Today I was finally able to take my new kayak up the Withlacoochee River, putting in at the boat ramp at the end of Turner’s Camp Road. Other than one man in a small Jon boat, I had the river to myself.
This is the new craft, a 12 ft fishing kayak. Four feet longer and worlds apart from my old one.
Three rod holders and plenty of room for tackle. However, the greatest difference between this and my small kayak is the way it handles. In the small kayak it was a lot like paddling an inner tube. A strong stroke would cause the kayak to veer greatly, so the only way to keep the craft going fairly straight was to paddle with short, choppy strokes. It was slow going. This one allows full strokes using the arms and torso, allowing a much faster speed.
I was able to photograph some of the flora and fauna. In the kayak I can get pretty close to a lot of animals and as long as I keep moving they don’t move. If I pause and grab the camera, they’re gone. I was surprised that the bird stayed as long as it did.
A view of the Withlacoochee River. Sometimes one can see wild hogs, deer, alligators, and more. I couldn’t see many birds, but they were just out of sight in the trees. The bird calls were numerous and very loud. I swear that one sounded like a monkey being strangled.
On the way back, I saw a young eagle soaring above the river.
Here you’ll notice that my life jacket. Coast Guard regs require a life jacket (PFD) has to be aboard and readily available. With the sun to my back, I just couldn’t keep the PFD and Tee shirt on. It was just too hot.
This is the approach to the boat ramp. A welcome sight at the end of the trip. It’s like coming home from a vacation. It’s nice to go away, but it’s always nice to be back home. In a few minutes, the kayak was on the roof and I was enjoying the A/C in the Jeep. All in all it was a great day.