|Turkey Creek manatee|
Put In / Take Out: Goode Park, located at 1300 Bianca Dr in Palm Bay, FL. There is no fee, lots of parking spots, and restrooms are available. It is in reality a boat ramp but putting a kayak there is not complicated as the concrete does not go too deep. It is a bit slippery so you have been warned. I ended on my six my first time here. There are other entry points along the creek. I may try one of those next time, or maybe you can do it and let me know how it works.
|Turkey Creek Turtle|
Was on my way at 8:30. If you follow my trip on a map, left Goode Park and headed to the Indian River, paddling under the railroad tracks first and then under the Hwy 1 bridge to the Palm Bay. It was a bit windy and the tide was coming in. That combination was not good for the pics as I deleted 75% of them. The bay is Osprey Kingdom and they were very active flying high in the sky. It was at the confluence of the bay and the Indian River where saw a dolphin, giving me the first member of the Florida Trifecta (greetings Yak Dave). Here are the pics of what I saw on that leg of the trip...
|Great Blue Heron|
|Indian River Dolphin|
|Dolphin (This would have been the opening but manatee trumped dolphin this time)|
Started the paddle up creek with a strong cross wind. It was really bumpy, even on the Palm Bay. I was told the manatees like to hang out near a dam at the end, or the beginning depending how you look at it, of the creek. The plan was to paddle up, take a break at the Turkey Creek Sanctuary, maybe take a walk on their boardwalk, and then come back to Goode Park. Almost everything came through but had an issue with a raccoon at the sanctuary. Regardless, here are the pics for that part of the trip...
|Gator... a little one. At the moment just needed a manatee for the Florida Trifecta|
|Turkey Creek scene|
|End of the paddling trail...|
|Turtle at the creek (From the Turkey Creek Sanctuary boardwalk)|
|Catfish (From the Turkey Creek Sanctuary boardwalk)|
Parenthesis here. When you read signs that say DO NOT FEED WILDLIFE!!! it includes everything. At the sanctuary I tried to have a snack but then, out of the blue, a raccoon was 5 feet from me and coming. I tried to scare it with no avail. So did use a spray I have to scare dogs away. The little rascal walked away 10 ft and came back a minute after. When saw it did the same thing: yelled at (did not work) and then sprayed it again. The raccoon walked away and almost immediately came back running. This time I grabbed the paddle and chased it away. The raccoon just hide behind a palm tree while I packed my stuff back to the kayak. I thought it learned a lesson and turned my back just to feel it running towards me. Another spray did the trick for a minute, giving me a chance to launch the yak and leave the place. Ate my snack in the kayak, away from the little monster so we can say I was chased away by a raccoon. It won.
|Raccoon at Turkey Creek Sanctuary|
|Turkey Creek Gator|
|Manatee Mom and a calf|
|Lunch time. At least they did not have a raccoon chasing them away.|
|Turkey Creek Manatee|
|Red Bellied Woodpecker|
|Manatee. One of maybe 6 of a mating herd near the Goode Park boat ramp|
|Friendly ladies enjoying their paddle at Turkey Creek|