Well; we tried to go kayaking yesterday; we really did. Got over to the launch point and started pumping the Sea Eagle up. Connie ran back to the house to get something we forgot while Neil finished pumping the boat and seats up. Unfortunately; he discovered a leak in one of our side chambers and didn’t have everything we needed to patch it so it was No Kayaking for You on Monday. Oh well.
We packed up and came home; applied a patch to the leak, waited a couple of hours for it to dry and pumped everything up again. Went out and checked several hours later and no more leak so the patch is holding just fine. With that we ran down to the pool then Connie did some work and we headed over to Hogbody’s for wings, ribs and Guinness for dinner. We’ve got our order down to a science…16 Caribbean wings, a slab of ribs, and 2 beers each. Not a bad dinner at all.
Today Connie had a nail appointment at 1400 so we headed back out with the boat around 0900. We just left it inflated from yesterday and tied it down in the back of BAT rather than rolling it up so it would fit in the car.
By about 0930 or so we were on the water. Here’s a picture of Connie all ready to head out as well as the side channel in the Caloosahatchee Waterway where we launched.
We paddled a couple of miles through the side channels and finally got out to the main river. Our plan was to go under the I-75 bridge and then head up another small river to visit the Manatee Park which we visited from the land side a month or so ago. Unfortunately; we failed to anticipate the serious current in the side river caused primarily by the power plant. It sucks a lot of cooling water out of the main channel to cool the plant condensers and pumps it back into the smaller river. The manatees hang out near the discharge where the water is warm but the thousands of gallons per minute the power plant discharges made the current too strong to try and paddle against. So we headed back towards the bridge and figured we would just paddle around the side channels near our launch point.
We ran into some serious wind and current problems getting back into the side channel we were headed for but finally made it…so we stopped and drifted for a few minutes while we ate lunch. Following that we meandered through the canals.
Really nice area to paddle in; calm, no current to speak of once we got out of the main river channel. Not very much wildlife though. We scared up a Great Blue Heron but too quickly to get a picture as well as a family of river otters but they also disappeared too quickly for a picture. We got back to the launch point about 1215 or so. Although we didn’t make it all the way to Manatee Park it was still a great paddle on the water in the warm so we were happy the way it turned out. We collapsed the kayak and headed home just in time for Connie to run out for her nail appointment. We spent the afternoon listening to podcasts out in the recliners then ate left over Mexican Chicken with Rice and Black Beans for dinner; then headed out to the Elks Lodge for Bingo and beer.
Tomorrow, who knows. Connie has some more work to do getting her students scheduled but other than that we don’t’ have any firm plans…such is the full-time RV life I guess…it’s tough but somebody has to do it. We also need to make a decision on next year’s wintering area between Corpus Christi, TX and the Rio Grande Valley in Mission, TX so we can get a reservation.