Sunday, January 31, 2016

A Three Hour Tour. A Three Hour Tour.

I took a tour today, a three hour tour, in my kayak.  Click here to listen to the theme music.  The sea was beautifully flat and the sky was beautifully clear; perfect conditions.

But let me back up to last week when  Dennis and I had rescued the kayak from its forgotten spot next to the back landing on Black Creek where, unbeknownst to us, it had become a repository for what ever crap the work crew or others felt like flinging into it as they came and went.  We found old fiberglass from boat repairs, rags from cleaning the boat engine, and glass soda bottles tossed into it.  It had also become a home for little crabs and termites had made a nest under the seat.  The hollow body of the kayak was full of water because the storage cover was loose and the rod sockets had cracked or missing bottoms.  What a mess.  We drained most of the water out, although the drain hole kept getting plugged with all the algae that was growing in the water, and then hauled the kayak back the cabana.  I hosed it down and tried, with some success, to spray into the hollow body to get the algae cleaned out.  Got the termites cleared out, too.  Pascal helped me get the rest of the water out and we hauled it to the front (sea-ward side) of the cabana.  Pascal helped me pick a convenient spot to "park" it when not in use.  So the kayak was ready and waiting for me when this perfect day dawned.

I hadn't planned on a three hour tour. I had thought I would just give it a little shakedown cruise, but it was so wonderful out on the water that I just kept going.  Perhaps my subconscious mind had been alert to that possibility because I did take a water bottle and sarong, and put on my wide-brimmed hat, sea worthy sunglasses, long-sleeved shirt, and sunscreen (not in that order).

Here is my 5.5 mile route.
Kayak route is in turquoise.  It starts at the little white patch that is almost in the center of the image.  The white patch is our place.  The orange line is the Monkey River Road.
From our beach I headed south and then out to Little Monkey Cay.  Saw lots of big orange cushion starfish.  The water is very shallow between our place and Little Monkey Cay.  From there I headed into deep water and then north to Great Monkey Cay.  The deep water was the most fabulous opalescent turquoise that swallowed the rays of the sun before they touched bottom.  I always have a little frisson of fear when I pass over the edge and below me the bottom gives way to nothingness ...

But with the calm sea and the brilliant sun the fear is quickly gone and I continued my slow strokes toward Great Monkey Cay.  The brilliant sun also prompted me to cover my bare legs and feet with the sarong brought along for just that purpose.  Wetted down with sea water, the sarong provides cooling protection from the intense sun.  Soon the bottom rose again to greet me - large and small coral heads nestled in turtle grass meadows with a scattering of purple sea fans swaying in the current.  Pelicans joined me in the shallows around Great Monkey Cay to feed on the schools of little bait fish.  I explored some really nice corals on the north side of Great Monkey Cay. The water was a little turbid, so I didn't bother to use the snorkel gear I brought with me.

As I left Great Monkey Cay to go farther north, I saw an occasional clear jellyfish languidly propelling itself along.  Back in the deep water, a small school of large fish surged to the surface with eye-catching flashes of silver.  I made my way slowly along a ridge of corals that come in close to shore on my way to Pine Ridge Creek.  The creek water was very turbid with visibilities of only about 5 or 6 feet.  I did spot some very small and delicate jelly fish just beneath the water's surface and also some needle-like fish.  I didn't see many birds, but did hear some back in the mangroves.

Finally I turned back to begin the trip back home.  I kept closer to shore on the way back and was rewarded with good views of an anhinga sunning itself and a shy immature yellow-crowned night heron.  I heard Craig out on his dock and paddled up to say hello.  Glad I did because the young son of Craig's friend John joined me in Craig's kayak for the last leg home.  I have a kayak date with him tomorrow morning if the day proves good and go out to Great Monkey Cay if dad permits.

My three hour tour drew to a close and I was famished.  It felt fantastic to be out in the kayak for the first time in almost 3 years.  Next time I will be sure to pack a snack to I can stay out longer.

6 comments:

  1. What a great expedition you went on Wilma. Well done.
    Take the camera next time.{:))

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    1. Thanks, Roy. I need to get a small, water resistant camera to take out on the kayak. My regular camera is too heavy and bulky to manage on a kayak out on the open water. Hmmmm, that's an idea - my birthday is in less than 3 weeks!

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  2. Oh, Jerry wants a kayak. I won't show him this post! Thanks for the music. We used to live right on that so-called tropic port. It was really Marina del Rey, California. Not so tropic, but it was nice.

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    1. Maybe Jerry should add a sarong to his headgear selection. They are light weight, come in all colors, fold into a tidy little bundle not much larger than an Ikea tea towel. I still have a hard time picturing him in a kayak, though. I bet Marina del Rey was nice. Glad you liked the music.

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  3. Gawd, what an idyllic life you portray to us storm-tossed and cold, UK residents at the moment, Wilma.
    What a beautiful and stress-relieving way to spend three hours, the thought of having to cover my legs from a hot sun seems a million miles away at the moment but no doubt it'll happen for a couple of days this year. Good for you and Dennis.

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    1. Life here certainly has its pleasures, Derek, and kayaking is one of the best. I went again today with my new friend. A blog will be posted later today so he can see it before he leaves tomorrow.

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