Kayaking the Silver River - Sunday–January 8, 2012

WARNING…WARNING…WARNING

This Blog Is Photo Intensive

 (click on any photo to enlarge it)




We decided to kayak the Silver River this morning with Sherry and David.  Our goal was to start as early as possible to improve our chances of seeing wildlife.


I beat the sunrise and got the kayak inflated.01 - Pre Dawn Kayak Prep


We headed to the launch area around 8am.02 - A little chilly but off we go
It was about a mile walk from our campsite.

 
This was the first time we have used our kayak wheels
and
 04 - Heading down the River Trail
we were very pleased with the way they functioned!!!


The chilly morning mixed with the warm spring fed waters
made for an eerie looking launch.
 07 - A foggy Start

Sherry and David gave us some assistance
so we could launch without getting wet feet ;o))


Next came Sherry…
08 - Sherry launches


then David used his LONG arms to launch himself !!!09 - Long Arm David launches


The cameras started clicking from
the moment we hit the water!!!
10 - Dueling Photos


If you look closely,
there are some deer on the left side of this photo.13 - White Tail Deer
The fog made it difficult to get a clear photo.


But in short order,
the fog lifted and the wildlife was EVERYWHERE!!!

White Ibis and Common Moorhen14 - Common Moorhen and Ibis

Grebe
15 - Grebe
which Nancy calls ‘The Rubber Ducky’

Pileated Woodpecker
16 - Pileated Woodpecker

Green Heron (we think)
17 - Green Heron
Great Blue Heron
18  - Great Blue Heron

Golden Anhinga
19 - Golden Ahinga

Red Headed Woodpecker
20 - Red Headed woodpecker


Nancy here:  I have to tell you that I LOVE our two man kayak.  It allows me to take pictures while Bill paddles!!!   He is such a great paddler ;o)))


Sherry mentioned that we could possibly see Rhesus Monkeys on the River.  They were released here years ago after a Tarzan movie was shot on this river.


David was scouting ahead of us and he found something??21 - David discovers the monkey cove
Back in a quiet cove,
he had found the troop of monkeys.

It was AMAZING!!!
22 - Monkeys
They came from everywhere…Dad, Mom and all the kids!

22a - Monkeys22b - Monkeys22c - Monkeys
We were so close to them,
they could have easily jumped into our kayaks ;o((

So we backed up a little
and
watched them interact for almost an hour.22d - Monkeys22e - Monkeys22f - Monkeys22g - Monkeys22h - Monkeys22j - Monkeys22K - Monkeys
We hated to leave but there was more river to explore.


Our goal was to reach the spring head. 

There is an amusement park called Silver Springs
that surrounds the spring head. 

They offer glass bottom boat rides. 23 - Glass Bottom Boats

No boat ride for us…
we were able to paddle right into the park.24 - approaching the Spring head
You cannot get out of your kayak as the park is privately owned,
 but the waters are public property.

How cool is this palm tree ;o))
25a - Spring Head palm

The water is so clear you can see the fish swimming by!!25b - Spring Head Fish
It was like paddling in a huge aquarium.

However,
I don’t think you would see this in an aquarium!26 - Aligator and Fish
He swam right by us.

Apparently, he could see the fish as well. 

He caught a HUGE one and
we got to witness him having breakfast!!!26b - Aligator and Fish

He flipped and turned the poor fish26c - Aligator and Fish

to get it into position for
 26d - Aligator and Fish

THE BIG GULP!!
26e - Aligator and Fish
WOW…it was like watching The Discovery Channel!!!


We had paddled to our destination
and
now got to FLOAT, with the current, back to the launch:o))

There was still so much to see!!

Wish I could describe the beauty and serenity!!27 - Spanish Moss

Anhinga
28 - Ahinga Sunning

Looking at the Sea of Grass below the water.29 - River of Grass

Turtle Jam
31 - Turtle Jam

Sherry and David enjoying the float down river.32 - Sherry and David enjoying the river

Did I mention how serene it was ???
33 - View down river

This cormorant swan all the way back with us.
He would dive and we could see him go under the kayak.
Then he would pop up, look at us and dive down again!!!

Reach out and touch an Ibis ;o)
35 - Ibis

Blue Heron coming in for a landing ;o)36 - Great Blue Heron Landing

Did I mention how serene it was???

Great White Egret gliding over the water.37 - Paddling down river

Nancy’s ‘Rubber Ducky'
38 - Grebe

Tangled Cypress Roots
39 - Cool Roots

Sherry and the Alligator
40 - Sherry and Alligator
Perhaps a little paddling is in order here ;o))

Sherry spotted a river otter
 41 - Spotted a River Otter
and our gentle float

turned into a chase!!
 41a - Otter Chase is on

Past the alligator, not stopping here!!!41b - Under the alligator

The River Otter is Sherry’s favorite animal.
We just wanted to get close enough for a photo.

You need to PADDLE… they are very fast!!!

Finally… 
We got the Photo :o))))
41c - Close to otter

Whew… time for a nap!
42 - Snowy Egret Nap

Playing well together!!
43 - Playing well together

Unfortunately,
all good things must come to an end ;o( 

Time to head back to the campsite.44 - Packing Up

David got some help from a very helpful, Jacob.
44 - Jacob  -  David's Helper
He was so interested in what we were doing,
I believe there is a future kayaker here!!!


A great morning, a great paddle with great friends!!!45 - Great Day with Friends

Do we REALLY need to empty the black tanks?!?!?
46 - Heading to the Dump

13 comments:

  1. It doesn't get much better than that, does it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Once again you have taken great pictures!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Mom and Dad. What an awesome day on the river! The pictures of the monkeys - amazing! I'm so glad you guys are having such a great time! Talk to you soon! Julie

    ReplyDelete
  4. I knew I'd be glad I posted my blog of this day first. you have fabulous pictures. The big gulp series is amazing. And I LOVE the otter. I have seen otters several times but NEVER gotten a picture of one.
    Think I'll steal the one of the 4 of us. Even I look OK in it. LOL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautifully done!! Thanks for sharing your terrific pictures! Loved every minute ...

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great serene day! The pictures are breathtaking especially of the monkeys that seemed to not care you were there! Thanks for taking us with you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love it! I now know where I HAVE to go kayaking and soon...let us know if you'll be back in the area this winter and we'll try and join you...it would be nice to go out with folks who know what they're doing :-)!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. OMG!!!! I feel like I was there. I truly would have loved to have been there. What great pictures! Monkeys! Really, monkeys!! We need to get one of those kayak wheels gadgets. I think we would use our kayaks more often. So happy for you.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great tour! What an experience! Thanks....

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ron and Joan WestcottJanuary 15, 2012 at 10:23 PM

    Stunning photographs! We especially liked the ones of the monkeys... they're a highlight of that area.

    ReplyDelete
  11. That truly was a special day. Beautiful photos and the Nat Geo shots of the gator having lunch. It doesn't get much better.
    Syl

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fabulous photo's. Almost every day on that river is like that-Silver River is our favorite.

    ReplyDelete
  13. A little late but - CONGRATULATIONS ON SELLING THE HOUSE!!!!! We are so excited for you both. Love the pictures! Thanks for taking us on your trip. I can't believe you saw monkeys.

    ReplyDelete