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Friday, April 15, 2011

Haulover Canal


Friday April 15th, a day off. It was my plan to kayak the Lower Wekiva River from Katie's Landing to the mouth of Blackwater Creek. My wife told me earlier in the week she was not coming with me. Guess what; she changed her mind and Lower Wekiva River was not what she had in mind. Where she wanted to go I did not. Warned her about the forecast for the area but lost the argument. Since she is the boss, we went to her favorite kakaying location; Haulover Canal, by the way, one of my top three places too.Haulover Canal interconects the Indian River(West) and the Mosquito Lagoon(East). Click on the link for more information and also the GPS coordinates of this incredible place. Haulover Canal.

Mullet Head Island ahead

Put in \ Take Out: The put in for this location, as for almost all the locations we paddle, is the take out too. Cross the bridge over Haulover Canal going north and take the next entrance to the left. There is an unpaved road, follow it to the end and that is the put in \ take out. When we arrived a group from a local outfitter was waiting for someone to launch. At 9:30 we put in before they did and headed west to Mullet Head Island, a bird sanctuary. It was sunny and choppy, with the wind coming from the south. The choppy waters were the reason I did not want to come today but, what the heck, we were already there. A dolphin fin and a manatee were spotted during the first minute of our paddle. No chance for pics though.

Roseate Spoonbill

 The bird sanctuary is a photographer's paradise. I mean, it is awesome. Since the approach to the island my wife had the camera on hand, which left me fighting the choppy waters of the Indian River alone. Once there she did shoot pics at will. Roseate Spoonbills, Brown Pelicans, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Ibis, Snowy Egrets and some more were all around the island. We stayed at the north side of it seeking some cover from the wind. We ususally paddle around it starting from the north east side, going counterclokwise and exiting from the south east back to Haulover Canal. Today I was not in the mood of fighting the wind and the choppy waters so, even when we followed our usual route at the beginning, went back to Haulover Canal the same way we came. Since it turned from windy and sunny to  windy and cloudy we started our paddle back to the canal. Here are pics of what we saw in the bird sanctuary. Remember we only paddle half of it.

Redish Egret

Pelicans' Formation

Great Blue Heron


Tri Colored Heron

Roseate Spoonbill
Spoonie flying

Rudy Turnstone

Great Egret
Snowy Egret

Brown Pelicans' Philarrmonic Orchestra
Great Egret

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelincan Nesting

Green Heron

Juvenile Great Blue Heron

Great  Egret

Pelicans and Spoony

After a long 10 or 15 minutes we finally arrived to the entrance of Haulover Canal. This time we changed the route again. In a normal day we will enter the canal thru a small cove south of it. It is named Dolphin Cove by our kayaking mentor. I call the route the YDT or YakDave Tour. If you want to read more interesting tales about kayaking in Florida we provided a link to his site. Back to ours, the climate conditions were not the ideal ones for that tour so we cut the corners. Straight from Mullet Head Island to Bair's Cove via the canal all the time. That gave us some shelter from the wind. Bair's Cove is usually a great spot to see manatees. This is where the motor boats put in and most of the boaters follow the Minimum Speed or No Wake rule. There were around ten manatees at Bair's Cove today. They were a little busy preserving their species and let me tell you this; they are rough. While we were there the group that were at the put in the morning arrived. One thing we have learned about observing manatees is that they are curious.  If you stay still, they will come near you. If you do the opposite and paddle to them, forget it. They will go away. A few within the group proved my theory, at least the first part, true. After the group left we stayed for several minutes and proved the second part of the theory right. We stayed still,a couple of manatees came to check on us and wifey took some nice shots. Have to say that I am proud of her. She resisted the temptation of touching the manatees, which is against the rules in Florida.

A couple of manatees check on us

We did not stay too long. Had to be at home at 2:30 so it was 1:30 when we had the yak at the minivan. Another good day, remove the wind and the choppy waters, at Haulover Canal. We will be back there in two weeks. I am looking forward to it.

Today starts a new section on Views From Our Kayak. We will look for interesting facts about the wildlife we post pics of. The intent it is not too teach but to share the things we learn about the wildlife we enjoy. Not sure of the permanent name of it but for the time being it will be Did You Know That?

Did You Know That?
Most mammals have seven cervical vertebrae. The manatee only has 6 and cannot turn its head, but turn its entire body when it wants to look around.

For more pics from this and past trips feel free to click this link: Haulover Canal

Almost forgot this. A friend told me that the pics were too small. I should have said that you can click on the pics to enlarge them. My bad!!!!
Thanks for joining us. Come back next week for another Views From Our Kayak!!!!

Haulover Canal

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