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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunset at Haulover Canal

White Pelicans' Pod
Saturday September 24th we paid an overdue visit to Haulover Canal late in the day. The purpose was to experience the bio-luminescence that can be seen there. turned out that the bio luminescence was really slim in a dark night but the rest of the canal was as stunning as usual, maybe better since we saw it as never before.

Bald Eagle

Put in/ Take Out: The usual spot at the end of the dirt road, north and west of the bridge over Haulover Canal. Check any of our previous posts for references. Thought about putting in at Bair's Cove, just because there are lights and we did plan to finish our paddle late in the night, but did not do it. Seems like there is a charge of $5.00 dollars for putting in there. We did not have any cash with us so went to our regular spot. It was around 5:30PM when we finally put our paddles in the water.

Brown Pelican

White Pelicans at Mullet Head Island
The afternoon started with a bang. On our way to the put in I saw what it seemed to be a young bald eagle but was not able to confirm. Then, maybe a mile away from Bair's Cove entrance, saw a bald eagle. This time turned around to take a pic. It was in a dead tree and offered a clean pic shot. To our surprise there was another eagle in another dead tree a few meters to the south. I know this is Views From Our Kayak but since it was on our way to a kayaking trip pics are included. There are no limits in what can you see in the real Florida.

Brown Pelicans

We did our usual tour at Haulover Canal. Out of the put in, west to north east Mullet Head Island, around the island counter clockwise, and back to the canal area thru Dolphin Cove. Once in the canal we usually go to Bair's Cove but this time went back to the put in area since my wife wanted to take pics of the sunset. By that time two outfitters were already in the Haulover Canal and more cars were coming in. It is sad up to some point. The forecast called for a 50% chance of rain with thunderstorms. It also called for light chop. We took a chance going to Haulover Canal yesterday. I was counting on the weatherman to be wrong as he always is. He was. Choppy, bright and sunny. As the darkness fell on the area we became more and more excited. We have three bio luminescent lagoons in Puerto Rico. At one one of them the bio luminescence is so intense that if a bug tips the water it becomes bright. We were hoping for the same at Haulover Canal.

Great Blue Heron

Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron
There were plenty of Ospreys and Belted Kingfishers. Very active both species. As the night fell more kayaks joined us in the water and the dirt road busier. After taking some sunset pics my wife asked me to go to Bair's Cove with the hope of seeing manatees. We still had some light to take pics. But there were no manatees at the cove. No dolphins neither. While in Bair's Cove the sun finally went out and darkness started to fall faster. It was time for the bio luminescence show, or at least we were hoping for that. I have read the luminescence is more intense on the north side of the canal so we headed to a small opening east of the bridge. It looked like the outfitters also knew that since everybody was heading that way. A large group was going east in the south bank as we used the north side of the canal. As we reached the opening we left a  group of kayakers paddle by. We did not want to disturb the outfitters business and stayed away from them. Many more kayakers were arriving and told my wife to paddle to the next opening and get back to the canal. As we paddle mullets, I assume, were jumping all over the place scaring my wife each and every time since it was so dark. But only than a few sparks here and there the bio show was not about to be found.


Belted Kingfisher
The bio luminescence was not intense in our trip. It was a dark and ideal for it but for some reason was not as spectacular as we were expecting. The best moment came as we paddled at the east end of the canal, with the wind and the current against us, and some bright spots came from the front of the yak as it broke the water. Also from our paddles came out some magic sparks as they touched the water. A pair of dolphin were hunting in the area and, using a flashlight, were able to see one of them in the darkness. One of the coolest things we have ever seen, an incredible sight. Obviously, no pics to share so we encourage you to visit the Haulover Canal after dark and enjoy it as we did last night. Be sure you carry bug spray with you. You are going to need it. Also have a flashlight and, just in case, those fluorescent lights cartridges. We both had one in our backs. There are no pics of manatees or dolphins from this trip, which is a first for a Haulover Canal trip. But we have eagle and many more pics of the sunset. But before sharing the rest of the pics with you, time for the Did You Know That?

White Pelicans at Mullet Head Island

Did You Know That? The American White Pelican is one of the largest of the boreal birds. Boreal means that it pertains to the north. It can weight 30 pounds and the wingspan can reach 9 feet. The species is in decline due to pesticides, human disturbance and draining of wetlands. The bill can hold three gallons of water and after the fish are caught it pointed downward to drain it. Then the bill is raised and the fish swallowed.

Cattle Egret

Here are a few more pics of what we saw yesterday. Let us start with the sunset pics...

Sunset at Haulover Canal

Sunset from the kayak

Scenes from Haulover Canal

And now some more wildlife pics...
Sea gulls


Brown Pelican



Juvenile Ibis


Little Blue Heron

Scene at Haulover Canal

Snowy Egret

Red Bellied Woodpecker

Belted Kingfisher

That is all for this one. Hope you like the pics. The link, Haulover Canal,  will take you to the slideshow with more pics from this and past trips. Just give me a couple of days before I make the selection. Thanks for reading and see you next week for another Views From Our Kayak.


  1. I thnk the white pelicans like Mullet head. I launched at Bairs Cove on Sept 14. The fee sign was up, but no collection method. Anything there on your visit? According to this
    It was supposed to go in effect 9-1-11. Maybe the govt is waiting until 10-1, when Black Point Wildlife Drive is scheduled to be reopened, after repairs. It, and two other launch sites are part of the new fee program--An annual pass is $15. About 6 months ago, I asked a volunteer at the Nat'l Seashore where to get a pass. He had no clue

  2. They have an honor system. Similar or equal to the one at Katie's Landing. I saw the envelopes and the paying station.