Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sailing with Sharks and Snakes

We had quite the adventure Saturday July 10, and took our small kayak out to Cedar Key. They have an island with a lighthouse that is about 3 miles out and they only open it up twice a year, so we thought it might be fun to see it. The weather was overcast when we headed out and it took quite a while to get there. We decided to abort the lighthouse since it was getting late,we were getting tired, so we got off on the east side to relieve ourselves. As we pulled up into this really shallow water, Lisa swears she saw a shark fin and I'm thinking that couldn't be since the water was about 6 inches deep. The tide was almost all the way out so the water is really shallow. We headed back and kept getting stuck in this grass and the water being really shallow, and we kept seeing all these shark fins - little sharks about 1 or 2 feet long. They started circling, so Lisa hit one with the paddle. 

Anyway, we got the h3ll out of there since small sharks make both of us a bit nervous. I had to tow the boat for about 100 yards since the water was only about a foot deep. We loaded up and went home. Lisa did some research and apparently, we went through this area where baby sharks hang out until they get big enough not to get eaten by the bigger ones. Then, the island, Seahorse Key, has a huge population of cottonmouth snakes and there we were with our parts exposed relieving ourselves. Guess we will not be doing that again. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Snake-Ridden Florida Island Provides Unlikely Haven for Birds

Snake-Ridden Florida Island Provides Unlikely Haven for Birds

Yesterday, Lisa and I decided to take our Hobie Adventure Island to Cedar Key - more specifically to Seahorse Key where only twice a year they have an open house for their marine laboratory and lighthouse. Lisa sat on the trampoline while I peddled over to Snake Key by mistake, but soon realized we were heading the wrong way. We couldn't read the warning signs as we pulled up to Seahorse Key. We were in about a foot of water when Lisa saw a shark dorsal fin. I ignored her shark ignorance figuring it was probably a sunfish or sea walleye. We decided to relieve ourselves and go back to Cedar Key since I was peddling and there was no wind for the sail and it was getting late. We started seeing dorsal fins - lots of dorsal fins. Then, the drivetrain got buried and we had to push with our paddles to get off the bottom since we were experiencing low tide. More sharks. We kept pushing and neither of us were volunteering to walk in the shallow water to get to deeper water. We ended up zigzagging back to the channel and peddling back in.

Oh, and then the cottonmouth snakes on Seahorse Key:

I think in the future we are going to plan a bit better when we do something like that. It was a last minute thought since we were originally going to go to nearby Atsena Otie, but decided to see the open house light house that is only open twice a year on Seahorse Key. We should have brought more fluids, binoculars, camera, whistle, and other emergency supplies. Don't know what the he77 we were thinking.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sailing Minnetonka

We managed to slip away from packing on Sunday and slip down to SYC and raced with Mark and Rose. We led the yellow fleet, but about 300 yards from the finish, they yanked the mark and said we were over 30 minutes after the first boat. LIARS! Good sail trim and helmsmanship was our secret key to victory. We had a nice dinner out there and met up with all our old friends down there. What a bunch of great people. We finalized the day by going out on Nepenthe with Linny and Marty and watched the sun set. We were quite tired and headed home so we could get up to finish the packing.