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Saturday, September 14, 2013

Canaveral National Seashore - Mosquito Lagoon

Dolphins at the Mosquito Lagoon

Today's paddle was at the waters of the Mosquito Lagoon in the Canaveral National Seashore. The choices were Silver River, Chassahowitzka River, or the Canaveral National Seashore. Have not been here in a long time and Master Dave, from Dave's Yak Tales, posted a very nice one last week. Made me want to go there. So, here we go. A day that was much better than what the pics can show. Manatees, birds, hydroplanes, and a dolphin show better than anything you can imagine. Sadly I was not able to get a pic of this last event.

Historic Eldora State House

Put In / Take Out: The Canaveral National Seashore is a huge area. We have kayaked here before putting in at other locations. The easiest way for me to describe this one to you is by providing a map of where I was. This is known as the Apollo Beach area and is the Northern tip of the Canaveral National Seashore. The fee is $5 per vehicle. Used the Parking Lot #7 facilities.

Canaveral National Seashore scene

My day started at 8:30 on a windy morning. The forecast had it smooth but it was not. The wind was coming from the South and you could see it in the water. Saw my first manatee of the morning near the fishing peer close to the put in. No chance for a pic but we played hide and seek for a 5 minutes. It will come up, breathe, and go down before I could shot a pic.

Terns and Gulls at the Canaveral National Seashore

Will cut this one as short as I can so straight to the point. Paddled South for a while until reached the South tip of Orange Island. Then headed North. It was here when saw the first dolphin of the day but was not able to shoot a pic. Then, North of the area of the put in, saw splashes in the distance. Got closer for a better view and found the source: a manatee mating herd. The link, from Save The Manatee Club, will explain what it is.

Manatee mating herd

That was the first highlight of the day. The second, because I got stupid, did not produce any pic but it was one of the coolest things I have seen. A dolphin pod, more than 10 I would say, gathered to hunt. They started to hitting the water with their tails creating a huge splash wall I saw from the distance. As fast as I tried to go to the area did not make it. Stopped once to shoot pic but none of them came through and, when finally came close to it, a gentleman in a pontoon boat thought it was cool to put his boat in the middle of the dolphins. That dispersed the dolphins and left me thinking why in the world someone would do that. On the other hand, and my wife gave me a hard time about it; Why I did not record it? My bad!!!!


Well, summary time: Made it to Bethune Cove, a place manatees like a lot. There I took a break and stretched my legs. There were some manatees at the cove but did not get too many pics out of it. Quite frankly, was not in the mood. Just wanted to take a brake from the Sun. After Bethune Cove, back to the put in, stopping to shoot dolphins pics here and there and then the huge pod I mentioned before. Here are the pics of what I saw on this trip...

Belted Kingfishser

Hydroplane. This one made several passes during the day

Royal Tern

Foster Tern

Then the manatee mating herd...

Dude just mated. Swimming backstroke now and asking for a cigarette!!!!!

You do not go too close of a mating herd of manatees. Is not safe and chances are you will end wet.

From here to Bethune Cove...

Royal Tern (Non Breeding)

Foster Tern (Adult Non Breeding)


Gulls and Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

OK...Huddle Up!!!!!!

"Should I have my talons done?"


Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

Reddish Egret

Willet ( not sure...someone correct me please)

Little Blue Heron

Mosquito Lagoon Scene

Sandwich Tern (flying)

Then from Bethune Cove back to the put in...

Butterfly at Bethune Park

Manatee at Bethune Cove

Great Egret
Brown Pelican

And dolphin's time...

Timing issue. One tenth of a second later and I would have had a heck of a shot here: See the other dolphin surfacing to the left?

Just swimming by

And this is it. Close to 5 hours in the water. Only two, including stops for pics on the way to the put in. Thanks for coming and hope you come back next weekend to share more Views From Our Kayak. Check our Facebook Page and Like us if you do.

Manatee tail at the Mosquito Lagoon

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