Cedar Key: Day 48, Florida CT Paddle 4.01.18

Dear Reader,

I’m in heaven! Which is very appropriate for Easter, and fortunately it’s No April Fools joke.

The day opened with fog and then progressed from a sky colored white to one colored blue, with various permutations along the way.

It was a perfect day of paddling through a navigationally-challenging but fun maze of exposed oyster bars and mangrove islands filled with bird life: Oystercatchers, egrets, great blue herons, pelicans, cormorants and osprey, as well as flocks of sandpipers and shorebirds which we couldn’t approach close enough to identify.

The tide was low, exposing both crab traps and scattered sand beaches.

Just past Shell Mound, a 80′ tall Indian midden of oyster shells accumulated over 3000 years, I stopped and chatted with a young couple who were following the tradition of oyster harvesting.

John and I cruise at an average of 3.75 knots (nautical miles per hour). We go faster if the current and wind is with us. And slower if they’re not. At points today we were going as fast as 5 knots with the current. At other points we were going as slow as 3 when we were bucking the current.

But today we only had to go 8.43 nm to Cedar Key, and having camped at Deer Island where we launched easily during this morning’s low tide versus the CT designated campsite at Shell Mound Campground where we wouldn’t have been able to launch during low tide at all, we covered those miles easily.

Heading into Cedar Key we accidentally explored back channels thick with mud and hungrily feeding American Avocets. Cumulus clouds built in the distance, the first we’ve seen during this entire trip.

And then just like that, we rounded the corner and we were home. The Cedar Cove Beach and Yacht Club Hotel, alongside Cedar Key’s town park.

From our studio’s balcony we look out over the Gulf from a higher vantage point than we are used to. And out towards restaurants, music and frolicking Easter beachgoers.

As well as birds.

It’s the nicest hotel-type accommodations we’ve had since we started this trip 48 days ago. Night and day from Bill’s Fish Camp’s cinder block motel room in Suwannee.

Too bad tomorrow isn’t going to be a bad-weather day so we’d have an excuse to stay! Instead it’s supposed to be another extremely rare drop-dead gorgeous day like today. We’ve gotta take advantage of it although it would be bliss to linger. And we have miles yet to make.

In town, the band was playing Margaritaville tunes and I rocked to my heart’s content. Drank beer. Ate ribs. And some of the best curly, seasoned fries around. That was a late lunch. Now we’re heading out for dinner.

Like I said, I’m in heaven! Happy Easter everyone!

We’re alive.

We’re healthy.

We’re adventurers.

Goodnight!

Cheers, Susana

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