decide to stop for a stretch at this easy access beach.

 

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The water is so shallow that these folks are poling their fishing boat so their motor doesn’t get stuck.  He’s poling, she’s fishing.  Sounds right to me!  Huck Finn anyone?

 

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Some lucky person is tenting at Primitive Campsite #2.  Doesn’t that look fabulous??

 

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On down the shore, another nest, different bird.

 

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The fog and haze have lifted and given us a beautiful day on the water.

 

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And a great day for birds.

 

 

 

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I think David’s entry in the kingfisher photo contest is a hair raiser.

 

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Our third nest of the day.  This time a great blue heron.

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The water chop has picked up so we know we’d turn around to go back since we have to paddle into the wind.  We’ve been out now over 3 hours and it’s going to be a more difficult paddle back.    Not many pictures can be taken when you have to keep paddling to keep from going backwards.

But when we get to the sand bar, I see it is partly covered with water this time so I can paddle across it rather than going around.   This time a pelican is posing amid his smaller buddies and David is now ahead of me.

 

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I do stop to take one shot of the chop before it gets worse and I can’t stop paddling.

 

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We make it back after five and a half hours on the water. 
My kind of day!
This is the life!!

23 comments:

  1. I would certainly like to go for a paddle with you sometime.

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  2. What a fantastic kayak day! Beautiful birds...love the owl and owlet:)

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  3. I'm so glad you got that camera- I'm really enjoying the pictures. I think it's very cool that they have the walk- in sites, even tho I don't lean that way...

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  4. Those primitive campsites look like our type of spot. Sounds like we need to make a return visit.

    Did you know...there is one bird a Bald Eagle will not fight? The Great Horned Owl has greater strength in its talons and is therefore a more formidable opponent than other birds. An Eagle will not fight it.

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    1. Interesting and somehow not surprising. Those owls always look like they're ticked off :-).

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  5. Oh, what a glorious kayaking day -- thank you for taking us along! We've hiked the trail to those primitive campsites, but never kayaked to them. Let's do it next year together! Beautiful photos -- your new camera seems to be serving you very well. :-)

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  6. What a fantastic day you had on the water. I would have probably waited for the fog to lift and miss all the treasures of the day.

    You are a brave girl to take your new camera on the water. I take mine too but have been thinking I need an alternative.

    The great horned owl sighting was most impressive.

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  7. That was a terrific day for bird watching! And I'm glad to see that beautiful dog was wearing his life jacket. (We've been promoting a lot of water safety here.)

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  8. Did you bring your foghorn? Sort of a day you could use one...

    Loved the owl and owlet picture, what a special find! You weren't kidding when you said it was your kind of day, maybe you need fog more often! ;c)

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  9. Ok...the camera is terrific...LOVE the Horned Owl Photos!!! We love our Sea Eagle, but it does limit where you can kayak. Both sets of primative campsites would ALMOST make me want to tent for an evening or two;o))

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  10. Love all the birds and the golden retriever! Those mysterious waterways are great to paddle into...and in the fog-great adventure! The kingfisher hair is so funny...kind of like a mohawk :) The owl chick picture is impressive. Good shot!

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  11. Funny, Carrie mentioned the golden retriever....I loved that picture also, but his passenger, not so much!! LOL! Someone asked me yesterday at a school event if I knew any kayakers. My immediate response was yes! Turns out a new professor at Bill's college was looking for new friends with whom to kayak as she had just moved to TN. So I sort of had to back down and mention that my kayaking friends happened to be in Florida - a bit to far for her to travel for a weekend kayak adventure!

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  12. Fabulous paddle but the farther in you went, the more claustrophobic I felt! I guess I'm more of an open water kind of paddler :)

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  13. that pic of the SKATE was just awesome. . .wow!

    and all the bird nests. . .when we do our "Spring Training Trip" to Florida, I really, really want to explore some of these places you are sharing. . .so great!

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  14. Loved the skate and the great horned owl and owlet! Wow, so cool to see so much wildlife. What a great day.

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  15. Thanks for the pic of the baby owl. Made me smile. :)
    Syl

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  16. What a great find with the picture of the owl! I'm fond of the little frogs too. We see a lot of them hopping in the trash bins :-)

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  17. Oh, so cute, the owl pictures. I have to figure out a way to carry a kayak on or in my RV.

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  18. I've gotten stuck in small places in reeds and grasses many times. My kayak is 17' so it's really hard to turn around. The owl and baby owl! Fantastic! You have to print some of the great photos you've taken and put them in an album so you can see them.
    xxxooo

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  19. Love the kayak dog. So nice that the dunes are preserved to protect the slough and shore. Kayaking seems the absolutely perfect way to explore these secret places. I wish my arthritic shoulders could still paddle. That camera, and you, are doing an awesome job of bringing the wildlife closer to view.

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  20. Campsite #2 - Pam's new winter home I'm thinking. Wayne can drive down and visit me.

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