Paddling the Chaz

……The Chassahowitzka River that is.

Yesterday we went for the first paddle of our Florida stay. Here is part of the day in pictures.

Lance has a new little tub toy. We like it because we can put it right in the back of the SUV and not have to worry about lines and such. It will work fine in the sheltered rivers and lagoons we plan to explore. It is not much for open water. I have finally gotten used to the Sevlar inflatable and have improved the tracking by putting a gallon jug of water right up in the point of the bow. My biggest complaint with that kayak is foot room; by the time we got back my ankles were howling from having my feet pressed flat. But that was my only complaint.


The Seven Sisters spring is up this way and just off to the left.


It is a popular place to swim, the water being a constant 72°. I didn’t notice the springs but Lance counted four. This is the only wildlife we saw in there:


We then headed down the Chassahowitzka and into bigger water for a bit.


Next stop, the Snapper Hole where we saw two manatees. Here is one just surfacing for a breath of beautiful 74º air.


We were not the only people interested in watching the manatees. I felt very much the tourist but what the heck; I was. The little girl in the orange lifejacket was floating quietly as a small manatee hung about close to her feet. I wished I had worn a swimsuit.


I did have my underwater camera. This Momma was grazing on bottom, oblivious to the excitement she was causing just over her head.


She was also likely oblivious to the power boats in her past and thus the array of prop scars on her back. From one angle she looked like a wall covered in graffiti she had so many nicks and cuts.


Then I like to think that I was noticed….



And she moved in to pose for a proper portrait.


After we had our fill of manatees we moved on to go just up the river to another tributary. Others were on their way back down. You are never alone for long in Florida.


We made it to Blue Spring which was more green than blue.


and headed on towards “The Crack”, a spring at the head of the waterway. This is as far as we got.


After this point it was too shoal for the kayaks and we would have had to tie up and continue on foot for a little while. I decided to save that for another day as I was getting a little weary by this time and wanted to keep some energy on reserve for the paddle back. I went home and googled it instead. It was nice to have the current with us on for the leg as far as the Chaz.

IMGP2118It was all good; no gators to be seen and we got back before the no-seeums came out. There were lots and lots of birds. I will show you a handful in the next post.

© Judy Parsons 2016 Click on any photo for a larger view.

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