Saturday, February 22, 2014

Sparky's in the Water!

No-o-o-o-o…she didn't tip over in her kayak! Au contraire!   She paddled her Sea Eagle 385 with a group of fun friends from Sun 'n' Fun this week. After getting an invite to paddle in the Turtle Beach area, Sparky was excited to be back in the water again.  Turtle Beach is at the southern end of Siesta Key. The only way Sparky knows that is because 1) she is looking at this map after the fact, and 2) because Eldo told her. Turtle Beach has a nice little campground which is tough to get into in any way shape or form, and a nice kayak launch site where some of the commercial rental kayak companies send people off for a few hours' paddling. And of course, there's a nice little beach there which fills up fast on a beautiful day…..

Sparky was even more excited to go kayaking in a new place where there were friends to keep her from getting lost in the mangroves….
Sparky did ok with her Sea Eagle 385…although everybody else seemed to be moving along more easily than she was…when she's by herself,  Sparky doesn't notice that her inflatable is  perhaps just a tad bit bogged down, but get her with a bunch of sleek kayaks, THAT'S when she noticed a slight disadvantage….Sparky had to just work a little harder to stay up with a 16 footer touring Epic kayak, for example, haha….The convenience of folding up the boat when done and stuffing it in the back of the car makes up for a little sluggishness out on the water. It still tracks very well….

The Turtle Beach kayak run/paddle doesn't take a lot of time, maybe a couple of hours depending on how much you dilly dally around in the mangroves and out on the open water…depending on where you go of course! We took to the left coming out of the marina area, went to the right around some mangroves, and then, there's a little beach site where you can take a lunch break, and that's what the group did.

Climb the sand dunes, back down a hill, and just over the hill, is the GULF of Mexico!

We sat down for awhile, ate lunch and watched schools of rays pass by in small groups, one right after another. Too hard to get a photo, but it was fun to see! We enjoyed our lunch on the beach. Suzette had a cushion that she had gotten from Sam's Club, and it folded out into a blanket, which came in very handy as the rest of us had brought nothing to sit on.

From the picnic spot to get back to our starting point was about a 15 minute paddle, so we just dilly dallied around and saw some cool stuff! A solo ray covered itself with sand right by Sparky's kayak hoping not to be spotted. "Hey, guys--come see this ray, I think it's dead!" Then off he went just as soon as Sparky got the others' attention and they came up to check it out…

We saw this bird, which reminded Sparky of one of those cartoon birds of an eagle with a mean look…have no idea what kind of bird this was! He was quite big! Although his beak looks curved in the photo, it was straight. And he let us get very close...
Then he got tired of all the attention, and turned his back to us….

Sparky saw an osprey eating a fish on top of a dead tree…
A conch(?) shell with the animal still inside…Back in the water he went…..
And on the way home, a paddling company's truck with all kinds of cool stuff on it which Sparky is going to have to check out….Hard to see the references in this photo, but it was a beautiful truck and it looked interesting. Unfortunately, Sparky didn't see the name of the paddling company….She just thought this was a cool company to be citing all these biblical references…here are a few of the ones that were on it--John 11:35, Timothy 4:1-5, Jude 1:20, Phillipians 4:18 and a few more in case anybody is interested….

A beautiful day spent with friends out on the water….fantastic! Looking forward to doing more of the same….See you later!


  1. I can't believe we still haven't gotten into the water while we've been here. No excuses, we will do it before April!

  2. So much fun out there on the water, sunshine and warm weather, another fun day.

  3. I believe that's a juvenile yellow-crowned night heron you saw. They like to sleep during the day, and hunt at night. :)

  4. Oh goodie, I was right. I thought it was a night heron but wasn't sure which one. Leave it to Judy to know. I'm putting this paddle on my list for the next time we are in that neck of the woods. Thanks! Looks like it was a great time on the water. Thanks for tossing the conch back.

  5. Fun to see you out paddling again. This looks like a great spot and not too far from where we will be hanging out next month.

    Glad someone identified the mysterious bird. I thought it was a heron of some type.

  6. You might be interested in this article about old, authentic Florida: